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  • Kevin Leahy

50 Tactics for Your Upcoming Giving Day [2023]

Recently, Givzey has conducted hundreds of informal surveys with current Annual Giving leaders and fundraising. We've been asking them about top priorities in 2023, and, overwhelmingly, hitting a home run with the annual Giving Day is at the top of everyone's list.


Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Night at the Red Sox
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Night at the Red Sox

If you're reading this blog, it's highly likely that you are planning, have planned, or will plan a giving day in the near future. While the best-known giving day of all, Giving Tuesday, happens every November, giving days can happen at any time of the year. In Higher Education and Independent Schools, Giving days typically fall in late February or March. For cause-based nonprofits, giving days are likely to coincide with national or state days of awareness that touch your mission. And, in healthcare, that can be the same, or a giving day might be tied to a large-scale event, like a 5K or a stadium takeover.


Giving Days Can Be Enormous Boosts

When done right, the best days of giving can really take off. Purdue University and Columbia University have reported days of giving that earned $18.3 million and $12.8 million, respectively. Giving Tuesday 2022 earned $3.1 Billion for nonprofits of all kinds. Those are amazing headlines, but they should also come with the disclaimer that comes with every miracle pharmaceutical, "Results not typical."


In order to achieve amazing giving day results, it takes a community. Leaders who understand that they can tie events, impromptu challenges, volunteers, social media, P2P fundraising, and other tactics into the greater goal of the giving day are more likely to see amazing results. Here's a list of tactics that other organizations have incorporated into their giving days to boost timely giving.


50 Giving Day Tactics [2003]

  1. Set a goal for the day and make it clear to donors how their contributions will make a difference. Show constant progress.

  2. Set up a social media campaign to promote the event and encourage donations.

  3. Organize a virtual fundraiser, such as a livestream event or webinar.

  4. Collaborate with local businesses to offer discounts or promotions in exchange for donations.

  5. Host a food drive to raise funds and collect non-perishable items at the same time.

  6. Organize a run, walk, or other physical challenges to raise money for the cause.

  7. Host an online silent auction or raffle to engage supporters and raise funds.

  8. Work with large donors ahead of the day of giving, and have them agree to match gifts, unlocking larger matches as donations increase.

  9. Host a gaming tournament or stream and ask for donations from participants and viewers.

  10. Sell merchandise, such as t-shirts or hats, with proceeds going to the cause.

  11. Offer a special membership or subscription package, with a portion of the proceeds going to the organization.

  12. Host a danceathon and have teams compete to raise the most.

  13. Host a movie night or book club and ask for donations in exchange for admission.

  14. Host a workshop or seminar and ask for a suggested donation to attend.

  15. Organize a trivia night or game night and ask for donations to participate.

  16. Host a talent show or open mic night and ask for donations at the door.

  17. Set up a virtual "giving wall" where donors can leave messages of support and encouragement.

  18. Use social media to create a "chain of giving," where each donor is challenged to give and then challenge three more people to give.

  19. Use email marketing to reach out to past donors and encourage them to participate.

  20. Offer a limited edition product or item for sale, with all proceeds going to the organization.

  21. Organize a sports tournament and ask for donations from participants and spectators.

  22. Use social media to create a "countdown to giving" to build excitement and encourage participation.

  23. Set up a virtual donation kiosk at an event or location, allowing people to give using their phones or tablets.

  24. Work with a local sports team to draw awareness to your cause – get on the field, ice, diamond, or court to make your appeal to the crowd.

  25. Host a virtual yoga or fitness class and ask for donations to participate.

  26. Host a virtual happy hour or cocktail-making class and ask for donations to attend.

  27. Use social media and email to let donors and supporters know when you reach giving milestones, explain the next milestone and how it will help your organization.

  28. Offer special experiences, such as behind-the-scenes tours or VIP events, as incentives for donors.

  29. Host a live auction with an entertaining emcee.

  30. Set up a text-to-give campaign to make it easy for people to donate from their phones.

  31. Use social media to share stories and testimonials from beneficiaries of the organization's work.

  32. Set up a scavenger hunt throughout the town, teams donate to unlock the clues – use hashtags to keep score on social media and promote in real-time.

  33. Partner with local businesses to promote the event and encourage their employees to participate.

  34. Host a webinar or virtual panel discussion on a relevant topic to engage donors and provide value.

  35. Set up a virtual bake-off or cooking competition and ask for donations to enter.

  36. Give away a reserved parking spot for the member of your office who can raise the most from others.

  37. Host a virtual concert or live music event and ask for donations to attend.

  38. Set up a photo booth or portrait studio and donate proceeds to the cause.

  39. Organize a cornhole tournament and split the pot 50/50 with the winners.

  40. Host a slam dunk contest and sell tickets for entry.

  41. Interview key donors as they give and share the videos on social media to influence others to give.

  42. Set up a food challenge, like a spicy wing eating contest, charging for entry.

  43. Include a phonathon element in your day of giving.

  44. Host a poker tournament (in-person or online) with accessible buy-ins.

  45. Pitch the local media on the importance of your mission and ask for day-of coverage.

  46. Purchase a limited supply of novelties like bobbleheads or other desk ornaments and promote that only the first 100 to give this hour will receive the gift.

  47. Ask your leadership if they have a timeshare to raffle off to a lucky donor who gives in a particular window of time.

  48. If you have access to any major celebrities, local celebrities, influencers, or even your local meteorologist, ask them to send your giving day link to their followers.

  49. Remind your donors that many employers match giving – give them a template for how to make that ask.

  50. Offer Give Now, Pay Later to lower the financial barrier of giving.


There you have it, 50 tactics you can use and alter for your upcoming day of giving. While you're down here at the end of the blog, post, got a second for a one-question poll?



What are your thoughts on Giving Tuesday?

  • It will continue to grow donations for my organization.

  • Donations are steady, but not increasing each year.

  • We're seeing a decline in giving from Giving Tuesday.



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