The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Lessons from N4G’s top #GivingTuesday performers

#GivingTuesday has arrived

On December 2, nonprofits and donors came together in an inspiring day of generosity. Millions of dollars were raised to fuel the good work of nonprofits all over the world.

Network for Good hosted a special campaign, N4G Gives, focused on equipping nonprofits with the tools and knowledge for #GivingTuesday success. The N4G Gives campaign provided free #GivingTuesday resources to the entire nonprofit community and special training and matching funds to nonprofits using DonateNow, our online giving platform. In addition to matching funds, we also recognized the leaders in 10 fundraising categories with special awards.

The most exciting validation of the value of #GivingTuesday is reflected in the experience of the “winners” of Network for Good’s N4G Gives campaign. They are large and small. Some planned for months, and some started the day before. Some have large staff teams, and some are staffed exclusively by volunteers.

The common thread across all the winners was their determination to activate their passionate supporters and advocates to both give and inspire others, and to create a sense of excitement and urgency under the umbrella of #GivingTuesday.

And the winner is…

Most Dollars Raised: Alameda County Community Food Bank, Oakland California (ACCFB)

imageAlameda County Community Food Bank is on a mission to end food insecurity in Alameda County, California. In 2014, the Food Bank distributed 25 million meals – more than half of the food was fresh fruits and vegetables.

Their big vision can only be realized with strong donor support, and ACCFB inspired people to donate more than $100,000 (online and offline) on #GivingTuesday.

Key tactics
After watching the progress of the #GivingTuesday movement in 2013, the team at ACCFB decided to go “all out” in 2014. They pursued a multi-channel approach including email, website, digital ads, and social. Planning started about six weeks before #GivingTuesday, but activation went into high gear during Thanksgiving week.

Key elements

    • Created a visual “badge” for all #GivingTuesday communications
    • Changed website header and homepage, and published a post about #GivingTuesday
    • Asked a corporate supporter to provide a match on first $20k raised
    • Sent their first email on the Monday of Thanksgiving week
    • Launched their big push on 12/1:image
      • Sent email announcing matching funds
      • Launched #GivingTuesday branded donation page
      • Asked supporters to take #UNselfies and share

<li”>Rallied on #GivingTuesday:

    • Added a homepage popup window asking visitors to donate now
    • Pushed social media outreach
    • Launched #GivingTuesday branded retargeting ads

Most Donors: Middle East Cultural and Charitable Society (Electronic Intifada)

The Middle East Cultural and Charitable Society’s #GivingTuesday campaign raised funds for The Electronic Intifada, its award-winning online news publication focusing on Palestine, its people, politics, culture, and place in the world. As a nonprofit digital publication, The Electronic Intifada relies on readers and supporters to provide the funding for its investigative journalism, news, and analysis.

Key Tactics
MECCS used #GivingTuesday as part of its already planned year-end campaign. The campaign’s focus was to activate new donors by emphasizing the N4G Gives matching funds, and the potential to ‘win’ bonus dollars through the N4G Gives special challenges. The friendly competition inspired by the leaderboards was very motivating to their audience.

Key Elements

  • Deployed three emails on #GivingTuesday
    • First email laid out the opportunity to receive bonus and matching funds
    • Second and third emails were sent throughout the day to build excitement as they rose up the leaderboard.
  • Encouraged donors to give generously and repeatedly through the day when the “win” was in sight
  • Sent a thank you email Wednesday morning announcing the win and encouraging those that did not participate to consider giving. This outreach produced their second best day ever.

Most Recurring Donors: Wildlife SOS
India’s wildlife is under severe threat – every animal from the majestic elephant and the tiger, to the shy sloth bear and rare pangolins are being hunted. Wildlife SOS actively works towards protecting Indian wildlife, conserving habitat, studying biodiversity, conducting research, and creating alternative and sustainable livelihoods for former poacher communities.

Wildlife SOS did not focus explicitly on a #GivingTuesday campaign, rather they viewed #GivingTuesday as part of their year-end fundraising. Their success in the N4G Gives campaign is a particularly powerful demonstration of the impact of #GivingTuesday. Donors are inspired be part of the movement and will seek out organizations to support – sometimes, even when they are not asked specifically.

What we learned from Wildlife SOS is that the building blocks they put in place all year round pay dividends. One of those building blocks was an emphasis on recurring, or sustaining, givers.

Key Tactics
Wildlife SOS believes in strategies focused on creating lifelong supporters. Year-round they focus on animal sponsorships for monthly donors and feel like this gives people a tangible connection to their donation. Having the building blocks in place and then capitalizing on big events means they’re not scrambling on days like #GivingTuesday and at year-end.


Make this #GivingTuesday your best yet! Kick off your year-end fundraising with our tools, training and matching funds. It doesn’t matter if your organization has 2 staff members or 200, you can raise money on #GivingTuesday and we can help.

Free #GivingTuesday resources are available to all nonprofits through Network for Good’s All TUEgether campaign. Network for Good customers can leverage matching funds for all donations made on December 1, 2015. Plus, customers have access to expert coaching, new donors, and exclusive resources to help plan a stellar #GivingTuesday campaign.

Not a Network for Good customer yet? No problem. Sign up for a demo and find out how easy it is to raise money online. Get ready to have your best giving season ever.

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About This Blog

Linda Lombardi

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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