In 2019, UK-based charity Pilgrim took part in LaunchGood’s GivingTuesday challenge, winning themselves $20k in the process! Here’s how you can do the same.

This year, GivingTuesday looks to be the biggest and best yet on LaunchGood. Charities, community groups and creatives rally their supporters to win prizes of up to $20k on our leaderboards for Most Supporters, and Most Raised during the contest. This article will share tips and advice that will give you a competitive edge this GivingTuesday.

“Teamwork makes the dream work!”

Step 1. Build a team.

Bring together friends, colleagues and collaborators to work with you to ensure your GivingTuesday campaign is a success! This dream team will be the engine room behind your effort so try to have around 10–20 people fully committed to the campaign and competition; it will make your life so much easier!

If each member of your team can commit to bringing 20 donations themselves, then that’s 200–400 there already. We all have enough contacts in our phonebook (and even in our extended families) so make sure everyone focuses on those closest to them before reaching out to the rest.

During the contest, your primary role will be to keep your team going, rather than chasing donations yourself.

Create a WhatsApp group for this team and use it to motivate each other with memes, gifs, jokes and updates. It’s super important to keep this group active, engaged and fun! Incentivise their performance, by offering prizes or rewards to whoever can complete their list first, or get the most donors.

Content is Key 🔑

Step 2. Create images, posters and videos that you can share with your network on the day to encourage them to give.

Social media posts featuring a video or image gain far more attention than those with text only, so use this to your advantage! Short and snappy videos work best over long detailed narratives. Optimise the images for WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, [insert social media platform here] and include the call-to-action and link to donate. Keep your image template so you can update it during the competition with things like “1 hour left” or “Help us get to 1st place!”.

Here’s an example from one of our Rasul Week contest winners.


Step 3. Good old-fashioned phone calls. Sounds too simple… but it works!

How often do we receive WhatsApp messages asking to donate towards a great cause? Maybe every day? How many times do we ignore them, or intend to donate later but end up forgetting? But how often do we receive a call asking for the same thing, and better yet from someone we know? Call centres are successful because we lovely humans find it difficult to say no when talking to a real person. Research also shows we are more likely to give when asked by someone we know (which puts the onus on the one asking rather than the cause itself!)

“Your network is your net-worth”

Phone-Trees allow you to access and leverage the network of your volunteers, the wider the network, the greater likelihood of donations. Have a diverse team ready to call family members, aunties, friends, colleagues… pretty much anyone and everyone. It’s a numbers game, the more calls you make, the more donations you’ll receive.

Size doesn’t matter

Phone-Trees are effective regardless of whether you’re a multinational NGO, or small community project. What matters is how committed your pool of volunteers or team are in making those calls. Bring these volunteers together, either the way Pilgrim did, or virtually through a WhatsApp group and keep it active, engaging and fun!

“If you don’t ask, you don’t get”

This point deserves its own paragraph. The fundraiser is as strong as the ask, whether you are fundraising for an emergency, or a community project. Your volunteers can’t afford to be shy when asking for money… after all it’s for a great cause! Most people will donate to your phone tree because you asked them, not because of the cause itself.

Make sure you have a strong ask!

Follow-up game

It’s not just about making the calls, it’s what happens after you put the phone down. The following few seconds is when the person decides to donate, or not. Therefore it’s crucial to keep an eye on the donations coming in under your campaign and follow up your call with a link and a reminder, even requesting the contact to notify you once they’ve donated. This makes it much easier to work through your list of contacts.

Sharing is caring… or is it?

Don’t fall into the trap of only sharing your fundraiser on social media, you’ll hardly grab someone’s attention and hold it enough to donate. So only share your campaign across your socials after you’ve worked through your list, or in parallel, but simply put you can’t replace a good-old phone call.

“If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail”

Here are some suggested actions you can do before, during and after the contest:

  1. Before GivingTuesday: Meet with your team, explain the rules, go over your game plan and prepare your call lists. Avoid sharing the link to your campaign yet in case anybody donates early before the contest begins.
  2. On GivingTuesday: Ensure you and your team are the first to donate. Work through your call lists during the day. Spend the evening updating donors, expand your reach to people beyond your call list, and leverage your social platforms or newsletters. If it’s a close competition late on then consider creating a Rescue Team of volunteers who can spend some extra hours at night helping to get those few extra donors that can make the difference.
  3. After GivingTuesday: Thank your team, and more importantly, your supporters. Let them know how you did and celebrate your success with them. Regardless of where you finished, this contest would have enabled you to galvanise more support and donations in one day than you could have before, so remember and remind your team that everyone is a winner.

So there you go, these are some winning tips based on previous experience, blood, sweat and tears. Now get cracking! Remember GivingTuesday begins on Tuesday 30th November at 12am EDT, and ends at 11:59pm EDT.

There are going to be so many ways to win prizes if you fundraise on LaunchGood this GivingTuesday, start your campaign today!

Have a question about getting started? The LaunchGood team is here! Click here to speak to our Campaign Success team!

Adel works with LaunchGood in the UK and is passionate about supporting charities, community projects and faith-based organisations to reach their fundraising and strategic goals.