Latest Giving Tuesday campaign ideas from marketing-minded nonprofits

by Adam Binkley, Jay Reyes and Ruby Wustrak, 18 Jan 2018

Nonprofits spend months preparing for this one day, which kicks off the year-end giving season. As Giving Tuesday came and went, we took a look at some of the most notable campaigns and identified a few trends that we thought were worth mentioning.

Match vs. No Match

This was the year of the matched gift, as we saw an immense number of donation matches across the board. In years prior, organizations with a donation match used this tactic as a differentiator. This year, with most organizations now featuring some kind of match, the real differentiator was NOT featuring one. Since matches work, we suspect those nonprofits who used this tactic had a successful fundraising day.


#GivingTuesday itself is a recognizable term that in many cases doesn’t need further branding, but this year we saw the #GivingTuesday logo make an appearance across several brands. Whether it was used to give the creative a lift or for credibility, the verdict is still out on whether the hashtag or the logo affects performance, but it did make for some interesting renditions.

#givingtuesday hashtag Giving Tuesday 2017 logo and campaign ideas

One brand in particular adapted the logo to better fit both their brand and their cause. While we applaud this creativity, we suspect that the overuse of #GivingTuesday and the Giving Tuesday logo distracts from the nonprofit’s message and could slow donors down as they have to figure out who’s really trying to talk to them.

Giving Wednesday?

From countdown clocks to follow-up emails, nonprofits deployed very effective tactics to create a sense of urgency around #GivingTuesday. This year, in addition to these, we saw extensions of the Giving Tuesday donor matches announced at midnight and into the next day. These communications stressed the need to make a goal that was almost met, or announced a generous donor who had extended the match. We thought these were both great ways to make the donors feel their specific donation was needed and needed now!

For-Profits Giving Back

Another trend we saw this year was for-profit brands rallying behind causes of their own and using their customer base to raise money for a nonprofit. For example, online restaurant reservation app OpenTable partnered with No Kid Hungry to call for an end to childhood hunger. Users of the app could donate their unused restaurant points for healthy meals for children in need.

Other brands opted to sponsor Giving Tuesday matching gift efforts as a means to get their brand in front of a socially conscious demographic. The participation of for-profit brands indicates this annual event has enough universal awareness that they also see the benefit of supporting Giving Tuesday, and taking advantage of the occasion to talk to their customers about their corporate philanthropic values.

Source: The Nonprofit Times

Giving Tuesday 2017 will be memorable not only for the record-breaking fundraising, which totaled more than $274 million( $97 million more than 2016), but also for the use of new and innovative techniques to speak to donors and prospects and encourage giving.

What trends did you notice that were new or different this year?

Tell us!