Following her own experiences of loneliness through university and feeling like there wasn’t a place for her, Cairo Aibangbee went searching for a community.

Cairo is unfortunately far from alone in this experience – the Mental Health Foundation reported in May 2022 that one in three Black people experience feelings on loneliness, with racism and social inequality likely exacerbating this. When she realised that a safe space simply wasn’t there for Black Womxn in the UK, Black Girls Brunch UK came into being. The non-profit sets out to empower, amplify and educate Black Womxn while offering the opportunity for networking and growth. However, when Cairo planned the very first meeting in Plymouth’s tallest building on a shoestring budget, she had no idea that it would grow into what it is today – a source of inspiration, comfort and community for many. Many had an appetite for what they had to offer, and so Black Girls Brunch continues to host annual events, brunches, literature festivals and more.  

Over the years, Black Girls Brunch have tried to expand their reach and make a wider impact. This, as many small organisations can appreciate, is made difficult by a lack of resources. Cairo’s own savings had taken a significant hit to keep pulling off the amazing work they do. With this as a motivator, they discovered Giving Tuesday and recognised the potential to become more self-sustainable and keep their events priced as accessible as possible. As they didn’t hear about Giving Tuesday until it was around the corner, they were able to whip up a campaign idea in a single meeting and join many of the organisations they admire in our generosity movement. As their team are based throughout the country, the ability to host events and reach others is very much dependent on keeping on top of logistical costs, so this was very much a driver for their campaign.  

Recognising that working-class people and Black people are among the biggest givers, they wanted to make their campaign asks as accessible as they could, so that those with a desire to help had more of an opportunity to do so. That’s why they opted for their ‘3 for 3 for 3’ campaign – 300 people to donate 3 pounds each to reach 3 different cities in the UK. With the majority of events happening in London out of necessity, they recognise the need to touch the lives of people in other corners of the country, who may also feel that there isn’t a space for them like Cairo did. They took this ask to social media, including sharable content that their supporters might share with others.  

While they didn’t raise their target, they did raise over £400 by the time their campaign closed in January. Cairo shared her disappointment over this, feeling worried that her team would feel let down after all their hard work to pull the campaign together. However, putting the cost of living crisis into frame, particularly with Christmas approaching and they themselves operating with no marketing budget, put this into broader perspective and helped them to better understand why meeting this target was a challenge.  

Luckily, they were not deterred and remain committed to campaigning for Giving Tuesday again this year. This time around, they intend to start their campaign earlier, potentially around October to tie in with Black History Month. To help them build their knowledge and understand where their time and energy is best placed, Cairo is taking part in a PR course. 

Their advice to others looking to take part in Giving Tuesday? Always have a strong ask, even if you don’t publicise it. Generic fundraising is all fine and well, but with the specific target of reaching 3 cities, there is something tangible for the organisation to aim for and that the audience can visualise. This way, when people give, they can become more invested in the journey and can see what their donations aided with.  

If you’d like to support Black Girls Brunch as they endeavour to reach more Black Womxn across the country, you can donate to them via PayPal and Patreon. You can also keep up to date with the latest from Black Girls Brunch by joining their mailing list. 

Giving Tuesday partners Lepra UK talk about one of this year’s most imaginative #GivingTuesday campaigns.

British showbiz and sports stars turn Giving Tuesday into “Giving Shoesday”

A glittering cast of British screen and sports celebrities have put up their favourite footwear for a novel charity auction for one of the world’s leading leprosy charities, Lepra. 

For Giving Tuesday, Lepra, whose patron is Her Majesty the Queen, has attracted shoe donations from a star-studded line-up. They include Jo Brand, Martin Clunes OBE, Dame Judi Dench, David Flatman, Colin Jackson CBE, Joanna Lumley OBE, Dame Helen Mirren, Dermot O’Leary and Sir Tony Robinson.  

Why leprosy?

Many people are unaware that leprosy still exists, and yet for over 7 million people across the world it causes damage to their health, livelihoods and futures.  

