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Six ways charities made the most of Giving Tuesday 2014

Six ways charities made the most of Giving Tuesday 2014

Today is the UK’s first , a cross-charity campaign to urge the public to do at least one good deed today to help the nation’s charities, large and small. There is a vast amount of activity underway today in this novel campaign which is designed to contrast with the recent Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping frenzies. Here are a few highlights.

1. Make the most of matched giving opportunities

There are lots of charities and giving platforms promoting matched giving campaigns on Giving Tuesday. For example, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is matching all gifts made to the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign on the day, up to $200,000. For four hours it will even double-match them (8am – 12 midday ET).

In its Triple Tenner Tuesday campaign, offered to triple the value of 1,000 donations of £10 made on Giving Tuesday on its site, which handles donations for small and local charities.

Microsoft YouthSpark is matching donations to youth programmes made on on Giving Tuesday:

The Big Give‘s annual matched giving Christmas campaign has run at this time of year for several years.

Shopping and fundraising site Give as You Live is giving increased charity donations at major stores. Brands offering deals include Topshop, John Lewis, M&S, Debenhams, Toys R Us, Currys and PCWorld and L’Occitane. Up to 4% of the purchase price will be donated to charity when shopping through Give As You Live.

2. Tell your supporters what to expect

British Heart Foundation prepared its supporters for this new campaign with a video message.


The BHF also transformed its website’s home page for Giving Tuesday:

3. Partner with local businesses

Lepra, based in Colchester, partnered with local businesses to raise funds on the day. The North Hill Hotel offered to make a donation for every Colchester Pudding sold on Giving Tuesday.

I bought two – the other was for my companion, thereby introducing a whole new approach to matched funding.

Advertising agency Mindshare is closing for the day so its staff can give 1,000 hours of time to help small charities with their communications challenges.

4. Showcase a corporate partnership

If you have a major funding or partnership announcement, make it coincide with Giving Tuesday. That’s what pet insurer Animal Friends Insurance based in Wiltshire did, by pledging £120,000 to some of the most deprived animal charities in Britain “to celebrate #GivingTuesday”. The donation will be distributed amongst animal welfare charities.

The Government has also chosen today to announce an additional £2m funding for the Community First Endowment Match Challenge Fund.

Plenty of companies ran campaigns in which they offered to donate a small amount every time its hashtag was tweeted:

5. Thank your supporters

Marie Curie is using Giving Tuesday to say thank you to its supporters:

Philadelphia Zoo took the same opportunity:

6. Link your ask to Giving Tuesday

Or ask (or expect!) other partners to do so. Here is National Geographic reminding its readers on Giving Tuesday that it supports animal wildlife nonprofits:

Some charities launched their Christmas appeal on Giving Tuesday.

Smile Train's Dreaming of Midnight campaign

Smile Train launched Dreaming of Midnight, an interactive giving experience that tells the story of a Mexican New Year’s Eve celebration through the eyes of Camila, a child with an unrepaired cleft. On a computer screen or mobile device, viewers can follow Camila on a whimsical view of traditions and party decorations, accompanied by a lulling storybook narration.

Twinkling hot spots throughout the video (which will appear on social media) can be clicked to make a donation between $5 and $1,000. Hot spots reveal how donations of set amounts can support a patient’s cleft treatment, whether it be surgical equipment or a patient’s full hospital stay.

Others simply linked a direct fundraising ask to #GivingTuesday:

Of course, regular tax-effective methods of giving are worth promoting too:

Asking for time and donated skills also featured:


Other initiatives on Giving Tuesday

1. Of course, the Prime Minister David Cameron MP endorsed Giving Tuesday itself, but he and the entire Cabinet have now also become Dementia Friends, part of a nationwide initiative run by Alzheimer’s Society to raise awareness and understanding of dementia.

2. The FSI published a guide for small charities to making the most of Giving Tuesday, with ideas for fundraising activities.

3. The Charity Commission published advice on safe giving on #GivingTuesday:


4. And after Giving Tuesday comes #ThankYouWednesday, according to Madeleine Sugden in #GivingTuesday – the first year of UK activity.



Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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