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How #GivingTuesday Used Social Media to Create a Global Day of Giving

A campaign which was started Fall of 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y, #GivingTuesday has an encouraging mission: To create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations. Since its inception, #GivingTuesday has been inherently social. With a title that includes a hashtag, a foundation in social is assumed and an amazing social media marketing campaign is expected. #GivingTuesday definitely delivered, and along with the help of non-profits, donors and ambassadors across the world, #GivingTuesday has been a social success.

Make Use of Advocates and Ambassadors

When reflecting on #GivingTuesday's social media marketing tactics, they certainly used their resources. The campaign’s main advocates are those who would benefit most from #GivingTuesday—non-profit organizations. #GivingTuesday urged non-profits to take this idea of a global day of giving and to help brand it by telling their audiences about it through social media, emailers, photos, tweets and more. Non-Profits and other organizations across the globe let their audiences know that #GivingTuesday was coming and to start thinking about participating.



#GivingTuesday managed to get some pretty powerful influencers to promote their cause. Everyone from Bill Gates to Kourtney Kardashian tweeted about #GivingTuesday and encouraged people to give.

social media charityphilanthropic social media

The White House wrote a blog post about the event.

What is #GivingTuesday

A link to the #GivingTuesday Google+ Hangout (hosted by Mashable) appeared on Google’s homepage. Undoubtedly, many were made aware of the campaign through this exposure. Upon clicking the link, users were directed to Google's #GivingTuesday Hangout-a-thon on Google+. The event highlighted various organizations and causes that are in need of funding.

definition #GivingTuesday

How does #GivingTuesday work

Virgin Mobile USA joined in by promoting their movement to help at-risk youth.


With the help of these influencers, the #GivingTuesday campaign was trending on Twitter and reported on by local, national and global media. With headlines from major news outlets like, “Charities Fight Consumerism with Giving Tuesday” and “#GivingTuesday: From Conspicuous Consumption To Conspicuous Compassion,” the #GivingTuesday campaign received a lot of publicity and the majority was a result of #GivingTuesday’s thorough and meticulous social media marketing efforts. The #GivingTuesday campaign understood the importance of influence marketing and made it a point to include it in their marketing mix.

Tell Them What To Say

Let’s be honest, we can’t all be marketers, copywriters and designers. The #GivingTuesday campaign understood this and decided that in order to best allow others to promote the cause while keeping their brand consistent, #GivingTuesday would need to give their advocates and influencers the exact content they wanted to be broadcast. #GivingTuesday created a downloadable social media kit which included twitter ready sample tweets, complete with hashtags, along with statistics and facts about #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday also provided a social media ambassador document and an “UNSelfie toolkit” to make sure their audience was ready to create and promote content for #GivingTuesday.

Crowdsource Content

One of my favorite aspects of the #GivingTuesday campaign is the “UNSelfie”. #GivingTuesday flipped the narcissistic connotation that a “selfie” has and reapplied the term for good. #GivingTuesday encouraged its audience to take “UNSelfies” and explain their reasons for giving and supporting various organizations. By crowdsourcing content, #GivingTuesday was more personal and told more stories than the #GivingTuesday campaign could have done by themselves. Crowdsourcing content helped to get their advocates invested in the cause and excited about it.


The #GivingTuesday campaign kept their audience rapt through their various social accounts, constantly promoting with images, videos and storytelling along the way. With so many inspiring non-profits participating in the campaign, the #GivingTuesday Facebook timeline and twitter feed were continually full of stories, some heartbreaking, some encouraging, but all evoking a clear motivational element which prodded the audience's philanthropic side.

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