3 Tips to Make #GivingTuesday A Success in 2020

Eric BillingsAssociate Vice President, Digital Product ManagementOctober 8, 2020

#GivingTuesday 2020 is right around the corner, and many of our higher education partners will be looking to kick off campaigns for funding needs that are more important than ever. Here are three key tips to help you be successful this year, whether you are using crowdfunding or a giving day model.

Don’t get in a Crowdfunding vs Giving Day website battle

It really doesn’t matter whether you choose to host your #GivingTuesday on a crowdfunding or giving day website—it’s more important that you are doing something. Period.

2020 has been a challenging year to engage donors, but the data here at RNL speaks for itself. We saw unprecedented digital fundraising this year and we don’t see it slowing down. You can host a #GivingTuesday campaign with a shortened crowdfunding page, or you can make your campaign more like a giving day. This should be based on your overall plan, whether you already have another giving day, and your specific area of focus for #GivingTuesday. ScaleFunder offers the flexibility to host a great campaign on either of our modules—here are a few of our favorites from recent #GivingTuesdays.

University of Idaho, Crowdfunding example with multiple projects

University of Idaho #GivingTuesday


Wayne State University, Single Crowdfunding project example

WayneState #GivingTuesday example


Morehouse College, Giving Day example

Morehouse College Giving Day example

Find the perfect platform for your Giving Day

The RNL ScaleFunder Giving Day platform gives you all the tools you need to run your Giving Day, manage your giving ambassadors, and energize your donors.

Free Walkthrough

#GivingTuesday doesn’t have to be your institution’s only Giving Day

If you do decide to host #GivingTuesday as an institutional giving day, consider the benefits of having two giving days. We’ve seen a growing trend across our partner schools of having a smaller campaign for #GivingTuesday and then creating a larger institutional giving day in the spring. This allows you to provide additional giving opportunities. It can also help with donation frequency, which is tied to donor retention but also allows you to have a strong fundraising push in the spring as well.

University of Cincinnati, UC Day Of Giving

University of Cincinnati Day of Giving


University of Cincinnati, #GivingTuesday 2019

University of Cincinnati Giving Tuesday 2019


I’m also reminded of my phonathon days and managing a four-ask structure on calls. When I was navigating multiple ask amounts with constituents, it was critical that I always brought something new to the table on each ask. It’s the same with multiple giving days or multiple online campaigns in general. If you have two giving days, make sure that the ask sets them apart. Which leads me to my final tip…

Social issues are top of mind across the country

While these needs aren’t new by any means, 2020 has brought many social and social justice issues to the forefront of our minds. Food insecurity, mental health, the crucial needs amidst the pandemic, and diversity, inclusion, and social justice are on the minds of donors and growing in their appearance on RNL giving platforms. Our higher education institutions play an important part of addressing these needs and spurring national discussions, and they can make huge impacts for social causes. #GivingTuesday can be an excellent way to focus on funds that support issues that may not always get the fundraising focus they deserve. This could also be a great way to engage your student community to help get behind the causes that matter most to them.

University of Texas at El Paso

University of Texas at El Paso


Stockton University

Stockton University Giving Day


#GivingTuesday is an opportunity to engage donors in new and compelling ways

With a national focus on giving for #GivingTuesday, there’s a great opportunity to present a new, different and exciting campaign to your supporters. Don’t get hung up on whether it’s crowdfunding, giving day, a “special campaign” or other internal language. Focus on your immediate needs and what will be most compelling to donors. We have a team of experienced, action-focused consultants ready to help optimize your #GivingTuesday outreach.

Whether you’re a current RNL partner or looking to boost your #GivingTuesday game with some new ideas, drop us a line today, and we’ll help craft the best strategy for you and your supporters.

About the Author

Eric Billings

Eric Billings is a passionate fundraising professional with just over a decade of industry experience, including major gift fundraising, planned giving, and annual giving. He has focused a majority of his career exploring innovative and...

Read more about Eric's experience and expertise

Reach Eric by e-mail at

Read More In: Fundraising
Read More Blogs By: Eric Billings