600 people are diagnosed with leprosy every day and 50 of those are children.  By raising awareness and fighting the age-old prejudice the disease carries, Lepra aims to provide early diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for people affected by leprosy.

About Lepra

Established in 1924, Lepra is a UK-based charity working in India, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe to change the lives of people affected by leprosy.  To find out more about their work, take a look at their website

Why footwear?

One of the main symptoms of leprosy is nerve damage, meaning people affected are unable to feel pain. This leaves them vulnerable to burns, cuts, ulcers and injuries that can potentially lead to severe damage to fingers, toes, hands and feet resulting in permanent disability. Lepra’s made-to-measure footwear, first created back in 1959, prevents further damage and injury to feet, whilst helping to restore independence and dignity.

Why is Giving Tuesday so important to Lepra?

Back in 2017, as the global day of giving increased its presence, Lepra renamed Giving Tuesday, “Giving Shoesday”. Giving Tuesday helps to shine a light on the amazing work specialist shoe technicians do and highlight how something as simple as shoes have the power to transform a life.

Last year Lepra shoe-technicians travelled over 24,000 miles and created 25,308 pairs of shoes.  A pair of custom-made shoes costs just £6 to make and yet has the power to transform a life forever.

What made Lepra choose an auction?

During their ninety-seven-year history, Lepra have delivered many auctions dating back to the 1960s. In 1979 their Ring Appeal; to raise funds for reconstructive hand surgery, received over 1,000 ring donations, including jewellery from Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and other members of the Royal Family.  It raised over £80,000, the equivalent of more than £400,000 today!

The Giving Shoesday auction line-up includes shoe donations from Dame Judi Dench, who played ‘M’ in the James Bond franchise.  She has donated a pair of the size 5 Hobbs black suede court shoes (with a signed photograph) that would turn the head of any MI6 boss. Ex-England rugby star and TV pundit, David Flatman has donated his size 12 Asics trainers; well-used and well-travelled, they definitely belong to an active sportsman! Another donation from Sir Tony Robinson, is a pair of size 6 Karrimor hiking boots, complete with a short hand-written note. Having been worn during the filming of Time Team, they’ve definitely seen some history in the making!

The online auction, hosted by Dawson’s Auction House starts at 12.00pm on Giving Tuesday and runs until 12th December. The auction house has kindly waived their selling fee meaning that 100% of the sale price will go to Lepra.  Click here to place a bid.

Commenting on the auction, Helen Rackham Director of Fundraising for Lepra, said:

“Leprosy is one of the world’s oldest diseases; curable with a course of antibiotics yet devastating if left undiagnosed. Providing custom-made shoes is life-changing for people affected by leprosy; people who face extreme prejudice and discrimination. I am grateful that so many much-admired and recognised personalities have rallied to our cause by supporting our Shoesday event. With so many amazing charitable causes to support, it can be hard to capture the attention of the general public, particularly during a global pandemic, when most people think leprosy no longer exists!”

How can people get involved?

  • Firstly, BID in the auction, or DONATE on Giving Tuesday– every single penny you can give makes a difference.
  • Secondly, sign up to hear more about Lepra’s transformational work and become part of this amazing story. You can take follow them on social media; @LepraUK on Twitter, @Lepra on Facebook and @leprauk on Instagram.
  • Watch and share 2 videos around Giving Tuesday and Lepra’s footwear projects, which can be found here and here

Feeling inspired? Sign up as a Giving Tuesday partner here

Giving Tuesday partners GivenGain explore how past campaigns can help influence future ones ahead of Giving Tuesday 2021 on the 30th November. GivenGain’s Giving Tuesday starter pack is available here.


Lindsay Ndigiwe, Global Fundraising and Marketing Manager

One partner of GivenGain is Thembalitsha, which supports the work of the Thembalitsha Foundation in South Africa. Since 1997, the Thembalitsha Foundation has invested in change by providing healthcare, education and training in South African communities.

