4 Tips to Build the Perfect GivingTuesday Campaign with SMS Texting

Interested in participating in GivingTuesday but not sure where to start? Let our step-by-step guide help you plan the perfect year-end campaign.

hands on a laptop with headline reading Giving Tuesday
October 6, 2022
Marco Raye
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Reading time about 8 min

Hold onto your pumpkin spice lattes, the holiday season is upon us. For sweater weather enthusiasts, harvest time ushers in cozy traditions like cider tastings, leaf peeping, and pumpkin carving. In a different way, this is also an incredibly special time of year for nonprofits. Beyond the spirit of the season, one big reason is GivingTuesday (November 29) — the Black Friday and Cyber Monday of nonprofit fundraising.

Sample MMS Message

Thirty five million adults participated in GivingTuesday 2021 in the U.S. Donating a total of $2.7 billion — a 9% increase compared to GivingTuesday 2020 and an impressive 37% increase over 2019.

Customers and employees are looking to spend their money and time with businesses and brands that live their values, and year-over-year giving totals prove that millions worldwide are interested in mobilizing for positive change. Starting your own GivingTuesday campaign can not only drive people to give, but it can also boost your giving opportunities all year round — all in the service of good. Text message marketing empowers your organization with more engagement, conversational responsiveness, and human-to-human connectivity.

Follow along to learn how to launch your own GivingTuesday campaign, including a step-by-step breakdown of best practices to help get you started.


million U.S. adults participated in GivingTuesday 2021.

GivingTuesday: A Brief History

GivingTuesday Logo

Started in 2012 by a NY-based cultural and community center (92nd Street Y), GivingTuesday offered an alternative to the avalanche of holiday sales and promotions. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday provided a shopping smorgasbord at slash discounts, GivingTuesday created a way for individuals from different beliefs and backgrounds to unite and mobilize action for communities facing uncertain times.

A decade later, GivingTuesday is now a year-round generosity movement fueled by a global leadership network and numerous support programs. You may recognize some of the groups generously supporting GivingTuesday:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Craig Newmark Philanthropies
  • Fidelity Charitable, the Ford Foundation
  • Ford Motor Company
  • LinkedIn for Nonprofits
  • The National Philanthropic Trust

GivingTuesday is a philanthropic time reserved for doing good in the world. If you can’t give, you can collaborate with a participating organization. If you can’t collaborate, you can celebrate!

The Easy Text Marketing Guide to GivingTuesday

Cell phone displaying GivingTuesday SMS text message - Donate Now

High-performing GivingTuesday campaigns are intentional, considerate, and personal. Built on well-calculated messaging and delivery cadences, a good GivingTuesday campaign offers an invaluable opportunity to develop and strengthen customer and employee relationships.

Follow the below steps to help your organization drive engagement and action at scale this year:


Scope the Competition

Identify two or three trailblazing organizations doing similar mission-based work as you, and evaluate their tools, techniques, and communication strategies from their previous GivingTuesday campaigns. Uncovering obstacles or data trends the competition encounters can help guide your campaign in 2022.

Here are some key questions to answer as you analyze your competitive landscape:

  • Who are they targeting and why?
  • What are the primary channels used to communicate?
  • How are they phrasing their mission?
  • What's their messaging cadence(s)?
  • What techniques are used to make an ask?
  • Do they offer any incentives and, if so, what?


Make a Plan

GivingTuesday is similar to any other fundraiser in that it’s a chance to continue sharing your narrative, perfect donor stewardship, or increase supporter engagement, and it all begins with a well-calculated marketing plan. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Create definable goals. GivingTuesday fundraising goals vary based on the organization, but many nonprofits ensure their plans pass the S.M.A.R.T. test — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound. Some examples include raising awareness, recruiting new supporters, growing your contact list, and fundraising. Make sure you have a way to measure your goals accurately to assure you can evaluate your success after the campaign.

Segment your audience. After you’ve set your fundraising goal, continue making your plan by segmenting your audience and creating a communication calendar.

Audience segmentation has numerous benefits, most noteworthy being increased retention and revenue. Segment your contact list data categorically by age, addresses, occupation, and payment methods. Identifying groups of your supporters, and the messaging each group responds to, helps your organization make the most of each SMS message sent by honing a concise and impactful message.

Who Can I SMS Text?

  • New prospects
  • One-time donors
  • Volunteers
  • Sustainers
  • Major donors

Create a communication calendar. Think of a communication calendar as the conductor of your multichannel marketing communication strategy. A communication calendar helps you plan when and how messaging is sent to reach as many people related to its cause as possible. Yes, you need to incorporate an email schedule and social media agenda into your plan, but it's paramount also to consider that a vast majority (97%) of Americans own a mobile phone, meaning they use SMS text messaging as a primary communication tool. Forecast your SMS text messaging plans after successfully segmenting your audience to create opportunities to be more creative, personal, and informative during outreach.


Organize a Timeline

Typically, GivingTuesday campaigns last no longer than two months, from announcing participation to making an ask. Once you have a communication plan, it’s time to align a timeline with your strategy by setting realistic deadlines based on your team goals and bandwidth. Due to its rise in popularity, the GivingTuesday period is technically extended through the end of the year, but we suggest taking advantage of the organic buzz around the day itself, November 29.


Make Your Donation Request

Person looking at phone smiling with reading/thought bubble displaying a message

It’s go-time! Your organization put in the work and now has a theme, goals, a timeline, segmented audience lists, and relevant, engaging messaging. Amplify your ask by sharing it through a combination of communication channels, including SMS text. To help resonate with audiences, keep your ask concise, authentic, and focused on your mission. Consider the following tips when crafting your ask message:

  • Rehearse your request messaging before it’s time to contact supporters.
  • Tie your fundraising request to other donor interests.
  • Have a plan B in case they say "no."
  • Stay upbeat and optimistic.

quotation mark

Donations in the U.S. on GivingTuesday 2021 totaled $2.7 billion — a 9% increase compared to GivingTuesday 2020 and an impressive 37% increase over 2019.

Bonus Tips for GivingTuesday Success

  • SMS texting is a powerful complimentary layer of communication, used for outreach or as a reminder tool, echoing previously sent emails or calls.
  • Ensure all participating team members are adequately trained and knowledgeable about the tools used to communicate with supporters.
  • Consider incorporating fun activities that educate your audience and promote your organization’s mission.
  • Explore more creative options to help convey your messaging (Hint: MMS picture texts).
  • Don’t forget to follow-up! Draft your thank you messages in advance, leaving room to edit based on activity during the end portion of your campaign.

Remember, GivingTuesday campaigns don’t just help your organization acquire new donors. They can be instrumental in accomplishing much more, like growing your overall communications list and social media followers, boosting participation in events and volunteerism, reducing no shows, and more.

Start Your GivingTuesday Plans with EZ Texting Today

While some may assume that millennials are most likely to give on GivingTuesday, more people across generations are reliant on texting to stay connected with family, friends, businesses, and the events transpiring in the world around them.

So this year, focus on those communication channels you already know your audience uses daily, like text message marketing.

If you have questions about SMS texting for GivingTuesday or for any other questions about acquiring and retaining more supporters using SMS text messaging, contact us today! You can also start a no-risk free trial now! No credit card required.

Leverage SMS Text Messages for GivingTuesday

EZ Texting Customer Support Managers are ready to assist. Call (855) 854-3024 to learn more about our flexible pricing plans.

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