5 #GivingTuesday Campaigns That Won (and 3 That Lost)

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Most people are familiar with Black Friday and Cyber Monday as some of the busiest shopping days of the year; businesses spend months preparing their holiday campaigns in order to make the most of these two days. But each year it seems that more and more companies are also taking advantage of #GivingTuesday by finding ways to entice their audience not only to purchase holiday gifts, but to donate and give back to charities and nonprofits.

In this article, we’ve analyzed 8 of these campaigns from 2016 to find out which ones have what it takes to engage readers and meet their fundraising goals, and which ones unfortunately fall flat. Read on to learn more about what makes a #GivingTuesday campaign a winner or a loser.

The Winners


The San Diego AMA is a nonprofit, professional organization geared towards providing information, education, resources, and connections for those looking to further their career in marketing. They created this #GivingTuesday campaign in order to encourage people to donate to their 2 scholarship programs: The Social Impact Scholarship and the Diversity Leadership Scholarship. There are quite a few things they did right in this campaign, namely:

  • They explained briefly what #GivingTuesday is all about
  • They included their goal (to raise money for the scholarships) in the beginning of the email
  • They linked the 2 scholarships to pages that give more information about them
  • They included a plug for a future event the organization is hosting
  • They included a section dedicated to teaching readers about how to refuel their content strategy, which is essentially a preview of what the organization does for those who join.
  • Finally, they thanked the groups that sponsor them.

All in all, I consider this a winning #GivingTuesday campaign for the AMA because it was simple, eye-catching, and full of great content.


The San Diego Fleet Week Foundation is a nonprofit group that supports Military Veterans by putting on entertaining events during Fleet Week. The event is held annually, and any proceeds raised that exceed the operating expenses for Fleet Week are donated to military charities.

We consider this #GivingTuesday campaign a win because:

  • They included pertinent facts about why Fleet Week is a necessity in San Diego (they have the largest military concentration in the world)
  • They explained their goal clearly and in the beginning of the campaign- to encourage people to donate $20 to provide lunch for a family of 4
  • They explained how this campaign has been a success in the past (they’ve provided over 1200 meals for service members and their families)
  • They included a button to donate right in the email, making it quick and easy to give money
  • They provided a link to their website for those looking to learn more
  • The email is colorful yet easy to read, and it contains real pictures of servicemen and women in the community who will benefit from the donations.

#3 PayPal


Most people are familiar with PayPal seeing as it’s one of the most popular ways to send money electronically. It only makes sense, then, that they would create a #GivingTuesday campaign devoted to sending money to those who are less fortunate. Their campaign is a little different; for one thing they’re not a nonprofit, and instead of supporting one group, charity, or organization, they let users choose the charity they wish to support. Here are some reasons why we consider this campaign a great one:

  • They created a campaign that compliments their business. PayPal is all about making it easy and simple to send money to others, and that’s the premise behind this fundraiser. They’ve made it easy and simple to donate to thousands of charities around the world.
  • Another major bonus is that they plan to add 1% to each donation made; this adds up to a pretty substantial number, and there aren’t many companies offering to do so.
  • They included 2 separate buttons for people to donate, truly making it quick and easy.
  • They explained the security of their donation process, which also emphasizes the security of PayPal in general.
  • They included a nice photo of a young girl to put a face on the donations.
  • They suggested several big-name charities that people have the option to support, and made it possible to click on their icons to learn more about the charity and as another way to…