In 2019, Thembalitsha ran a Giving Tuesday campaign to support that vital work. They set a simple but clear goal – to beat the previous year’s fundraising total by more than 50%.

GivenGain spoke to the team there about what they learned from the experience.

In the lead-up to Giving Tuesday, how did you promote your campaign to potential donors? 

We focused on social media (Facebook and Instagram) and newsletters (MailChimp). We started planning about 90 days out but our external communications began about 30 days before #GT. In the week leading up to the campaign, we ramped up the frequency to finish strong. 

What did you achieve with the funds you raised through Giving Tuesday? 

The best thing about a general campaign on Giving Tuesday is that the funds are unrestricted. We all know how challenging it is to work with designated funding. The money we raised through our Giving Tuesday campaign last year really helped us fill in any end-of-year gaps that we still had in our budget.

Do you have any tips you would like to share with other charities thinking about creating Giving Tuesday campaigns?

Securing match donors ahead of time made reaching our goal way more achievable. This makes the smaller donations a lot more valuable. 

Also, remember to thank donors as soon as you can. GivenGain sends out custom automated responses, but we sent an additional thank-you with a graphic that we prepared in advance. 

Endangered Wildlife Trust

Tammy Baker, Business Development Officer

The Endangered Wildlife Trust has worked to protect threatened species and ecosystems for almost half a century.

In 2019 EWF decided to hold a 24-hour fundraising sprint for Giving Tuesday instead of a long campaign – and managed to raise record levels.

What sort of campaign did you do for Giving Tuesday?

Our campaign was titled ‘It’s their future too’, focused on protecting and conserving some of our baby animal species. We used some cute fluffy pics of wild dog pups and interviewed the children of some of the staff who work for the EWT to ask them what they think grown-ups should be doing to save the planet.

How did you communicate your Giving Tuesday campaign with potential donors?

We launched our campaign via a mailer to our database the day before Giving Tuesday. We sent out 4 additional mailers on the day, letting people know how far off we were to our target – then finished off with a thank-you mailer the next day with the final amount raised.

What were you able to achieve with the funds you raised through Giving Tuesday?

As with all funds raised for the EWT, the money we raised went to keeping our staff doing what they do best: conservation in action.

Do you have any tips you would like to share with other charities thinking about creating Giving Tuesday campaigns?

I believe our campaign worked because we had a clear and concise message. Focusing on the fluffy baby animals we protect always pulls on people’s heartstrings. We also communicated how far we were from our target several times throughout the day to motivate people to donate.

Whether you’re planning a marathon fundraising campaign like Thembalitsha or a sprint like the Endangered Wildlife Foundation, you can find all kinds of great fundraising tips and resources in GivenGain’s Giving Tuesday starter pack. Head to their Giving Tuesday page to download it now.

Feeling inspired? Sign up as a Giving Tuesday partner here

Giving Tuesday partners Work for Good have put together some helpful tips and advice for small businesses on how they can get involved in Giving Tuesday and get their message out there.

Imagine the impact and incredible change in society if it was actually odd not to be doing good through your business.

The inspirational Michelle Ovens CBE, founder of Small Business Britain and Small Business Saturday UK, has noticed that many small business owners are reluctant to celebrate their acts of giving, suggesting that they felt it would somehow diminish the impact of their kindness.

Many businesses who fundraise for charity through their sales are bashful about this meaningful act of supporting good causes. However, we know if more of us celebrated our giving and philanthropy the more it would become normal and inspire more people and businesses to do good for others.

At Work for Good we believe everyone should be able to turn the work they do into good and be proud of their giving.

Why should small businesses get involved in Giving Tuesday?

Whether your business is fundraising for a charity through your sales, volunteering services or donating products to good causes, you should be proud of it.

A powerful way in the next few weeks to tell the world about your generosity, giving through your sales, social impact, and passion for good causes is to get involved with Giving Tuesday – the global day of giving.

Being part of a global movement that drives positive change, kindness, and philanthropy has multiple benefits and will not only make you feel happier but also prouder of your business.

