Finding your 2022 Giving Tuesday Theme
Your Giving Tuesday theme is the message you want your current and prospective donors to rally behind. It’s what gets people to join up around a common cause and inspires them to give.
It helps set the mood and tone of your campaign, the imagery you choose, and the language you use to drive those donations!
A theme can help two similar campaigns stand out from each other. If you’re trying to decide what clothes to wear to a party, what you choose will vary widely between the theme of “summertime” and “winter.”
A theme will give cohesion to your Giving Tuesday campaign uniting your copy, design, and other campaign elements helping you craft more specific stories and asks.
But perhaps one of the strongest elements of a good theme is that it associates your campaign with something greater.
It helps give your donors a sense of identity, something to rally behind.
Research has shown that associating acts of generosity with one’s identity can increase one’s propensity to give. A study by the Society for Research in Child Development found that children were “more likely to help someone if they had been identified as ‘being a helper.’”
People like to be a part of a group, especially if that community is does important and impactful work.
Fundraising themes in action
World Central Kitchen
Let’s take a look at this video by World Central Kitchen.
The title of the video is “WCK #ChefsForUkraine l Food Fighters.” The theme of this video is Food Fighters, and it fits within the large them of #Chefsfor theme (see their other video #ChefsforMadagascar).
In the “#ChefsforUkraine | Food Fighters” video they use language that mirrors this theme.
“Thousands of people believe they can be joining the fight. But this time the fight is through food.”
They anchor the work they’re doing to the fight of feeding people in a warzone.
“Find the kitchens and you’ll find somebody in the kitchen that wants to join. Chefs are built to be in battle every single night.”
They bring to mind the strength that chefs have to inspire them to come and help people fleeing Ukraine, and those stuck in areas hit hard by Russian attacks.
“The restaurant is doing 50 meals, you empower them to do 500. All of a sudden we create this amazing army of goodness reaching almost 300,000 meals a day.”
They touch upon the theme and also the effectiveness and impact of what they do. World Central Kitchen’s work in Ukraine is focused on feeding refugees. They’ve activated more than 350 kitchens in Ukraine across 100 cities, and they’re transporting millions of pounds of food to Ukrainians who remain in places who don’t have access to food.
“Longer tables, not throwing bomb. All of a sudden food becomes hope. We’re going to win because nobody is going to be breaking our spirits.”
The message here is an inspiring one, that unites us around the universal themes of hope, strength, and perseverance in the face of adversity. You walk away from this video with a sense of the tremendous impact World Central Kitchen makes and the bravery of them and the people they serve.
This video is called “charity: water Tiny Heroes.”
The copy in the video’s description reads:
“When our team started dreaming up the Tiny Heroes award, we knew it’d be a confetti-filled party to celebrate the kids who are ending the water crisis. But it’s become so much more.
These kids are artists. Scientists. Lemonade enthusiasts. They’re packed with passion and overflowing with optimism—and you can’t help but feel good after reading their stories. Together, they’ve raised over $1.8 million to bring clean water to more than 45,000 people.
We absolutely cannot wait to introduce you to each of the #charitywaterTinyHeroes over the next few weeks. You can also check out https://www.charitywater.org/tiny-heroes to meet all 29 of these certified world-changers right now!”
You’ll also notice that the copy evokes fond memories that many of us share—the playfulness of childhood, lemonade stands, and the overflowing optimism of youth.
The point this communicates is that these kids, these Tiny Heros, are just like us and we’re just like them. The copy also anchors that this is an ongoing campaign where Tiny Heroes will be introduced over the coming weeks.
The video starts off with a Tiny Heroe explaining that:
“To be a tiny hero is to give of yourself to make the world better for someone else.”
You’ll notice that this has nothing to do with being a kid. Anyone can be a Tiny Hero! A Tiny Hero is simply someone who takes an action to make the world better for even just one other person.
“It’s seeing a need and not looking away. It’s choosing to do something to help today.”
The video provides specific examples of actions of what these Tiny Heroes do to help provide clean water “for kids just like us.”
It ends with a call to action in:
“And we hope to be joined by people just like you. No special skills needed, just some kindness and heart. We can build a better future if we all do our part.”
It makes helping exciting, inspiring, and fun. It’s not scary. Anyone can do it. Everyone can be a Tiny Hero.
Coming up with your Giving Tuesday Theme
A good Giving Tuesday theme should:
- inspire an emotion that leads to someone wanting to donate,
- it should be concise (make it a hashtag!),
- it should connect to your campaign's goal, and
- it should make people want to learn more.
Ideating your Giving Tuesday Theme
Once you’ve thought of your campaign goals, spend some time considering your Giving Tuesday campaign theme.
Some questions you can ask to get yourself started are:
- Why are you excited about this campaign?
- What makes you lean in?
- What was the emotion trigger for you getting involved with your nonprofit?
Once you identified your theme, use this to strengthen your campaign integrating it into your taglines, visual elements, copy, and CTAs.
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