The Power of Online Fundraising for Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday has become a global generosity movement focusing on charitable giving the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. In 2021, nonprofit campaigns saw record breaking success, with $2.7 Billion raised in the United States alone.

Though Giving Tuesday efforts take many forms, online giving has allowed nonprofit fundraising reach new heights.

Leveraging online fundraising tools in your next Giving Tuesday campaign, or any online campaign, is a surefire way to empower supporters and expand your fundraising impact.

Here, we explore how three nonprofit organizations used the OneCause Peer-to-Peer solution to gain success on Giving Tuesday.

  1. Northeastern Illinois University Foundation
  2. Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities
  3. Canine Companions

1. Northern Illinois University Foundation

The Northern Illinois University (NEIU) Foundation strives to advance the interests and welfare of their institution. For Giving Tuesday, NEIU Foundation leveraged OneCause Peer-to-Peer to support programs and the students those programs serve. Let’s dive into what made their campaign a success.

Affinity Groups

NEIU Foundation serves to secure and steward resources that support the future growth of the University. That’s a pretty big mission supporting many different departments and programs. To distinguish them in their campaign, NEIU Foundation leveraged campaign Affinity Groups. Affinity Groups are ways within the OneCause Peer-to-Peer software to connect groups of common interests in your campaign. These groups allowed:

  • Spotlights and corresponding goals for each individual program
  • Supporters to search for their specific represented group
  • Donors to designate their gifts to their chosen program or campus improvement

Affinity groups image


NEIU Foundation continued to utilize these Affinity Groups through creating a sense of friendly competition with leaderboards. OneCause Peer-to-Peer leaderboards allow for more than just tracking fundraising dollars. NEIU Foundation leaderboards highlighted:

  • Dollars raised
  • Social promotion efforts
  • Participation, by number and by group

Through tracking social promotion, supporters can get involved and raise more money and awareness for their cause. Their reach can match their capacity and commitment!


NEIU Foundation also incentivized participation with prizes. For example, to win university branded socks, supporters had to do one of the following activities:

  • Donate over $100
  • Start an Affinity Group
  • Be in the top 5 of the activity’s leaderboard
  • Be in the top 2 of the social media leaderboard


NEIU Foundation saw a remarkable outcome from their online Giving Tuesday Campaign:

  • $53,162 raised
  • 133% to goal
  • 22 programs supported

Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities

Turnstone Center provides comprehensive services and programs to empower individuals with disabilities to achieve their highest potential. See three ways Turnstone used unique tools within the OneCause Peer-to-Peer solution to achieve Giving Tuesday success.

Lead and Matching Gifts

Lead and matching gifts are a great way to motivate donors and amplify the power of individual giving. Turnstone used their lead and matching gifts to:

  • Encourage donors to make stretch gifts.
  • Strategically promote their matching element on social media—to build momentum at the start, reach special milestones mid-day, and ultimately, finish strong.
  • Highlight the foundations that made their matching possible.

Leveraging a matching challenge in your online giving campaign provides an easy and flexible way to continue to highlight your campaign in promotional efforts and raise more for your cause.

Impact Stories

A great way for a supporter to understand the value of their donation is to tie them to tangible results. Turnstone was able to quantify the impact of their fundraising efforts through the promotion of personal impact stories from their community. Through social promotion and online campaign site highlights, Turnstone was able to:

  • Strengthen donors’ connections to their cause
  • Demonstrate the impact and value of a donation
  • Present a personal voice to their campaign

Indiana Tech Track and Field

Social Media Reach

Turnstone Center continued their campaign success through implementing social media as a part of their outreach strategy. With built-in social integrations, OneCause Peer-to-Peer solution was able to easily link to social accounts, like Twitter, with the ability to efficiently share their campaign on social channels. Their social media outreach helped Turnstone:

  • Promote campaign progression
  • Raise awareness and express sponsor appreciation
  • Share videos, highlighting personal impact stories


Through their dedicated efforts, Turnstone achieved:

  • $82,137 raised
  • 136% to goal
  • $70,000 in matched

Canine Companions

Canine Companions leveraged Giving Tuesday to raise funds to help provide trained service dogs to individuals with disabilities. They wanted to promote and provide the gift of independence through their Giving Tuesday campaign. Let’s see how they did just that!

Puppy Cam: Donation Appeal

To keep donors engaged and understanding the direct value of their donations, Canine Companions held a day long live stream of their service puppies-in-training.

This live stream included:

  • Presentations of nonprofit history
  • Personal impact stories
  • Guests, demonstrating the many voices of their organization… and, of course, puppies!

During the live stream, held on their website, Canine Companions linked to a OneCause Peer-to-Peer Donation Form, which allowed for direct donation and linked to their campaign.

3 Golden retriever puppies

Donor Communications

Outside of their live stream, Canine Companions continue to communicate about their campaign as the day progressed. Their donor communication took three main forms:

  • Progress updates on their fundraising goal
  • Event highlights–like the Puppy Cam
  • Incentivizing donations through specific calls to action

All forms of donor communication strategically linked back to their campaign site.

Linking to a Larger Campaign

Giving Tuesday has great potential to bring in significant end-of-year giving for your cause. Canine Companions leveraged this giving potential by tying their Giving Tuesday campaign to their larger year-end fundraising efforts. Because of this decision, Canine Companions:

  • Strengthened the reach of their year-end giving efforts
  • Increased total donations
  • Extended their fundraising efforts beyond Giving Tuesday and through year-end


Canine Companions saw great success this past Giving Tuesday because of their successful campaign!

  1. $79,774 raised
  2. 5-hour long live stream hosted with eight special guest puppies
  3. 1,600 months of nutrition and toys for dogs in training

Wrapping Up!

Giving Tuesday campaigns are a certain and reliable way for nonprofits to round out their annual giving calendar and meet their fundraising goals. Through leveraging online fundraising solutions, like OneCause Peer-to-Peer, nonprofits can increase their reach and giving potential. Turnstone Center, NEUI Foundation, and Canine Companions each demonstrate different ways nonprofits can see success through online fundraising. Consider leveraging online fundraising software in your next Giving Day campaign.

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