10 Trending Tactics for a Fresh-Faced Giving Tuesday in 2022

July 25, 2022
5 minutes

This year has flown by. And you know what that means: In a flash, another Giving Tuesday will be upon us, in all its glory. But after so many Giving Tuesdays, you may find yourself having some thoughts. “That same old ask again?” they whisper intrusively. “It’s 2022! What’s new? What’s trendy? What else have you got?”

Brains are so rude, but we totally get it. If you haven’t already done so, it may be time to update your Giving Tuesday arsenal with the latest trending tactics. So, join us as we explore some Giving Tuesday examples that stand out in a crowd and provide some excellent inspiration for what lies ahead.

Examples of trendsetting Giving Tuesday campaigns

Gamifying giving

Donating to charity may give you the warm and fuzzies, but it isn’t exactly a thrilling experience. Enter William & Mary’s Giving Tuesday campaign, which gets the adrenaline pumping by engaging donors in a series of flash challenges to unlock matching gifts. From 8:00 am to 11:00 pm, different types of gifts are automatically matched based on the schedule. It’s fun, it’s fast-paced, and it plays to individual donors’ personal preferences by highlighting different causes throughout the day.

William and Mary's giving day challenges - several challenges noted by text on gray background

Personalizing the giving experience

It’s a question as old as time: are you a cat person or a dog person? On Giving Tuesday, Operation Pets Alive asked its supporters to choose Team Paws (dogs) or Team Claws (cats). Donors could click on a square in the Paws or Claws giving grid and comment with their furry friend of choice. They also had the option of adding their cat or dog’s name or photo, creating a lasting, personalized testament to their generosity. Ultimately, Team Paws won out, but the real winner was Operation Pets Alive, which raised 280% of their goal.

A grid with red, blue, and yellow squares, some of which have hearts in them, often with pictures of dogs in the middle of the hearts.
Stats noted in yellow, blue, and red, showing how much Operation Pets Alive raised on Giving Tuesday

Making giving as easy as possible

Willamette Week’s Give!Guide highlights nearly 200 local nonprofits in the greater Portland area each November. Donors can go to a single website, click on a cause, and then enter the amount they want to give to each individual organization. We’re all busy and stressed, so anything you can do to make the giving experience easier will go far in the years ahead. To recreate this type of giving experience, consider partnering with other local nonprofits that support different types of causes on a single Giving Tuesday donation platform. The fewer clicks, the more giving, as we always say. (Well, we occasionally say that.)

A burnt orange ruler on a blue background with stats in white text underneath

…and incentivizing younger donors

The Give!Guide has a lot of smart Giving Tuesday tactics, and one is the “35 & Under Challenge.” Nonprofits with the most individual donors under 35 get an extra cash prize of $1,000. Donors under 35 also have extra chances to win prizes if they donate on specific days, with goodies like a coffee subscription and a custom tattoo. Clearly, Give!Guide knows their hip young audience. Wait, we mean “lit.” Lit young audience. Ugh, we’re so old.

A peach background with blue text noting a challenge for donors under 35 years old.

Highlighting current events

In response to much of the country rallying around racial justice and equity over the past two years, Vanderbilt’s Giving Tuesday campaign highlighted their diverse community. They spliced together video clips of racially and socioeconomically diverse students, each sharing how donors have helped them. Each clip is filmed on a mobile device, creating a genuine connection with students at a time when we’re all craving authenticity and togetherness.

A header image with young people of different races smiling in the sun, all waving a hand sign for Vanderbilt.

Emphasizing accessibility

This pandemic hasn’t had a whole lot of bright spots, but shining a spotlight on the need for improved accessibility was one net positive. LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired embraced this trend by focusing their Giving Tuesday campaign on making their camp retreat accessible for all guests. Plus, they threw in a healthy dose of environmental awareness—always a good idea!

A picture of an open-air bus with its wheelchair ramp extended. Underneath is an appeal for donations in black text on white

Telling stories that resonate

In a time when the world feels divided, we often long for bygone, simpler days. By capturing that wistfulness and appealing to donors as human beings, Camp Kesem weaves a giving story that connects to its audiences. In the year ahead, this type of evocative storytelling will be ever more important.

The words Magic Awaits on blue sky background with a picture of a young child with long dark hair blowing bubbles below it. There is text to the child's left.

Making it human

We were a bit surprised by the “no subject” in the subject line, but International Rescue Committee’s simple, personalized Giving Tuesday appeal is a great way to make an impression. No graphics, no giving options—just that little “sent from my iPhone” at the bottom, showing you that a real person actually hopped on their phone to send the request. We’ve all been there.

A plain text email appeal with a highlighted link in the middle of it

Focusing on the positive

Raise your hand if you’ve done a quick Google search for “good news” lately. When times are kinda dark, we all want to know what’s going right in the world, so let’s give the people what they want! IllumiNative kicked off their Giving Tuesday campaign with a list of wins, reminding people that their donations get real results.

A Facebook post from IllumiNative showing pictures of smiling and active Indigenous people

Taking a community-minded approach

Sometimes, Giving Tuesday can feel like the Nonprofit Olympics, with everyone making a breathless push for donations all at once. But for most of us, that approach is pretty out of step with our values. Instead, embrace the collective good and community over the competition by doing values-driven fundraising and uplifting other organizations, like The Environmental Center. Last year, they pledged to amplify BIPOC voices and efforts and highlighted partner organizations in their campaign. What a mensch!

A list of the The Environmental Center's partners

Giving Tuesday 2022 FAQs

When is Giving Tuesday 2022?

Back to basics! We love it. Giving Tuesday 2022 is Tuesday, November 29th. Mark your calendars!

Why do we celebrate Giving Tuesday in the first place?

Giving Tuesday was created as an antidote to the consumerism of the holiday season. It’s a way to ensure we dedicate time to giving instead of taking. And here’s a fun fact: Giving Tuesday kicked off in 2012, so it will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2022. Pass the champagne!

Should my nonprofit participate in Giving Tuesday?

It’s a great question, and only you can answer it. On one hand, it’s the biggest giving day of the year. It’s a great chance to attract new donors, bring awareness to your cause, and highlight other causes that matter to you. On the other hand, it requires a time commitment, and you’ll be facing a lot of competition from other organizations. Weigh the pros and cons and forge ahead accordingly. (But yes, obviously.)

If we don’t participate, what should we do instead?

Use the day to highlight other organizations that you support! Giving Tuesday isn’t just about donations—it’s also about inspiring people to do good and give back.

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