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Make the Most of Giving Tuesday

Ellie Griffiths takes you from setting goals to saying thank you

Ellie G.

Ellie GriffithsBusiness Development Manager & Training Consultant, Tessitura Network

TitleMake the most of Giving Tuesday


Read/View Time5 min

2020 is still throwing us some curve balls as we head into the holiday season, and it can be tough to feel prepared.

However, if we have learnt anything in the last nine months, it is that our industry is resilient, resourceful and much needed by our audiences, visitors and communities.

Celebrating that connection with our patrons is a great opportunity for cultural fundraisers to tell a compelling story and to say thank you to our supporters.

This year, Giving Tuesday (1 December) marks the beginning of a month which traditionally sees many holiday campaigns. So whether you’re preparing for the global day of giving, or thinking about another seasonal ask, here are four things to think about to get you prepared.

1. Set goals 

This doesn’t necessarily mean setting a financial goal — although you should always consider how any campaign can help you reach your targets. Think about the reasons you want to join in Giving Tuesday this year. Is it to promote donor retention through using the platform to say ‘thank you’? Is it an acquisition opportunity, nudging your audiences and visitors to make that first gift? Is Giving Tuesday an opportunity to push a particular project you’re fundraising for?

Whatever your reason, defining it makes it much easier to measure your success and create clear messaging.

Defining your goal makes it much easier to measure your success and create clear messaging. 

Practically, Tessitura can help you set and measure that success. If you’ve been involved in Giving Tuesday in previous years – take a look at year on year reporting to determine a benchmark. Utilising Tessitura’s robust fundraising structures, you can also easily measure the efficacy of this year. Having a thoughtful Campaign, Fund and Designation structure, as well as an effective Appeal and Source structure, is key. Watch this webinar to review our recommended practices for campaigns, funds, and designations. 

Having an effective structure also feeds into your reporting. Tessitura Analytics can visualise your efforts, and enable you to make data-driven decisions on your next fundraising steps. Check out our Getting Started Guide to learn how.  

2. Identify your segments and channels

Giving Tuesday is a great platform to showcase philanthropy to a wider audience and promote giving en masse, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about who you are reaching out to and how. Your long-time donors or regular supporters need to be thanked and communicated to in a different way from how you might target ticket buyers or local communities. Think about how each segment might like to celebrate this day with you – is it always an ask? For inspiration, take a read of my colleague Kate’s great blog post about donor segmentation

Ensure you have robust messaging across all of your channels — email, website, social media — and get involved in the hashtags for the day itself. Joining in elevates your message publicly by making you a part of a global voice.

3. Make sure it’s easy to give

It is so important to check your donation flows on your website. Promoting any sort of giving means that making a donation should be as easy as possible. Do you have an obvious donate button from your home page? How easy is it for a customer to make a gift, or add a donation to their transaction?

Making a donation should be as easy as possible.

Consider utilising a quick giving tool to really remove any friction. Our One-Page Giving feature ties seamlessly to your website and to Tessitura, allowing you to have a branded donation ask for your campaign without requiring a patron to log in.

Tessitura also integrates with Donate2 to provide the public with the ability to make quick donations.  

4. Say thank you  

Thanking your donors, members, audiences and visitors is vital. Ensuring that the public knows you are grateful tells a positive story about the impact of their support. That, in turn, allows us to elevate the importance of philanthropy, not only in December, but all year round. 

Think about the different ways you can celebrate your donors. This might be a public thanks via social media, and/or you may want to do a mass thank you campaign via email. Alongside this, you should always be thanking your donor personally whenever they make a gift. Take some time to review how Tessitura can support your donor acknowledgements — having a robust, yet personalised process is key to thanking your donors in a timely and effective way.

Having a robust, yet personalised process is key to thanking your donors in a timely and effective way.

Celebrating in person may not be possible right now, but you can still provide your donors with virtual thank you experiences. If you’re live streaming any events, think about adding on some donor- or member-only content, or bring your donors together for a private evening of digital content. Read my colleague Paul’s article to learn how Tessitura and TN Express Web can help you deliver a smooth patron experience for virtual stewardship. 

•     •     •

Giving Tuesday is also providing some great resources across our regions to ensure you’re ready to take part.

In the UK, this year the theme is GiveBack2020 —a chance to take something positive from 2020 and make a difference at the same time.

givingtuesday.org.uk > 

Resources for the United States can be found here: 

givingtuesday.org >

Australian organisations should check out their regional page: 

givingtuesday.org.au >



Top photo by Diego PH from Unsplash

Ellie G.

Ellie Griffiths

Business Development Manager & Training Consultant

Tessitura Network

Ellie is Business Development Manager and Training Consultant within the European region, having joined the team in October 2018.

An experienced fundraiser, Ellie has connected individuals and companies to a range of causes, including medical charities, higher education and the arts. Most recently she worked as Corporate Relations Manager for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, managing a portfolio of corporate sponsors. Ellie is also Chair of Women & Theatre, a Birmingham-based theatre company that addresses contemporary issues through performance.

Ellie lives in Birmingham (UK) with her partner, their two cats and a large collection of bikes, guitars, LPs and football programmes (Not all hers!). An avid Leicester City Football Club fan, when not enjoying Birmingham’s thriving cultural scene, she can be found shouting at the King Power Stadium.

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