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Planning a Successful Giving Tuesday Campaign for Higher Education

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

Introduced in 2012, Giving Tuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving. It kicks off the charitable season when many focus on their end-of-year giving. In a world often dominated by consumerism, Giving Tuesday is a refreshing movement that unites people and organizations to do good.


For higher education institutions, it's also a powerful opportunity to engage alumni, donors, and supporters in philanthropic efforts. But as we approach Giving Tuesday 2023, it's crucial to plan strategically to ensure that you can make the most of this annual giving event.


Whether you've already finalized the details of your campaign or are just starting out, below is a comprehensive guide to ensure that it's both engaging and effective.


Step 1: Set Clear Goals


Make sure you are setting clear and realistic goals for your Giving Tuesday campaign. Define what you aim to achieve, whether it's a fundraising target, the number of donors, or a specific project's funding. Document these goals and share them with your team to ensure everyone is aligned and focused on achieving them.


Step 2: Choose a Specific Cause for Your Giving Tuesday Campaign


Craft a compelling fundraising appeal that clearly communicates the purpose of your Giving Tuesday campaign and why it matters. Share a meaningful and specific goal that resonates with your audience. For example, "In 24 hours, we're raising $50,000 to provide 50 women with the opportunity to go to college."


Step 3: Plan Your Marketing Strategy

  • Design eye-catching graphics for your Giving Tuesday campaign.

  • Seek input and ideas from your staff and audience.

  • Develop an email marketing strategy with a well-structured funnel.

  • Plan your content creation for social media, blogs, and emails.

  • Review your content to ensure alignment with your goals.

  • Create forms for potential employee volunteers.

  • Gather campaign assets such as videos, photos, logos, slogans, and button text.

  • Write compelling copy and schedule social media posts and emails in advance.

  • Assign clear responsibilities to your team members to execute the campaign effectively.

Step 4: Create and Promote Your Donation Campaign


Build your donation page to receive online contributions effectively. Ensure your donation page includes:

  • Compelling campaign graphics.

  • A concise description of your campaign's purpose.

  • Visuals showcasing the impact of donations on your chosen cause.

  • Clear donation amount options.

  • A donation meter to track progress.

Promote your Giving Tuesday campaign at least two to three weeks in advance:

  • Send an email announcement to your supporters a week before Giving Tuesday.

  • Increase email frequency around Giving Tuesday, sending at least one email the day before and one on the day itself.

  • Leverage social media channels to share your content and graphics.

  • Create a thank-you page and an automated thank-you email for donors.

Step 5: Identify Partners and Supporters


  • Identify potential corporate sponsors, community partners, and major donors who can promote and match donations.

  • Explore matching gift data to enhance your matching gift opportunities.


Step 6: Showcase Real-Time Progress

  • Use a fundraising thermometer on your donation page to display real-time progress.

  • Motivate fundraisers with a visible tracker of progress.

  • Allow donors to witness the immediate impact of their contributions.

Step 7: Use Price Anchoring


Leverage the anchor effect in fundraising by asking for specific amounts based on an individual's giving history and capacity. Start with a higher anchor donation to encourage larger contributions.


Step 8: Focus on Impact


Highlight the impact of donations in your Giving Tuesday campaign. Clearly communicate how donors' contributions will make a difference. Be specific and transparent about where the funds will go.


Remember, Giving Tuesday is not just about fundraising; it's an opportunity to engage your community and inspire meaningful change. By following these steps and incorporating data-driven strategies, you'll be well-prepared to create a successful Giving Tuesday campaign for your higher education institution.


Guide shared by Vanessa Carbonell, Director of Customer Success & Sales of LiveAlumni.

Need more help planning your Giving Tuesday Campaign? That's what we're here for!



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