Getting involved with Giving Tuesday is also great for business.

So whether you are a butcher, a baker or candlestick maker, pulling pints, percolating coffee, selling through Etsy or running a local law firm, using Giving Tuesday’s massive influence is a golden opportunity to amplify the good your business does.

Ideas To Help You Amplify The Good Your Small Business Does.

Highlight the charities’ cause or campaign:

Shining a spotlight on a cause that you care about and taking the time to support the charity alongside your fundraising demonstrates your values and shows your customers and community that you genuinely care. Talk about the impact the charity has and use your platform to inform people of the work they’re doing and why you’re supporting them. Blog posts and e-newsletters are a great way to do this.

Tell Personal Stories:

Giving Tuesday is the perfect time to tell your story and show the people behind your brand.  Telling your story helps to forge emotional connections, let your customers know your personal reasons for choosing to raise awareness for and support a particular cause. This can be very powerful, building loyalty and respect in a way that simply showing images of products or talking about services might not – remember people buy from people.

Become a Small Business Star:

If you are fundraising through your sales this festive season or have plans to, make sure you join the Small Business Star campaign.

It’s easy to get involved, pledge your support to your favourite charity, download the marketing toolkit and tell your customers and clients how your business is making a difference. Use the hashtag #SmallBusinessStar and tag in @WorkforGoodUK – so we can work together to spread the word about the mighty UK small businesses who use their business for good. 

Find out how to become a Small Business Star

Feeling inspired? Sign up as a Giving Tuesday partner here

After such a successful Giving Tuesday, we caught up with one of our founding partners, NatWest Group, to find out more about their #GiveBack2020 campaign.

For #GiveBack2020, NatWest donated over £410,000 to charities that its employees and colleagues support.

What did NatWest Group do for #GiveBack2020?

This was the 7th year we had supported Giving Tuesday, and for us, 2020 was hugely significant given this was positioned against the backdrop of a global pandemic. Recognising the devastating financial impact that COVID-19 had had on the sector, Giving Tuesday provided us a vital platform to highlight the need for our colleagues and customers to give back more than ever before, and help to make it easy for them to support the causes they care about.

We delivered a campaign to promote Giving Tuesday to our colleagues globally, encouraging them to think about how they could #GiveBack2020, and signposting them to our colleague charitable giving programmes, including our three days volunteering leave. We also ran a Payroll Giving campaign to incentivise more colleagues to join this scheme, recognising that establishing a regular income is hugely important for charities. For every new joiner to the scheme, and for existing members who increased their monthly donations, we gave a charity donation of £125. We also encouraged colleagues to use their voice to share the #GivingTuesday message on social media.

For our customers, we engaged with 1.45 million MyReward current account holders, encouraging them to exchange their reward points for a charity donation, and we matched donations up to £50.

How did NatWest Group find #GiveBack2020?

Due to COVID, we had to pause a number of our employee volunteering programs, and with many individual fundraising events also cancelled, Giving Tuesday presented us with that perfect moment in time to highlight other ways our colleagues and customers could give back, be that through donations and volunteering their time. The day was also about shining a light on the charity sector and celebrating the societal value it creates and the lives that these wonderful charities help day in day out.

“Giving Tuesday is one of those moments where we can stop and give back”

What impact will the money raised have?

We’re a really diverse organisation, with colleagues operating in the UK and overseas so our approach is to  support our people to give back to the charities and good causes they are passionate about. We were overwhelmed by the response we received from our colleague Payroll Giving campaign. As a result, NatWest Group donated almost £315,000 to the fantastic charities that our colleagues support each month. Due to the new joiners and increased donations, those charities will see an annual increase in over £300,000 of donations if our colleagues maintain their levels of monthly giving. Through our customer campaign, 11 charities received donations which totalled £292,959, which includes matched funding of £100,000 from NatWest Group.

What’s special about Giving Tuesday to NatWest Group?

