The Best of #GivingTuesday 2015

Is online giving the future of advancement? As #GivingTuesday sweeps the globe for the fourth year in a row, it sure feels like it. This December 1, #GivingTuesday brought in a whopping $116.7 million in online donations—up 155% since last last year’s total.

From universities to international and local charities, more organizations than ever are joining the #GivingTuesday movement and harnessing the power of digital platforms to raise money for their missions. Although we couldn’t feature every organization that took part last week, we wanted to put a spotlight on a few top-runners that caught our eye.

Take a peek at some of the best #GivingTuesday campaigns of 2015:

Joslin Diabetes Center

Joslin created a simple tagline to anchor its #GivingTuesday campaign: “Become part of the diabetes cure today.” Through a series of well-crafted tweets, Joslin demonstrated the impact of different levels of giving (“$25 allows for 180 kids to receive a fun Band-Aid after a blood glucose test”) followed by an ask to support Joslin’s mission. It was a powerful way of showing the organization’s followers that every contribution counts.

Rutgers University

Rutgers hit (and exceeded) the $1 million mark this #GivingTuesday. How’d they do it? Throughout the day, the team held contests on social media encouraging students, alumni, and parents to compete for challenge funds. For example, the Rutgers cause with the most alumni donors between 7 and 8 p.m., student organizations, won an extra $1,000, and—for a dose of the adorable—people could post a photo of their kids or pets in Rutgers gear for a chance to win $500 towards their favorite Rutgers cause. The challenges gave all members of the Rutgers community an opportunity to participate in a meaningful way, whether that meant making a gift or showing their school spirit on social media.

 The Winchendon School

In a unique approach to #GivingTuesday, Winchendon dedicated the day to Mr. DanShattuck, a retiring teacher who has made a lasting impact on the school and its students. All campaign funds went towards creating the Dan Shattuck Endowed Faculty Position, meant to ensure that Mr. Shattuck’s teaching legacy lives on at Winchendon. For many alumni, it was a wonderful opportunity to honor a faculty member who had personally touched their lives.

Emmanuel College

Emmanuel’s social presence was a joy to watch on #GivingTuesday. To celebrate the institution and its vibrant community, the team posted photos of students, faculty, staff, and alumni sharing why they support Emmanuel. Head over to Emmanuel’s Storify page to see the campaign as it happened across various social channels.

Tufts University

Tufts celebrated #GivingTuesday in style; the team spun up an interactive landing page that showcased the names of donors along with a sliding bar where you could see the number of people who had given each hour. By the end of the day, Tufts had blown past its goal of 1,012 donors, triggering an additional $112,000 from a group of challenge donors. Over 1,700 donor names populated the page!

UNC Chapel Hill

Putting a spin on the day’s most popular hashtag, UNC Chapel Hill chose to rally the Carolina community around a more personalized slogan: #TarHeelTuesday. And it worked. The Tar Heels came together to raise an incredible $235,902 for UNC, miles past their original goal of $150,000. If we had to guess, the Carolina Development Office’s Twitter presence may have had something to do with the campaign’s wild success. Animated GIFs, anyone?

Wesleyan University

Running from November 20 to December 1, Wesleyan’s extended #GivingTuesday campaign brought in 3,200 gifts and unlocked a $300,000 challenge gift for financial aid. As part of the marketing strategy, the team created a series of “This Is Why I Give” videos featuring prominent alumni—and we can’t forget this #UNselfies slideshow accompanied by the Wes fight song.

Biola University

For Biola, all of the money raised on #GivingTuesday went towards the cause of student scholarships. This transparent, targeted approach ensured that donors knew exactly where their money was going: to students. A well-designed campaign landing page displayed progress towards Biola’s $100,000 goal, also featuring a “Why Give” section with quotes from several Biola community members. Every element of the campaign—including the team’s excellent social media push—helped Biola sweep past its goal in just 24 hours.

Pine Street Inn

Pine Street Inn works tirelessly to keep homeless men and women off the streets of Boston—and their #GivingTuesday campaign told that story in an informative yet heartfelt way. Leading up to December 1, the team launched a social media campaign centered on the “Top 10 Reasons” to support Pine Street. In addition to educating people about Pine Street’s services and mission, the campaign encouraged followers to download a #GivingTuesday sign template, write in why they support the inn, and post an #UNselfie to social media.

College of Wooster

It was a big win for the Wooster Fund on Tuesday; #GivingWooDay raised over $224,000, making it the most successful giving day in the college’s history. The team pulled out all the stops on social media, promoting the campaign on Facebook and Twitter through a combination of videos, images, and progress updates. By the end of the day, Wooster had secured a $25,000 challenge gift from a generous donor thanks to the enthusiastic contributions of 821 alumni and friends.

Michigan State University

Spartan spirit was alive and well for #GivingTuesMSU, helping MSU raise over $10,000 for the Emergency Assistance Scholarship Fund. Scroll through the MSU Alumni Assocation’s Twitter feed to check out the collection of #SpartanUnselfies shared throughout the day; it made for an authentic campaign full of personal anecdotes from MSU alumni and students themselves.


Did we miss your #GivingTuesday campaign? Let us know in the comments below!

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