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Giving Tuesday 2018: Nonprofit Fundraising Leaders

By November 30, 2018

By: Emily Goodstein, Marketing Consultant

Last year, for the first time ever, awarded a series of #GivingTuesday Gold Stars to organizations who approached this giving holiday with enthusiasm, a healthy dose of creativity and lots of best practices. And we’re here today to do it all over again – this time with a whole new crop of awards.

#GivingTuesday Gold Stars

A quick recap of how and why we award the highly coveted #GivingTuesday Gold Star:

    1. 1. We monitored a bunch of organizations before, during and after #GivingTuesday


    1. 2. The process does not involve voting


    3. We believe the best #GivingTuesday ideas and campaigns should be celebrated – and just may inspire you for your 2019 planning – so bookmark this post and prepare to be wowed

And the Gold Stars Go To…

Without further ado, I present you the winners of the 2018 #GivingTuesday Gold Stars:

World Vision’s Giving Tuesday fundraising bannerWorld Vision Wins the Best Photo Contest
World Vision’s campaign involved a partnership with Thirty One Gifts and donation matching through Facebook.

Their stellar #GivingTuesday campaign also leveraged compelling graphics to draw in potential donors. By 8:00 pm on November 27, World Vision had raised $28,872 of their $50,000 goal with gifts from 397 people. Our Gold Star for Best Photo goes to World Vision!

Giving Tuesday fundraiser from education nonprofit MatanMatan Raises More than Ever in One Day
Rather than raise money for their own organization, this education-focused nonprofit chose to raise money to benefit Jewish communities around the country through a donation drive centered around books.

The campaign brought in more money than Matan had ever raised in one single day and over 50% of the donors who contributed on #GivingTuesday were making a gift for the first time.

Our Gold Star for “Giving Not Asking” goes to Matan!

Bill Nye the Science Guy fundraising for Planetary Society on Giving TuesdayPlanetary Society Leverages Their Celebrity Nerd Cred
Who doesn’t love the 1990s PBS children’s TV show host Bill Nye the Science Guy? The Planetary Society gets our accolades for their clever video about Mr. Nye’s birthday.

The organization recorded a special video with a #GivingTuesday-specific ask and tons of celebratory energy. They wove together the themes of #GivingTuesday, their organizational goals and the birthday of their CEO into a quick and snappy video.

Then, viewers learned that Bill himself would be matching the first $5,000 of donations that came in on the 27th, putting their CEO’s money where his mouth is. Planetary Society gets the Gold Star for Celebrity Engagement.

Twitter video for Brooklyn Community Foundation from Giving TuesdayBrooklyn Community Foundation Succeeds at Omni-Channel Engagement
Brooklyn Community Foundation’s #GivingTuesday campaign was all about collaboration – executed seamlessly and on multiple channels. They took to the streets – literally – with this digital billboard showcasing their campaign on Tuesday.

The organization created a sense of healthy competition by running a mini contest within their day of #GivingTuesday festivities: the member organization with the most donation designations made between 3:00 and 5:00 PM on November 27 received an additional “$1,000 Golden Ticket prize” from a local bank.

Our Gold Star for Surprise and Delight goes to Brooklyn Community Foundation. As of November 28, the #BrooklynGives campaign had raised $560,000 for 92 local nonprofits.

Thank you tweets from Girls for Gender Equity on Giving TuesdayGirls for Gender Equity Creates Winning Thank Yous
Saying “thank you” so donors feel valued is incredibly important in fundraising. What we admire about Girls for Gender Equity was their personal Twitter shout-outs.

Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) gets our coveted Thank You Notes Done Right gold star this year.

Talk about making your supporters feel special and valued in a way they’d want to share!

What’s Next in Nonprofit Fundraising

Congratulations to the winners! There are many, many other organizations we could have highlighted here – including yours. What did you try this year you’re particularly proud of? Let us know on Twitter: #GivingTuesday @SalesforceOrg

Want to move beyond one day of fundraising and motivate one-time donors to give monthly? The best way to improve your recurring giving is to consider fundraising and marketing from the donor’s perspective. That’s why NextAfter, a nonprofit research lab and consultancy, made “mystery shopping” style recurring donations to 115 organizations, analyzing:

  • 115 donation pages
  • 4,117 email communications
  • 534 direct mail letters
  • 83 phone calls
  • and more

Get your free copy of their detailed research today!




The Nonprofit Recurring Giving Benchmark Study

About the Author
Emily GoodsteinEmily Goodstein is Founder and CEO of Greater Good Strategy, which helps organizations and good for the world companies thrive online. Emily and her team help nonprofits fulfill their missions, leveraging a multichannel approach to meld offline and online tools, including business development, content strategy, CRM selection, digital strategy, event planning, grassroots organizing as well as online fundraising and social media marketing. In her free time, she enjoys photography and baking. She holds a BA in Human Services from George Washington University.