Giving Tuesday is one of those moments where we can stop and give back, as well as taking part in a huge global celebration. It helps us shine a light on important causes and support our colleagues’ and customers’ charitable giving. The Giving Tuesday team is fantastic at guiding you through everything with advice and tips. Everything the team provides to their partners makes the whole day really easy and flexible.

Any advice or top tips?

Get involved! If your business has a charity partner, Giving Tuesday is a brilliant opportunity to show your support and rally colleagues around a cause. If you don’t have a charity partner, the flexibility of Giving Tuesday means you can support your colleagues to donate to their favourite charities in all kinds of ways, which is the approach we took. The more people that get involved with Giving Tuesday, the better!

Feeling inspired? Sign up as a Giving Tuesday partner here

Tiny Tickers is a small charity working to improve the detection, care and treatment of babies with serious heart conditions. For #GiveBack2020, the Tiny Tickers team smashed their Giving Tuesday fundraising target of £2000 and raised £6267! But how did they do it?

This Giving Tuesday, 12 babies will be born with congenital heart disease

What was your campaign for #GiveBack2020?

When the pandemic hit, we were sadly forced to pause some of our core activities, such as training sonographers and placing life-saving equipment in maternity wards. However, this did give us the opportunity to extend our family support services and, as 2020 went on, we realised this work was never more needed by our beneficiaries.

Families are dealing with their child’s heart surgery being postponed or moved to a different location, and parents are now separated during appointments and hospital stays with their child. The journey for our beneficiaries has become even more challenging than usual. Through our support work, we help these families in a number of ways.

Part of this support work involves sending support packs to parents who have just found out their baby has a serious heart condition. Starting on Giving Tuesday, we decided to add a special hug button to these packs. The hug button is a little token to let families know they are not alone because the whole heart community is here for them. By donating £10, supporters can send a family a support pack with a hug button.

Thanks to our success on Giving Tuesday, we’re able to send support packs to over 600 families!

A support pack from Tiny Tickers with a hug button

When did you start promoting your #GiveBack2020 campaign on social media?

We started talking about the appeal on our social media about a week before Giving Tuesday. It’s important to put out a few teaser posts to generate interest in the appeal, but not overdo it before the day itself.  

However, we had been planning the day behind-the-scenes months in advance. We’ve learned it’s really important to get the whole team involved as soon as possible and to have our strategy in place.

What’s special about Giving Tuesday to Tiny Tickers?

A case study shared by one of Tiny Tickers’ beneficiaries

Giving Tuesday is a really good opportunity to get everyone involved, from trustees to supporters. Our main way of communicating with our supporters is via social media and #GivingTuesday fits in really nicely with that. It’s also a fantastic chance to get creative with your campaigning.

Why should charities become a Giving Tuesday partner?

We have a great relationship with the Giving Tuesday team. They’ve always been very supportive of our Giving Tuesday appeals by sharing our posts on social media.

Tiny Tickers’ Top Tips

Link your Giving Tuesday campaign to an existing campaign. Last year, our campaign centred around our existing family support work. In 2018, we raised money to place pulse oximetry machines in hospitals, again this was an existing appeal. This way, your supporters will already know about your campaign, so they can get involved straight away.

Set a fundraising goal that your supporters can get behind. Last year our target was £2000 and we really built momentum around meeting it (and then smashing it!) during the day and afterwards. We had a ‘hug-o-meter’ (like a totaliser) on social media so everyone could see our progress.

Get your whole team involved with your Giving Tuesday strategy and make sure that everyone knows their role. Make sure you plan your campaign in advance.

Get your beneficiaries involved. We always choose a few case studies to focus on and they send us photos, videos and quotes.

Stay engaged on Giving Tuesday. Interact with your supporters on social media, try videos, Q+As, updates on your target. As our Head of Fundraising said after our 2018 campaign, ‘We didn’t just schedule and hope. We lived and breathed it.’

Keep in touch after the day. Thank supporters and show them what a difference their support has made.

A Giving Tuesday thank you from CEO Jon and his daughter Zoe

Would you like to become a Giving Tuesday partner? Sign up here!