3 Ways to Build and Market Your Giving Tuesday and Year-End Campaigns

Omatic is thrilled to host Will Schmidt, Content Strategist at Classy, as a guest blogger to share his expertise in helping nonprofit organizations stay in the know about Giving Tuesday best practices. Schmidt was named a top nonprofit influencer by BizTech Magazine, and he hosted the PRSA 2019 Edward L. Bernays Awards ceremony.

About 31% of all annual giving occurs in December, with 12% happening in the last three days of the month. On Classy alone, we see 20% of our annual donation volume occur from Giving Tuesday to year-end.

You can take advantage of this lucrative time of year by structuring your holiday fundraising initiatives in a few different ways, as well as by segmenting your audience to send targeted messaging that encourages higher levels of support. To help, we’ve outlined a few suggestions for audience segmentation and three different ways you can build a campaign:

  1. Individual Giving Tuesday and year-end campaigns
  2. A combined Giving Tuesday and year-end campaign
  3. A Giving Tuesday campaign that you turn into a year-end campaign

Below, we’ll walk you through the different cohorts into which you can segment your audience, the three campaign strategies, and ideas for how to appeal to each segment.

And if you’re looking for even more resources for your Giving Tuesday campaign, be sure to check out Classy’s resource library with everything you need. Let’s get started.

Segment Your Donors

No matter the way you structure your Giving Tuesday and year-end campaigns, different groups of supporters should receive different messages based on their history and level of support with your organization. For example, your message and call to action to one-time donors could be different from what you send to recurring donors. You could ask one-time donors to make a gift, but recurring givers could get an appeal to upgrade their monthly gift.

Before we dig into the campaign specifics, we’ve outlined seven different ways you can segment your donors.

List A: Past Giving Tuesday Donors

Build a segment of donors who donated to any of your past Giving Tuesday campaigns. For an added layer of depth, you can group historical donors from previous years into one list, and then create a separate list for last year alone. It could look like:

  • 2015 to 2017 Giving Tuesday donors
  • 2018 Giving Tuesday donors

List B: Past Year-End Donors

This segment includes your year-end donors. This would be anyone who donated one day after Giving Tuesday through December 31.

List C: Past Giving Tuesday and Year-End Donors

Combine your historical Giving Tuesday and year-end donors into one list.

List D: Donors Segmented by Giving Tuesday Donation Amounts

Run a report on the amount of money your Giving Tuesday donors contributed. You can set thresholds to help define this further, like:

  • $1-$50
  • $50-$200
  • $200-$500
  • $500-$1,500
  • $1,500 +

List E: Donors Segmented by Year-End Donation Amounts

Similar to List E, this list will group your donors by the size of their year-end gifts.

List F: Recurring Giving Prospects

The last piece of the puzzle is targeting individuals with a high chance of signing up as recurring donors. Map the frequency of gifts over the last few fiscal years to identify these donors. The criteria might look something like this:

  • Former recurring donors who no longer make a monthly gift
  • Those who made two or more gifts in any given year
  • Those who have made two or more gifts in the past year, specifically
  • Those who made one gift in the past year over $X (where $X equals your average gift size)

Build Your Campaign and Apply the Segments

Now that you’ve defined your audience segments, you have to decide which Giving Tuesday and year-end campaign strategy is best for your nonprofit.

1. Separate Giving Tuesday and Year-End Campaigns

This is a straightforward plan of attack for your fundraising efforts. Create two campaigns, one of which is dedicated to Giving Tuesday and the other for year-end.

From a campaign creation standpoint, you could build your Giving Tuesday page and then duplicate it for year-end fundraising. All you would need to do is update the copy, images, and headlines.

One benefit of this strategy is that you get two distinct URLs that each lead to one of the campaigns. That, in turn, can make your reporting efforts cut and dry since you’ll know precisely who is clicking through to either campaign and what marketing effort is driving those clicks.

At the same time, it might make your marketing a bit more labor-intensive as you’ll have to create different messaging for each campaign.

Segmentation Tips

Create general marketing messages for each campaign that detail your goals and how people can take action and get involved. Send these messages to your past Giving Tuesday and year-end donors.

Then, prepare to send messages to your lists segmenting Giving Tuesday and year-end donors by their past donation amounts. Enter in suggested donation amounts that are in line with what these donor segments have typically given in the past. Your messaging could also ask them to make an even greater impact this year and contribute a higher gift amount.

