How to Ride the Wave of Generosity with #GivingTuesday

A wonderful day for fundraising is coming up – GivingTuesday! We think GivingTuesday is a wonderful initiative.

There are plenty of major gift pundits out there who think Giving Days are a distraction and a dead end, but we take issue.

From our standpoint, Giving Days offer a terrific format for engaging all donors – from major donors to smaller ones.

Here are four reasons why we like them so much. And, we’re including our favorite strategies for taking advantage of all the publicity to create a wave of generosity for your own cause.

1. Add some fun to your fundraising.

Giving Days add a note of gamification to fundraising and to donating. Somehow it seems fun and exciting to participate with many people. Everyone is talking about the Day, pushing towards an important goal, feeling the energy and optimism.

With so much bleak news these days, everyone is looking for a reason to lighten up. People are opening emails that feel more positive and optimistic.

You can brighten your donors’ days with a cheerful Giving Day message.

Tip: Make your Giving Day motif something charming, that makes your donors go “awwww.” Add photos of people smiling.

2. Give your board members a reason to reach out to their friends.

Your board members are typically self conscious about reaching out and asking their friends for gifts. They tend to hold back.

But somehow, a Giving Day gives them a format and an excuse for inviting their friends to participate. As I said above, it somehow feels like fun – it’s an urgent cause that we are all focusing on right now.

Tip: Put your board members in teams and have them compete with each other – if they are willing. It adds yet another note of fun and helps them enjoy themselves even more.

3. Give your major donors another platform for helping you.

Your major donors love you a lot. They believe in you and want to help you succeed. This is your excuse to ask them if they might like to join in your Giving Day event this year.

Many organizations ask their major donors if they’d like to make an additional gift to help boost the Giving Day cause. I know plenty of additional major gifts that have come in, because of the structure and timing of the Giving Day format.

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Major donors just might reach out to their own wealthy friends who will also join the cause. Again, the format and the fun make it easy for people to write their network with an encouraging note.

Tip: you don’t want to “solicit” your major donors here.  Instead you want to “invite” them. It’s a world of difference!

4. Take advantage of the public mood for helping and giving.

Don’t be shy. Ride the wave of generosity that is showing up everywhere.

Giving seems to be up in all sectors of donors – lapsed donors, new donors, current supporters. Giving of your time and resources is a noble act, right now in this time of world-wide pandemic.

We are seeing with our consulting clients, our major gift coaching members, and among our Insiders. We are hearing about it from other consultants. Giving is up right now, and it may not stay up in the future.

Tip: Be cheerfully aggressive in promoting your cause. Who else will tell your story if you don’t?

5. Make thanking donors a key focus.

Try a Giving Day where you don’t ask at all. Instead spend the day thanking. My prediction – giving will go through the roof.

Your donors whom you called and thanked will be happy about their relationship with you. They’ve enjoyed your touches. And they feel connected enough to respond generously – without being asked at all.

I promise – we are seeing this everywhere in the past six weeks.

Tip: Thank you phone calls will generate generous gifts – with no ask.

Bottom line: Giving Days are terrific opportunities.

You can raise unrestricted funds, energize your supporters, engage your board members, promote your cause – and they are fun too.

Don’t miss this opportunity Tuesday. If you need templates, then go to  and you’ll find all sorts of sample communications.