Three Week Countdown to #GivingTuesdayNow

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA

Your fundraising work may need to incorporate an international day of online giving set to take place this May 5th as organized by GivingTuesday.

The day is called #GivingTuesdayNow and has been created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event will be focused on mobilizing a global network of leaders, private-sector and philanthropic partners, and generous individuals to take action on behalf of first responders and frontline workers, including nonprofits and community-based organizations working to feed, house, educate, and support people impacted by the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus. Here is the press release.


You may be hesitant about fundraising in general right now because of high unemployment and the fragility of many people’s health. I empathize with your concern. Thoughtfully convey that concern to your donors and explore if they want to donate. It’s best not to decide for them. I explain my full reasoning here.

Fundraising activities will allow you to successfully serve your clients through this pandemic (it will take at a minimum 18-24 months to develop a vaccine, and then it has to be produced and distributed) and you have to have the revenue you need to implement and advance your mission.

Have faith in in your donors. They cared about you before this pandemic and, if thoughtfully cultivated, they’ll care afterward. Avoiding them now will just exacerbate a bad situation.

Is Your Social Media Ready?

This fast approaching spring drive will require you to mount an online campaign with less time than is ideal.

To be ready for #GivingTuesdayNow, here are three steps to take immediately.

  1. LANDING PAGE: Your website will need a dedicated #GivingTuesdayNow landing page. Turn to your IT consultant or search online for how to do it yourself.
  2. STORIES: Your #GivingTuesdayNow landing page should use the specific stories of how COVID-19 has impacted you already as the basis for why you’re asking for support. Short videos (90-seconds) informally done, but well thought-out, can be powerful. One nonprofit I donate to has their soothing pastoral counselor sit and talk with one of their disabled clients and I get teary each time I watch them. If COVID-19 has not fundamentally caused disruption in your work, consider shifting to what role your nonprofit will need to play going forward.
  3. FUNDRAISING METHOD: Your main fundraising method should be a targeted campaign on a mobile-optimized crowdfunding platform. The COVID-19 campaigns being done by higher education are the model and they are a variation of crowdfunding. These targeted campaign landing pages have easy giving checkout, introductory videos and they provide regular updates. For example, show a building goal amount and the number of donors. I would also suggest that you  enable a donor wall.

Laurence Pagnoni is author of Fundraising 401 and a frequent contributor to NonProfit Pro.

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