Similarly, when reaching out to recurring giving prospects, you could showcase how their impact would go further if they signed up as a recurring donor. Throughout the campaign, send updates to your entire audience, and remember to send your thank yous once everything is wrapped.

2. A Combined Giving Tuesday and Year-End Campaign

If you’re pressed for time, or if your Giving Tuesday and year-end campaigns are heavily related, it could be beneficial to simply build one campaign page that combines both. Make it abundantly clear that both campaigns are tied together with your visual assets and page copy.

For example, on a Giving Tuesday-only campaign you might write: “Support our fundraising efforts on Giving Tuesday.”

If you’re building a combined page, you might instead write: “Support our fundraising efforts on Giving Tuesday through December 31 this year.

The campaign would also be united in its marketing messaging, and the single URL makes directing people to your campaign simple. However, it can also make your data reporting a bit murky as you won’t know whether individuals are taking action for either specific effort. This could skew your list segmentation for the next year, so consider adding in a custom question on your donation form that asks if they’re more aligned with Giving Tuesday or year-end effort.

Segmentation Tips

Send a message to your list of past Giving Tuesday and year-end donors about your holiday campaign, explaining that you’re asking them to support both Giving Tuesday and year-end. Our Classy platform data shows that 60% of Giving Tuesday donors will come back and give again on Giving Tuesday. Further, of all one-time donors who return and start a recurring gift at your nonprofit, 25% will go on to make another one-time gift as a future interaction.

You should also make a strong recurring giving push on this campaign as well, so create targeted asks to your list of recurring giving prospects.

The winning strategy with this campaign type is re-engagement. Keep reaching out to your audience segments and ask for gifts or an action of support, especially as the last couple weeks of December come around. Just remember to avoid re-sending the same email multiple times, instead opting for fresh messaging that showcases impact. And once everything is wrapped, thank your entire audience for their support this holiday season.

3. Flip Your Giving Tuesday Campaign to Year-End

This campaign strategy is a best practice that can help you capitalize on both holiday initiatives while optimizing your campaign creation process. You create one campaign page specifically branded for Giving Tuesday, and once it’s over you “flip” your copy and images to market your dedicated year-end campaign.

Your campaign URL will stay the exact same for both Giving Tuesday and year-end, which can be beneficial for those who engage with marketing efforts late in the game. For example, if someone opens a Giving Tuesday promotion email after Giving Tuesday, but still clicks the URL, they’ll simply land on your year-end campaign where they can still make a gift.

Plus, with this tactic, you avoid starting a new campaign at $0 and have sustained momentum heading into the year-end push.

Segmentation Tips

Building a campaign like this will require more thought with regards to your marketing efforts. You’ll likely want to make use of every list mentioned above:

  • A: Market your initial Giving Tuesday campaign to your past Giving Tuesday donors, asking them to support again this year.
  • B: Once you flip the campaign to year-end, reach out to your past year-end donors immediately and engage them to support your fundraising.
  • C: A week or so after you flip the campaign, reach out to past Giving Tuesday and year-end donors with a re-engagement message asking them to come back and donate again.
  • D: Make a strong push to your donors segmented by donation amount during your Giving Tuesday campaign, personalizing suggested donation amounts based on their level of involvement.
  • E: After the campaign flips, send messages to your year-end donors, segmented by donation amount, with suggested donation amounts aligned with their past activity.
  • F: Reach out to this list of recurring giving prospects during both phases of your campaign and ask them to sign on as recurring donors.

Once your campaign is over, no matter what you choose to do, remember to thank all of your donors. Remember to add in detailed reports about the impact their donations have made to your work.


A big part of your success hinges on how engaging each message is as you appeal to different donor segments. Infuse creativity into your messages to keep your audience engaged and excited to take action.

What creative subject lines might drive open rates? Are there any fun images or elements you can include within the email? Do you have powerful impact stories to share alongside your appeals?

Feel free to tweak this framework to fit your unique voice, tone, branding, and outreach strategy. And don’t be afraid to re-engage your segments multiple times this year; people want to give, so give them every opportunity to get involved.

Head over to Classy’s Giving Tuesday resource library to get everything you need to make this year your best Giving Tuesday yet.



In case you missed it, check out these other resources for Giving Tuesday best practices.