How does GivingTuesday work: Your guide to a giving day

With preparation, compelling marketing campaigns, and Raisely's free templates and calculator tool, you can smash records this GivingTuesday.

In 2012, a New York City community and cultural centre created GivingTuesday to encourage people to donate to causes that matter, counteracting Black Friday’s consumerism success.

To say they made an impact would be an understatement.

In 2021 alone:

  • U.S. supporters donated $2.7 billion USD to important causes
  • 35 million U.S. residents participated
  • The worldwide movement expanded to 75 countries

But how does GivingTuesday work? Is every Tuesday a GivingTuesday, or is it an annual event? Does it only last for 24 hours? How can your organisation get in on the success?

We’re here to answer all these questions and more!

Here’s how GivingTuesday works:

When is GivingTuesday?

GivingTuesday is an annual event that starts at the end of the year and the beginning of the holiday season. It comes after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, it’s on November 29, 2022.

Who organises GivingTuesday?

GivingTuesday itself is an independent nonprofit. Through their website,, your charity can connect with their global network of communities, leaders, partners, and individuals.

Their website has plenty of resources, including fundraising event ideas and toolkits for nonprofits, small businesses, schools, families, and youth. They also provide plenty of outreach opportunities, like helping you find your local GivingTuesday movement.

Can you get donations through the GivingTuesday website?

As an organisation, GivingTuesday doesn’t collect fees.

Nonprofits are responsible for their own fundraising efforts, using fundraising platforms like Raisely. Raisely’s GivingTuesday template comes with not one, not two, but three themes for you to choose from! Each template provides plenty of space to talk about your cause, promotes donor matching, supports variable donor amounts, features progress bars, and highlights top donors and teams.

  • Theme 1 – Stand for Love: This theme has a classic white background with purple, orange, and white donor buttons.
  • Theme 2 – Parathletics Giving Day: This theme has varying shades of green with a yellow progress bar.
  • Theme 3 – Building Hope: This theme marries shades of blue and green, and blue headers with green highlights.
Try our new Giving Days Template, in 3 styles. Click here!
Try our new Giving Days Template, in 3 styles. Click here!

Each of these themes comes with plenty of free add-ons to help you raise charitable donations during your GivingTuesday campaign, including matched giving multipliers, team pages, leaderboards and more!

Best of all, Raisely’s template is free!

What does it cost to join the GivingTuesday movement?

It’s free to join, but it could cost you money for marketing and event preparation. Raisely’s free template will help reduce that cost by providing you with a landing page and other add-ons you can use to collect online donations.

Are there opportunities for matching Donations?

Not officially, but you can coordinate with local businesses or organisations. Team up with your local GivingTuesday community campaign. They often have matches or prizes.

Raisely’s GivingDay template also has an option for matching donations. Our Matched Giving Calculator block is available on all our platform’s campaigns. The block links up with your donation form, and shows you the impact of your donation after matching. Also, you choose whether you want to show a message before and after matching is running, or you can configure it to hide itself.

Raisely's new matched giving calculator.
Raisely's new matched giving calculator.

Is it really only 24 hours long?

Yes, GivingTuesday only lasts one day of the year. However, even though it’s only a day-long event, there's a lot of work that goes into it. If you want your GivingTuesday campaign to become like one of these inspiring success stories, you have to start preparing for it months in advance.

Which brings us to...

How does GivingTuesday work? Preparing for the event:

Time is of the essence for a GivingTuesday campaign, so give yourself plenty of it! Preparation and communicating with donors can begin months ahead of the big day.

Getting started

Start by using Raisely’s template. After selecting a theme, create a simple, yet impactful donation page that talks about your cause and the GivingTuesday event.

Once your page is ready, automate your communication as much as possible, so that you can spend more time interacting with donors during the events. Raisely’s marketing automation functions will save you time in this regard.

Content marketing

Create a ton of engaging content to share with followers long before the event starts. These can include:

  • Email marketing campaigns that remind your subscribers about GivingTuesday. Schedule these emails so that your supporters receive them 30 days, two weeks, one week, the day before, and the day of.
  • Blog posts that talk about the history of GivingTuesday, your charitable cause, and the impact of online donations. Include snippets of these in your newsletters, and link them to your campaign’s donation page.
  • Videos of your cause that compel online giving. Create these early on to share on your social media platforms, then share them again on the giving day with the hashtag #GivingTuesday.

GivingTuesday campaigns have been incredibly successful on social media, so make sure you’re leveraging platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn.

In 2021, Facebook matched $8 million USD in donations!

How does GivingTuesday work? With peer-to-peer fundraising

Amplify your impact by running a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Ask your community if they’re interested in helping you make your GivingTuesday campaign a success. This is where clear, compelling messaging comes in handy. The more your supporters feel connected to your cause, the more likely they are to become ambassadors for it.

After all, according to Kat Murphy, the director of digital strategy for GivingTuesday, “the reason GivingTuesday exists is to build the world we all imagine to be possible. The actual mission of GivingTuesday is to create a world that's based on radical generosity.”

Kat Murphy, Director of Digital Strategy at GivingTuesday.

Share the content you’ve created with your supporters. Make their lives easier by crafting posts that they can simply copy, paste and share with their followers — and don’t forget to include #GivingTuesday, so that others following the hashtag may see your campaign. Often, your ambassadors will also share their story and what the cause means to them as a means of connecting with their followers. Encourage them to do this, but don’t make it a requirement.

Speaking of ambassadors, get your board members involved. GivingTuesday marks the start of the giving season, so they should contact all their connections and rally them around your cause.

Save the date!

How can you make sure GivingTuesday works effectively? By remembering what day it is.

This sounds so simple, but it’s so important!

Murphy recommends that you send your followers a calendar invite.

“You need to have GivingTuesday or whatever giving day on your donor’s calendar — on your various stakeholders’ calendars. Literally send them a calendar invitation."

Use Raisely’s platform to drive charitable giving

Raisely’s GivingDay template helps you put the “fun” in fundraiser. Use one of the available templates to create a unique, engaging theme. Then, gamify your campaign by including a leaderboard on the main page highlighting the names of the top donors. Add a fundraising thermometer to show your followers how much you’ve raised and how close you are to your goal.

For best results, share updates about the leaderboard and your fundraising thermometer throughout the day. Both of these can encourage donors to give more to get on the leaderboard and achieve your fundraising goal.

Example of our leaderboard and progress bar.

Say thank you

After the day is over, use Raisely’s email and SMS messaging functions to thank everyone who participated. Recap your successes, let your followers know how much was raised and what the donations can be used for, and congratulate your top donors.

Also, use this time to invite feedback from donors on how they think the event went and what advice they may have for next year. Who knows? Maybe one of your followers can provide your next big idea!

For more advice on preparing your GivingTuesday campaign, check out our tips for a record-breaking year.

Planning your next GivingTuesday fundraising event

The GivingTuesday movement has grown a lot since its humble beginnings at the 92nd Street Y and the Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact. Now that you know everything you need to know about this global movement, plan your next GivingTuesday fundraising campaign with Raisely!

Whether you’re a seasoned pro looking to beat your donations raised last year, or your nonprofit wants to launch a GivingTuesday campaign for the first time, Raisely’s all-in-one fundraising platform can help you maximise your impact on giving day.There’s no time like the present to start planning your next GivingTuesday campaign, so sign up with Raisely today!

Ready to create your
next campaign?

Anthony Greer is a freelance content writer who crafts consistent, engaging, on-brand copy for nonprofits, real estate, and digital marketing agencies.

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