Showing Giving Tuesday Gratitude

Tips for standing out on and after Giving Tuesday

Julie Edwards
November 18, 2020 · 6 min read
Showing Giving Tuesday Gratitude

It’s hard to believe but Giving Tuesday, the “official” kick-off to the holiday giving season for the nonprofit world, is just around the corner. Now your organization is facing one of the biggest giving days of the year. 

Are you ready?

Maybe you have your day-of game plan in play. Maybe you even have a warm-up rolling out this week. But what about the after party? Have you thought about how to THANK your Giving Tuesday donors? 

Having an awesome ask is one thing. But even the very best appeal with the most heart-wrenching story and most compelling ask can be sabotaged if you don’t take the proper steps AFTER a donation to THANK the donor. 

And not just thank them. Thank them in a meaningful and memorable way.  A way that makes your organization shine. A way that makes them want to open their wallet for you again. 

Seems like common sense but the stats on stewardship are telling. Studies again and again have shown the no. 1 reason donors stop giving (or don’t give again) is a lack of thanks. Or a lackluster thanking effort. 

What does that mean? It seems there must be quite a few non-profits out there NOT thanking donors at all or, at best, sending the rote “Thank you for your gift of $X” letter. Showing donor love is an afterthought for them. . . and it shows.

But what does that mean for your organization? A chance to stand out. 

Sound challenging? Well there’s a simple solution. A creative way to stand out from the crowd of other non-profits who will be filling up donor inboxes.


Yep, you heard me. Video.

Over the past several years, the rise in the effectiveness of video across digital marketing has skyrocketed. Social media platforms have added reels, lives, and other methods of capturing “real time” action via video. And those posts have the highest engagement, again and again.

Heck, a whole new social media platform. . . TikTok. . . was built around the phenomenon of short, catchy videos.

So HOW do you use video to thank donors? I’m glad you asked!

Tips for thanking your donors with video

1. Keep it simple

Don’t be daunted by video. Your efforts don’t have to be 5-star, professionally produced mini-films. Using your smartphone is perfectly acceptable. 

What’s important is the details:  Keep the background clean with few distractions, eliminate background noise/sound as much as possible, keep the framing tight to the subject. Unless there’s a super compelling reason to be outside, opt for inside to be able to better control the surroundings.

PRO TIP: Be sure to check your sound/audio levels to make sure you can be clearly heard. The last thing you want is to deliver the perfect message and it comes out garbled.

2. Keep it short

On average, a thank you video to donors should be :30 seconds to one minute long. Don’t ramble. Have an intro, a short story, and wrap-up. 

“Hi (donor name)! Thank you for your gift to the XYZ Society’s Giving Tuesday campaign. Your donation will go to work immediately to (insert mission specific impact here). I can never thank you enough for your generosity and compassion for (insert area of work here).”

PRO TIP: If needed, have an index card with prompts written out, but don’t write out what you are going to say, or try to memorize what you’re going to say, word for word. Chances are you will accidentally miss a word or two which will throw you off your game and you’ll go into a spiral of blooper worthy gaffs.

3. Keep it specific

When you thank your donor for their gift and share its immediate impact (see above), be specific and tell the “story of one.” You could say: “This gift will save 1,000 abandoned, abused and injured dogs this year.” That’s good.

Or you could say: “This gift will save dogs like Rover who we took in last week after being hit by a car. Thanks to you, this week Rover will have surgery to remove his badly damaged leg and learn to walk again.” That’s better. Much better.

PRO TIP: Keep your message about your DONOR, not about your organization. Thanking a donor should be all about their awesomeness, how their gifts make a difference, and how the world is a better place because of them.

4. Keep it sincere

Don’t become super caught up in scripting and being uber-professional. It will come across as a lack of warmth and feeling in your delivery.

Instead, be genuine. Be real. Be you. Speak from your heart about your gratitude. Share your passion for your mission openly. The donor will see your heart for your organization’s work through your words and they will relate. Why? Because they have that SAME passion.

PRO TIP: If you become teary-eyed during your delivery, it’s ok! Showing your heartfelt emotions makes you more relatable to your donors.

Again, you don’t need Scorcese or Tarantino as your last name to make a memorable video. And it doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, one of the newest donor stewardship tools on the market are video marketing platforms which make staying in contact with your donor easy-peasy.

5. Invest in a video platform like Gratavid

Yes, here comes the sales pitch, but I would be remiss if I didn’t share how Gratavid can make thanking donors via video simple, quick and easy so you can work smarter, not harder.

I had the opportunity to have a one-on-one back end tour of Gratavid with the founder a few weeks ago. Color me impressed. For real. 

Gratavid has all kinds of bells and whistles housed in an intuitive, easy-to-use back end that allows you to do everything from custom messaging, to stacking multiple video segments, to assigning thank you videos to various team or board members.

Did I mention it’s affordable?

Your investment in Gratavid is minimal compared to the time you will save, all while providing your donors with a fresh and heartfelt gratitude experience. The Gratavid team even offers discounts for registered non-profits (up to 50%). You also can ask if your organization would qualify for a free trial. Schedule your demo to get setup today.

Watch the 5-minute demo below to see how easy it is to thank donors with Gratavid.

Be bold. Be different. Be the best dang thanking machine ever.

Julie Edwards
Founder @ J. Edwards Consulting
Noted by NPO experts as a proven fundraising superstar, Julie Edwards boasts a demonstrated track record of increasing revenue, leading high performance teams, and motivating large groups of people to affect positive change. With 25+ years of marketing communications experience, and more than a decade of nonprofit development and leadership experience, she now shares her expertise with clients through her consulting business, J. Edwards Consulting.
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Eshon Allen

Gratavid truly helped us reimagine the connections we make between our school community and the donors who make it all possible.

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Gratavid has helped take our stewardship to a new level. I can not express enough how much I love this platform.

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Our donors are so thankful to receive Gratavids because it communicates that they are a big part of our mission. A personalized video makes them feel valued and seen.

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Gratavid is a game changer. Since starting I’ve used it every day.

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