Is Your Organization Launching A GivingTuesday Campaign?

Giving Tuesday is Nov 30 this year and while it was no surprise that 2020’s event was one many groups decided to skip, I’m curious to see what transpires this time around. More to the point, I’m curious to see if/how the pandemic will impact the way groups approach crafting campaigns.

I could only find two examples in my email archive of campaigns from 2019 and while that’s hardly a representative sample, they both felt out of place in a pandemic driven climate. provides insights that project a rosy picture of fundraising potential over the pandemic, but their data doesn’t really break down results into sector, such as charitable vs. arts and culture.

At the same time, it’s worth pointing out their position on donor fatigue, which contains some truths we could all benefit from hearing (emphasis added).

GivingTuesday Data Commons research definitively shows that people are very motivated to give to many different causes. The key right now, as at any time, is ensure your relationship with supporters is experiential rather than transactional.

We find that people want lots of ways to show support for the causes they care about, and on GivingTuesday, the vast majority of people also take some other action besides giving dollars. Providing multiple touch points, messages and opportunities to show support helps make you relevant and inspiring.

We believe, and our data show, that “donor fatigue” is a function of the quality of the message and engagement rather than a question of frequency. Think about how your organization is providing supporters with an opportunity to exercise their generosity and agency to make positive change – that approach will help focus engagement that is motivating.

So what are your plans? Did you take a step back in 2020 but are jumping back in for 2021? How has the pandemic impacted your messaging?

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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