15 Creative #GivingTuesday Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits

Banner with #GivingTuesday logo over image of fall leaves

We’ve compiled 15 creative #GivingTuesday fundraising ideas to help you find last-minute inspiration for your #GivingTuesday campaign! From matching grants to wacky challenges, we’ve got a definitive list of angles that make #GivingTuesday campaigns stand out from the crowd.

1. Local Business Showdown

One of the easiest and most effective ways to have a successful #GivingTuesday is to add a peer-to-peer element. And some of the most effective peer-to-peer fundraisers out there are businesses. Need proof? This corporate team fundraising effort raised over $105,000 in just a few weeks. So why not try to engage local businesses in a team fundraiser to see which company can raise the most money for your nonprofit on #GivingTuesday? Setting up a team page on Razoo is fast and easy. Our team management tools make it easy to oversee the showdown and keep tabs on your team members.

2. Board of Directors Challenge

At Razoo, we’re confused by how many nonprofits leave their board of directors out of #GivingTuesday fundraising. In addition to overseeing the big-picture direction of your nonprofit, fundraising is literally part of your board of directors’ job description. So get them engaged! Many nonprofit board members have lots of business savvy, tons of business contacts and come from competitive professional backgrounds. What better way to engage them in #GivingTuesday fundraising than a peer-to-peer challenge? You can set up a team to make it easier and highlight the competition, or just have everyone create their own pages if your board is less competitive.

3. #GivingTuesday Restaurant Day

A great way to bring your supporters together, engage local businesses and augment your online #GivingTuesday campaign is hosting a gathering at a restaurant. Partner with a local joint and have them donate a percentage of the night’s proceeds to your nonprofit. And then your staff, volunteers and supporters out to eat, drink and fundraise! You can even set up a live donation station where attendees can make #GivingTuesday donations. (All you need is a tablet or laptop!)

4. Program-specific fundraiser

Does your nonprofit have a new program this year? Or one that could benefit from some extra exposure and support? Then consider making that program a focus of your #GivingTuesday campaign. Donors are more motivated to give to specific purposes. That’s why program-focused campaigns are more likely to be successful. Collect data that shows the impact and importance of that program, testimonials and stories from people who’ve benefitted from that program and use #GivingTuesday to keep it funded!

5. Project fundraiser

Need a new roof for your building? Or a new van to help you do your work in the community? How about money to bring on additional staff members? Donors love giving to specific causes. So if you have a project you need to fund, try making it the focus of your #GivingTuesday campaign! A big part of why project-based fundraisers are so effective is that the impact is so easy for donors to understand and simple for nonprofits to show. A 24-hour giving event like #GivingTuesday is perfect for quickly funding a project that’s important to your work.

6. #Unselfies

#GivingTuesday is all about using social media for good, and #unselfies are a great example of that. Instead of snapping a selfie to show off your outfit or new haircut, you snap an #unselfie to help raise awareness. All that’s needed is a piece of paper, a marker and a smartphone. Have your staff and volunteers take #unselfies, and ask your followers to join in! Check out this Mashable article for #unselfie examples.

7. Matching grants

Did you know there’s a secret to driving donations on #GivingTuesday? There is! Matching grants. Razoo has been in the giving day game for a years and we’ve seen the power of matching grants time and time again. Why? Well, people love a good deal. Just like a BOGO deal at a store, matching grants give people the opportunity to get more for their money. You could have one big matching grant, or several planned throughout #GivingTuesday to help drive traffic to your page. Razoo makes it easy to add your matching grant to your page so it’s front-and-center, plus we’ve put together strategies that will help you securing the grants.

Tips for Securing Matching Grants on #GivingTuesday

8. “Treat Yourself” Fundraiser

We all love to treat ourselves once in awhile. That morning latte and muffin, a manicure, brunch on a Sunday. A great way to drive donations in a way that makes charitable donations feel tangible is crafting a campaign around donating those little luxuries. List the approximate cost of some common indulgences and ask your supporters to donate that amount. Philanthropy may seem intimidating to many people, but knowing that making a difference can be as simple as giving up their morning Starbucks run can make philanthropy feel accessible to the average person. This can be especially effective for nonprofits dealing with food insecurity and poverty issues.

