Thanking supporters on ‘Giving Tuesday’

  • 'Giving Tuesday’ regularly smashes the record for the most money donated online in 24 hours
  • Thousands of UK charities join in, with many using the day to thank their supporters and show what donations have achieved
  • To help your charity get creative, we take a look at how some organisations have approached Giving Tuesday

Created in the United States as an altruistic alternative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, ‘Giving Tuesday’ arrived in the UK in 2014 and now runs in over 70 countries.

Labelled as the ‘day to do good stuff’, the event takes place this year on 27 November. In the UK, it is managed by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

Thousands of charities are already asking their supporters to get involved – either by fundraising or volunteering.

The #GivingTuesday hashtag dominates social media on the day, and thousands of charities use the event to launch their digital Christmas campaigns, run events, or produce new content.

As well as helping to drum up donations, Giving Tuesday is a brilliant opportunity to thank supporters and volunteers and to show the difference that donations have made.

Saying thank you to supporters doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive; the event is a good opportunity for small charities to get creative and say thanks in a meaningful way. To get inspired, here are some top tips from previous Giving Tuesday events.

Make it simple and memorable

An eye-catching image or short video counts for a lot on social media, and Giving Tuesday is a great chance to get creative. Why not take a photo, draw a picture, or make a short video on your phone? You could even design a graphic using a free online image tool like Canva.

Photos of people holding signs can also work well – just take a look at this gallery produced by The Trussell Trust in 2016. Alternatively, you could find (or make) a GIF to give your thanks as an animation. This example from Barnardo’s simply animates the words ‘thank you’. Taking a slightly different approach, this thank you tweet from animal rescue charity, The Mayhew, adds some festive sparkle to a picture.

Give thanks with a personal message

A personal thank you from someone who has benefitted from the charity helps donors to feel connected. Done well, it can be emotional and impactful and help donors feel like they have made a difference.

Marie Curie runs an annual ‘thankathon’, where staff from across the charity write personal thank you letters to fundraisers. In 2017 the charity wrote more than 2,000 cards. In 2016, Rethink Mental Illness personally called 221 of their supporters to say thank you.

Adopting an alternative strategy, Help for Heroes produced this simple and moving 40-second video, featuring thank you messages from four recipients of the charity’s support.

In 2016, mental health charity Mind produced this 2-minute video, featuring staff members reading out letters from people who have benefitted from a Mind service. It ends with a thank you to supporters who had made these services possible.

Reward your followers on social media

Thanking followers can also be done in a low-cost way on social media. For example, The Donkey Sanctuary rewarded their followers with some lovely images of donkeys in this one-minute slideshow video. Depending on your brand, a silly video, animation or image could also be considered a gift if it brightens someone’s day.

Use storytelling to demonstrate impact

Telling stories to show your supporters the difference they make can be another fantastic way to say thank you. In 2016, Refugee Action ran a series of messages showing their impact, starting with the line, “Thanks to you, we’ve been able to…” The charity used simple graphics to show the number of people helped as a direct result of donations. Elsewhere, Teenage Cancer Trust shared stories from some of the young people it has been able to support.

Thank you Wednesday

If you are using Giving Tuesday to ask for donations, don’t forget to say thank you the next day. This is so important that ‘Thank you Wednesday’ is now part of the event. It is a good idea to report back on the impact of the day, whether that was your fundraising total or any other act of involvement.

For example, Hospice in the Weald shared a simple thank you and news of the total raised through their campaign in 2015. Breast Cancer Now said thank you to all the people who responded to their invitation to send messages of thanks and hope to their researchers.

More inspiration

For more examples of Giving Tuesday activity, take a look at saying thank you on #GivingTuesday. CAF also has lots of resources to help you get involved, so why not download the ‘15 things your charity can do for Giving Tuesday’ to get started?