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A Donor-First Giving Tuesday Strategy Brings in 153% YoY Growth in Donations for Broadway Cares


Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the philanthropic heart of Broadway, helping ensure those living with HIV/AIDS, affected by COVID-19 or facing other debilitating illnesses in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., receive nutritious meals, medication, health care, counseling and emergency assistance.


Create a focused campaign for Giving Tuesday to double donation volume with support that will last all year


Classy’s fundraising suite supports Broadway Cares’ ambitious goals

Our donors feel part of our community in good times and bad, which only solidifies their long-term support. Our communication focuses not only on why we need their support but the difference their dollars actually make. We help them feel connected on a regular basis to the impact they’re making.

-Sarah Cardillo, Deputy Director of Development

The Results Between Giving Tuesday 2020 and 2021:


increase in donations


higher gift size


conversion rate for 2021

A Focus on Giving Tuesday

Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS is the philanthropic heart of Broadway. Their work provides lifesaving medications, health care, nutritious meals, counseling, and emergency financial assistance nationwide.

COVID-19’s lingering impact kept Broadway Cares’ traditional in-theater fundraising efforts on hold, effectively shutting down their hallmark annual Red Buckets campaign. The team had to get creative to fill the large gap in fundraising.

Broadway Cares remained determined to continue providing grants to more than 450 AIDS and family services organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. They created, for the first time,  a donation website on Classy focused solely on Giving Tuesday. 

They set out to reach an ambitious goal by tapping into the global potential of Giving Tuesday, and how the new support they could attract could also funnel through their year-end campaign.

Early Planning Maximizes Impact

Broadway Cares started planning in August to establish a clear trajectory for Giving Tuesday. They motivated donors by inviting them to help unlock a $100,000 donation match when the campaign hit its first $100,000 goal. 

The match was provided by two major donors, and persuaded supporters to give by immediately showing them the impact of their donation and the potential to have that impact doubled.

A Donor-Centric Messaging Strategy Pulls in Donors

Broadway Cares pulled in 1.6X more donors between Giving Tuesday 2020 and 2021. They tailored messaging to specific reasons people donate to ensure communications would resonate with new supporters.

For example, as someone clicked on a paid social ad or email about helping to fight food insecurity, the donation page they landed on had the same messaging about how their donation provides healthy meals.. 

Consistency was key. Emails went out to share progress against the match goal the day before Giving Tuesday, the morning of, and mid-day. Anyone who hadn’t donated had a new motivation. Anyone who did had a chance to consider a second gift.

Personalization Continues on the Donation Page

Broadway Cares also used personalization to draw donors in at varying giving levels. Key donor segments to tap into included their Angels and Visionary Circles of major donors and their Supporting Players Circle of recurring donors 

The organization used Classy’s suggested gift amount feature to greet each group of donors with ideal giving levels, as shared in the email or social ad that pulled them in to give. Diversifying appeals to make donors feel understood helped Broadway Cares achieve a 1.7X higher average gift size in 2021, and experience an incredible 61% conversion rate.

Relationship Building Encourages Year-Round Support

Broadway Cares exceeded their goal of $100,000 by 3.75X on Giving Tuesday 2021. That created the momentum to continue toward their goal of connecting donors in at least three different ways across individual giving and fundraising events to build long-lasting relationships.

The team set up automated thank you messages in Classy to follow each donor’s contributions. They also went an extra step after the campaign to follow up with an additional email to underscore the specific impact that donor made.

Broadway Cares will also reach out to 2021 donors to remind them of their contributions ahead of Giving Tuesday 2022, to encourage increased giving levels. They’re also introducing a Classy peer-to-peer campaign to encourage donors to reach more donors and raise money within their networks.

We often have donors ask what else they can do to help. They don’t always have additional money to give, but they do have networks to reach out to. If they’re passionate about the impact they can make, they can reach out to others to share that passion through their own texts, social media, and email to encourage them to donate and join our community on Giving Tuesday.

Sarah Cardillo

Deputy Director of Development

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