unselfieYou’ve heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday — maybe even Small Business Saturday. But what about Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday — a national day of giving to kick off the giving season — was founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. It falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

This year, Giving Tuesday will be held on December 2. If you’re working on a Giving Tuesday campaign for a nonprofit org, here are nine ideas to shape your email.

Giving Tuesday logo

1. Keep It Simple

American Friends of Soroka Medical Center helps support the only major medical center in the Negev, the southern half of Israel. The organization’s 2013 Giving Tuesday email was remarkably simple. Check out this thoughtful call to action!

Sokora Giving Tuesday

Pfeiffer Nature Center, located in rural, southwestern New York State, offers miles of open-access hiking trails and other outdoor attractions. In 2013, the Nature Center and Foundation did a great job of putting Giving Tuesday into perspective in its email campaign.

Pfeiffer Nature Center Giving Tuesday email

2. Raise Awareness For The Giving Tuesday Movement

The Southern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society is dedicated to the preservation, restoration and operation of steam locomotives and other vintage railway equipment for the education and enjoyment of the public. It operates the Waterloo Central Railway, which did a nice job of explaining the Giving Tuesday movement in its 2013 email.

Waterloo Central Railway Giving Tuesday email

3. Suggest Donation Amounts (And Show Why)

The mission of the San Diego Music Foundation is to enrich San Diego’s diverse and creative music community through music education for youth, professional development for current and emerging industry professionals, live performances for the San Diego public, and recognition for San Diego artists of exceptional merit or service. In 2013, the foundation provided the following list in its Giving Tuesday email:

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League of Dreams, a non-profit sports league for children with disabilities ages 5 to 22, lists several ways a gift of $100 might be spent.

League of Dreams #givingtuesday email

The Girls Gotta Run Foundation invests in Ethiopian girls who use running and education to empower themselves and their communities. Its 2013 Giving Tuesday email lists several gift amounts and describes how that money could be put to use:

Girls Gotta Run Giving Tuesday email

Compasio Relief & Development has been responding on behalf of at-risk children along the border of Thailand and Burma since 2006. In its 2013 Giving Tuesday email, Compasio shared a “giving catalog.” The catalog is no longer available online, but this is a great idea! And what a gorgeous email!

Compasio Giving Tuesday email

The Books for Kids Foundation is dedicated to promoting literacy among children with a special emphasis on low-income and at-risk preschool-aged children. In its 2013 Giving Tuesday email, Books for Kids writes, “Please, share this link via email or on your social media with the hashtag #GivingTuesday to spread the word about this wonderful day and our very important cause.” Smart thinking!

#givingtuesday email from Books for Kids

5. Share The Story Of A Person (Or Animal Or Thing) You Serve

Friendly House is a non-profit neighborhood center and social service agency in Portland, Oregon. In its 2013 Giving Tuesday email, Friendly House told Cindy’s story.

Friendly House #givingtuesday email

Readers may be more likely to connect with your mission — and your Giving Tuesday ask — on a more emotional level if they can visualize how your dollars play out in the real world. Whether you help people, pets, or natural places, share something that will inspire your readers to act.

6. Spur People To Action With A Limited-Time Gift Match

Clinard Dance Theatre is a contemporary dance company rooted in Flamenco. In its 2013 Giving Tuesday email, Clinard promoted a one-day-only match of up to $250 per gift.

Clinard Dance Theatre Giving Tuesday email

7. Welcome Donations Of Time — Recruit Volunteers!

Not everyone will click through and make an online donation. Some people on your list may not be in a position to give financially right now, but you can make it clear that their time is also valuable to your organization.

Oakhill Day School is a non-parochial, independent, private day school in North Kansas City. In the school’s 2013 Giving Tuesday email, the primary call to action was to volunteer!

Oakhill Day School Giving Tuesday email

8. Create A Video Ask For Giving Tuesday

You don’t need to have a big budget — or even any budget — to create a short video that moves your readers to donate. Chicago-based Northwest Side Housing Center (NWSHC) is a HUD-Certified, community-based, nonprofit organization that engages, educates and empowers the community to improve housing for all. NWSHC sent a very simple Giving Tuesday in 2013. Right away, the email points readers to its Giving Tuesday video (and note that you can make a donation right from that page).

9. Use The Visual Resources Available On The Giving Tuesday Site

The Giving Tuesday website provides lots of graphics and logos to use in your emails and on social media. The official Giving Tuesday visual resources may give your communications a more polished look. But it’s also a good idea to use your own branding — your readers expect that from you!