9. Virtual 5k or Walk-a-thon

The 5k and Walk-a-thon are fundraising standbys. That’s because they work. But this #GivingTuesday fundraiser idea updates the standard 5k or walk-a-thon for the digital age by moving it online. And at the same time you can introduce an exciting peer-to-peer element to your #GivingTuesday campaign. Start a team on Razoo and ask your supporters to sign up. Then, have them ask family and friends to support them starting on Tuesday, November 21st (which is when early #GivingTuesday donations open). Participants can complete the 5k at their own pace and ability, indoors on a treadmill outdoors on a track. They could also just compete in spirit so your fundraiser won’t exclude anyone unable to run or walk.

10. #GivingTuesday Every Month

One-time gifts are important, but recurring gifts can make all the difference for your nonprofit. Planning a campaign focused on sustaining support for your organization can help you stay afloat all year. Razoo makes setting up recurring donations easy for donors; all they need to do is check a box. And we manage charging their cards, issuing receipts and annual giving statements. This can be especially effective if your nonprofit has done #GivingTuesday before … you’re merely upping the ante with your ask and getting donors to think bigger!

11. Sponsorship

There’s a reason so many big nonprofits have programs where you can sponsor a child or an animal. They speak to people’s desire to directly help an individual and feel connected to a cause they care about. So, if you can make a sponsorship program work for your nonprofit, #GivingTuesday is a great time to try it out! Pick some willing participants. (And if you’re using kids or real people, make sure you’ve got all the permissions you need to use their names, pictures and stories!) Then use storytelling to get your supporters invested and ask them to donate to sponsor your subject.

Nonprofit Storytelling for #GivingTuesday

12. Host a #GivingTuesday party

#GivingTuesday is an online giving event but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the party offline! Host an in-person event that members of your community can attend. Give them tours of your facilities, have activities like speakers and workshops lined up, provide some snacks, and make room for in-kind donations (those can be added as offline donations on Razoo). And most importantly, have a donation station where visitors can contribute to your #GivingTuesday campaign.

13. Combine #GivingTuesday with year-end giving

#GivingTuesday is one day, but that doesn’t mean your campaign has to be. Lots of successful #GivingTuesday participants have used the highly-visible day to kickstart their end-of-year campaign. Rolling your end-of-year campaign into your #GivingTuesday campaign means less planning for your staff and allows you to start off with a bang. The timing of #GivingTuesday makes this a natural way to transition from #GivingTuesday to year-end. Since #GivingTuesday is right after Thanksgiving and just days before the start of December, people are in the right mindset and it gives you just over a month to meet your year-end goals.

14. Focus on a meaningful donation amount

Sometimes a great ask can be the key to a successful #GivingTuesday campaign. Think of an amount that is meaningful to your nonprofit and affordable for the average donor. Does $25 feed a family of four for a full week at your food bank? Does $30 provide necessary veterinary care for incoming animals at your rescue organization? Do you have an anniversary coming up as an organization that would translate well into a donation amount? Using a donation amount as your campaign’s hook can be extremely effective on #GivingTuesday. That’s because it takes the guesswork out of how much to donate and ties the amount to a tangible cause. The Capital Area Food Bank did this on #GivingTuesday 2016 and raised $87,000.

#GivingTuesday Success Story: Capital Area Food Bank

15. Go viral

Okay, it’s hard (if not impossible) to orchestrate “going viral.” But you can make social media the focus of your #GivingTuesday campaign. How? Structure your campaign so that social media sharing is your main ask. When someone makes a donation to your campaign, ask them to share your Razoo page on social media. Create images and videos meant for social media sharing. Ask for your followers’ help sharing your Razoo page on social media. The average person has about 150 Facebook friends, and that makes every single social media follower a valuable asset. Each social media share has a monetary value and can help bring in new supporters. You could even issue a social media challenge to help spread the word about your #GivingTuesday campaign. (That was the secret to the Ice Bucket Challenge‘s success!)

Use these ideas to launch your own creative #GivingTuesday campaign today by registering on Razoo!

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About Linda Gerhardt

Linda spent most of her career in the nonprofit sector before joining Razoo. She has worked for animal welfare groups large and small, in nearly every position. She specializes in social media strategy, communications, and digital marketing.

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