Jul 28, 2023

The Countdown to #GivingTuesday is On! 

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While #GivingTuesday and end-of-year appeals feel far away, the busiest time of the giving calendar is just around the corner. The time to finalize your strategy, make your plans, and create templates is now. 

Donors are paying attention, and many are looking at their spending for the rest of the calendar year. Dedicate the time now to get your organization’s story out there. Engage potential donors and steward those relationships before they are specifically asked to give to your organization. 

Read on for our checklist (feel free to copy and paste it!) from our experts to make sure your #GivingTuesday is a hit. 


Subtitle Countdown from September 1: 88 days 

Establish your goal 

Start building your online campaign 

  • Donation form copy, settings, and calls-to-action (Turn on recurring giving)
  • Hero image 
  • Copy 
  • Features (videos, sponsors, peer-to-peer, membership drive) 

Establish a marketing plan  

  • Emails  
  • Social media posts 
  • Direct mail with your specific QR code or text-to-give shortcode 
  • Text messages 

Create a unique hashtag to include in all your #GivingTuesday promotional materials 

Hosting an in-person event? Send your invites.   

Print QR codes on table signs or H-stand signs 

As you check off these to-dos, make sure you communicate your plans with your board, stakeholders, and volunteers so they can start evangelizing your mission.  

Set expectations with your board and hold them accountable. Can they be peer-to-peer fundraisers? Will they “author” an email or record a video for social media? Would they, as a unit or as individuals, provide a matching gift for #GivingTuesday? Can they put an H-stand sign in their yards?  

They are an integral part of your team, so include them!  


Countdown from October 1: 58 days 

Start implementing your marketing plan, particularly the storytelling pieces  

Finalize your messaging calendar and schedule posts and emails in advance 

Invest time and energy in refining your storytelling. Your potential donors should know a bit about what you accomplished, what you need funding for, and how you make a difference in the community. Then, when the day comes, they’re already educated and the path from call-to-action to donation is short.   


Countdown from November 1: 27 days 

Evaluate your open rates, click-through rates, and opt-out rates to better optimize your marketing 

Increase the frequency of your marketing 

Deploy any tangible materials

  • T-shirts 
  • H-stand signs 
  • Table stands 
  • QR codes 
  • And more! 

November 27 

Countdown: 1 day 

Ensure anyone who is part of deploying your communications has what they need 

Follow your plan! 

November 28 

It’s #GivingTuesday! 


Be active on your social media all day  

  • Like other’s posts, share their stories, measure engagement, and start saying personal thank yous 

Send text messages throughout the day encouraging giving opportunities and updating on progress 

  • Timed blitz 
  • Progress to goal  
  • And more! 

After #GivingTuesday 

Start your stewardship and segment your donors 

Welcome new donors   

Implement your thank you plan  

  • Phone calls  
  • Handwritten notes 
  • Email beyond the tax receipt  

Donors like to know how they made a difference. The two top reasons donors choose to not give again are first, that they were not properly thanked, and second, they didn’t have a sense of how their donation was integral to an organization’s mission. Those are things you and your team can control. 

As you look ahead to your year-end appeal, consider how your impact or annual report can be used to demonstrate why you need your support network. #GIvingTuesday is just one day, but it can make a difference in the lives of your beneficiaries and can be a cornerstone day of giving at your nonprofit or school. 


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We needed a platform to make sales online and to track and display ads for our sponsors. GiveSmart was perfect. We ended up making close to $15,000 more than we had hoped for. Definite better ROI than we anticipated. The interface is easy to use and provides plenty of options to get help if needed.

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The Rotary Club of South Whidbey Island

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MicroFinancing Partners in Africa

GiveSmart is highly flexible - you can use it for [a] simple registration and check-in, to full-scale galas with complex order forms, onsite upsells, live auctions, seating management, and more.

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Hope Chest for Breast Cancer

GiveSmart is easy to use and ideal for virtual events and can be used for in-person events to manage the silent auction, seating charts, and check-in to the event. Being able to use the platform for unlimited events within the contract year is very useful and being able to add other users and volunteers for different levels of access is helpful as well.

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Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County