Giving Tuesday 2020: Last year’s lessons

At GivenGain we’re busy preparing for Giving Tuesday, the biggest day of global giving, falling on 1 December in 2020.

To help you get ready, we interviewed two of the charities that took part last year with our help, taking very different approaches to fundraising. We hope their tips help you to bring your A game too!


Thembalitsha USA

Thembalitsha USA

Lindsay Ndigiwe, Global Fundraising and Marketing Manager

Thembalitsha USA supports the work of the Thembalitsha Foundation in South Africa. Since 1997, the Thembalitsha Foundation has invested in change by providing healthcare, education and training in South African communities.

In 2019, Thembalitsha USA ran a Giving Tuesday campaign to support that vital work. They set a simple but clear goal – to beat the previous year’s fundraising total by more than 50% – and in the end they accomplished that by raising over $5,000. 

In the lead-up to Giving Tuesday, how did you promote your campaign to potential donors? 

We focused on social media (Facebook and Instagram) and newsletters (MailChimp). We started planning about 90 days out but our external communications began about 30 days before #GT. In the week leading up to the campaign, we ramped up the frequency to finish strong. 

What did you achieve with the funds you raised through Giving Tuesday? 

The best thing about a general campaign on Giving Tuesday is that the funds are unrestricted. We all know how challenging it is to work with designated funding. The money we raised through our Giving Tuesday campaign last year really helped us fill in any end-of-year gaps that we still had in our budget.

Do you have any tips you would like to share with other charities thinking about creating Giving Tuesday campaigns?

Securing match donors ahead of time made reaching our goal way more achievable. We had a $1,000 match and a $2,000 match agreed. So when we reached $1,000 in donations, we jumped immediately to $4,000 in total with only $1,000 more to go. This makes the smaller donations a lot more valuable. 

Also, remember to thank donors as soon as you can. GivenGain sends out custom automated responses, but we sent an additional thank-you with a graphic that we prepared in advance. 




Endangered Wildlife Trust

Endangered Wildlife Trust

Tammy Baker, Business Development Officer

The Endangered Wildlife Trust has worked to protect South Africa’s threatened species and ecosystems for almost half a century.

Last year, EWF decided to hold a 24-hour fundraising sprint for Giving Tuesday instead of a long campaign – and managed to raise R24 000 for wildlife conservation.

What sort of campaign did you do for Giving Tuesday?

Our campaign was titled ‘It’s their future too’, focused on protecting and conserving some of our baby animal species. We used some cute fluffy pics of wild dog pups and interviewed the children of some of the staff who work for the EWT to ask them what they think grown-ups should be doing to save the planet.

How did you communicate your Giving Tuesday campaign with potential donors?

We launched our campaign via a mailer to our database the day before Giving Tuesday. We sent out 4 additional mailers on the day, letting people know how far off we were to our target – then finished off with a thank-you mailer the next day with the final amount raised.

What were you able to achieve with the funds you raised through Giving Tuesday?

As with all funds raised for the EWT, the money we raised went to keeping our staff doing what they do best: conservation in action.

Do you have any tips you would like to share with other charities thinking about creating Giving Tuesday campaigns?

I believe our campaign worked because we had a clear and concise message. Focusing on the fluffy baby animals we protect always pulls on people’s heartstrings. We also communicated how far we were from our target several times throughout the day to motivate people to donate.


Whether you’re planning a marathon fundraising campaign like Thembalitsha USA or a sprint like the Endangered Wildlife Foundation, you can find all kinds of great fundraising tips and resources in our Giving Tuesday starter pack. Head to our Giving Tuesday page to download it now.

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