What is #GivingTuesday?

With six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, a lot of people have already started, or are thinking about, holiday shopping and of course, those great holiday sales! But many consumers are also now aware of a charitable trend that turns attention away from shopping and puts their hard-earned money toward a different cause during the frenzy of holiday sales.

The History of #GivingTuesday

First making an appearance on calendars in 2012, the website for #GivingTuesday describes the day as, “a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

While it is traditionally common to contribute time, donate items and/or give money to charity around the winter holiday season, the tradition of charitable giving at the end of December also has to do with tax benefits and end-of-year finances. Any tax-deductible donation for the year needs to be made before midnight on December 31. Many nonprofits use this incentive to reinforce their campaign goals and increase asks around the end of the year.

“Giving Tuesday is a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

However, #GivingTuesday emerged as a way to tag onto the popular shopping day in the U.S. known as Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving, when stores across the country have uncharacteristically great sales in order to jump-start their holiday shopping season. #GivingTuesday always falls on the first Tuesday after the Thanksgiving holiday, making targeted “asks” hit inboxes before end-of-year asks start to roll in. This permits organizations to fundraise for a more specific need or goal around this time of year. Sometimes organizations use #GivingTuesday to raise money for the same cause each year, while other years the mission or immediate needs will change.

Developing a #GivingTuesday Campaign

#GivingTuesday is different than holiday shopping sales or end-of-year giving campaigns. People are more likely drawn to spending money on Christmas gifts, not giving it away to a good cause. Therefore #GivingTuesday campaigns have to take much more careful and creative approaches in order to reach their fundraising goals, as well as reach new audiences and repeat donors.

Successful #GivingTuesday campaigns usually have a few things in common. Characteristics that lead to a more successful #GivingTuesday campaign can include:

1 Strong, compelling visuals that evoke emotional responses from viewers

2 Effortless, uncomplicated ways to give money (large donate buttons, clearly visible direct links in posts, simple user experiences)

3 Specific goals in mind, stated clearly in the ad or social media post

4 Frequent updates throughout the day, keeping donors informed of where the organization stands with regard to meeting fundraising goals and possibly encouraging donors to share this “giving opportunity” with their close circle of colleagues and friends

5 Carefully worded language expressing gratitude and/or hope for the future

6 Ensuring that the giving campaign is authentic and aligns with the organization’s overall brand – not just asking for donations for the sake of checking a #GivingTuesday box

7 Prompt displays of appreciation, thank you’s and specific information for donors about where their money is going and who/what  is being positively impacted

If charitable giving is something you look forward to around the end of the year, you may have become a donor due to one or more of these characteristics in an ad or fundraising campaign. Hopefully, your gift left you feeling fulfilled and appreciated, and maybe became a yearly occurrence that you look forward to.

Facebook and #GivingTuesday

For the first time ever, Facebook will match all total donations up to $7 million made through Facebook’s fundraiser and donation platform this #GivingTuesday. It begins at 8:00 AM EST and all donations are matched on a first-come-first-served basis until $7,000,000 in overall donations is reached. Each nonprofit will be matched a total of $100,000 by Facebook and they will cover the processing fees, in order for 100% of the donation to be obtained. To get started, create a fundraiser or launch a donate now button on your organization’s Facebook page. For more insights on Facebook’s donation tools, visit their Giving Season guide to download a #GivingTuesday toolkit, a fundraising campaign guide, and much more.

Beyond Definition’s Take on #GivingTuesday

At Beyond Definition, we look forward to seeing the various creative ways that mission-based organizations and nonprofits in our area and across the world will be promoting their #GivingTuesday efforts, and we wish good luck to all of our clients who have fundraising goals that they’re working toward.

If you’re interested in giving back in a more hands-on way this holiday season, join us the day after #GivingTuesday for our fourth annual Merry Mail Social at our office in Downtown Silver Spring on December 4, 2019, from 3:00 PM – 7:30 PM. We will be decorating holiday cards for three organizations (Operation Gratitude, Cards for Hospitalized Kids, and Sunrise Senior Living) to bring a smile to those who cannot be home for the holidays – the military, hospitalized children, and senior citizens. For more information, visit

Facebook #GivingTuesday Rules:

  • Donations are matched dollar for dollar on a first-come, first-served basis until $7,000,000 USD in eligible donations are made on Facebook.
  • Any US-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit eligible to receive donations on Facebook can be matched.
  • Facebook will match up to a total of $100,000 per nonprofit organization.
  • Each donor can have up to $20,000 in eligible donations matched on GivingTuesday.
  • Facebook covers processing fees so that when you donate using Facebook’s payments platform to a nonprofit organization, 100% of your donation goes to support the cause you care about.
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Sarah Muse

With a background in communications and fine art, Sarah is all about visual problem solving. As a Designer, she puts clients and users first by creating visually appealing products and offering creative solutions to the tasks at hand.

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