5 Creative Ways Museums Leveraged Social Media on Giving Tuesday


Earlier in the week we celebrated Giving Tuesday, one of the biggest days of the year for nonprofits to engage the masses to open their wallets to charitable giving. This year, over $168 million was raised as result of this global initiative. Museums around the globe made their appeal over various channels such as email campaigns, phone calls, and of course: social media.

Scouring Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, we looked back over the past few years and found examples and themes that are sure to inspire.

1. Making us smile with humor… and animals.

Whose heart doesn’t light up for joy when they see cute animals? Hats off to The Walters Art Museum who incorporated sculptures from their collection as well as casualhumor and puns.


The Philbrook Museum of Art took a somewhat peculiar approach; “Give to Philbrook, get a catkit with 1 garden cat.” But on a serious note, reminded their audience that “Every dollar allows us to be free for kids.” This light-hearted cat-centric plea was likely influenced by the Philbrook’s über-hip director, Scott Stulen. Stulen was involved with the Internet Cat Video Festival at The Walker and Indianapolis Museum of Art, so no big surprise here. Hopefully the cats continue to open hearts (and people’s wallets) in support of the arts! 


2. Human touch and short-form video.

Spartanburg Art Museum went above and beyond a traditional static graphic by using a very creative video. Wes Anderson would be proud.

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art used short-form video from their staff to give a humantouch and highlight their mission and impact. 

They also piggybacked off of a larger Memphis initiative called Grit, Grind, Give. to amplify the exposure.

3. Incorporating collections.

Hammer Museum used a vibrant visual from a past exhibition, Jim Hodges: “Give More Than You Take” (Twitter)


Museums Victoria of Melbourne, Australia communicated the impact of each each dollar received and the directtangibleimpact it has. “$50 feeds the lizards for a week.” But, a philanthropist’s bargain; $9 to help pickle a sea pig. was sure to command your attention.


Honorable mention go to the New Museum in New York City for incorporating an “underwear chandelier” into their Giving Tuesday messaging. 


The piece, which clearly aligns with the museum’s drive toward “new art and new ideas,” is by artist Pipilotti Rist whose works is currently on display at the museum.

4. Highlighting the educational impact on children.

It’s nearly impossible not to see these fundamental values used in museum fundraising. Charles M. Schulz MuseumQueens Museum, and Telfair Museums all focused on arts educations and its impact on children.


5. Joining the #UNselfie movement.

Museums also encouraged their donors to embrace the #UNselfie, a campaign where supporters snap pictures of themselves with a sign promoting their favorite charitable cause.

The Dali Museum was able to land a famous face, albeit one made of cardboard. (Instagram)


Celebrity Joe Mantegna shared why he supports the National Army Museum to his 500K+ Twitter followers.


Year after year, Giving Tuesday continues to grow and drive increasing amounts of charitable giving. We always enjoy the unique approaches that museums, large and small, take to spread their message through creative marketing. Only 360 days until next year’s Giving Tuesday and we’re already looking forward!

How did your institutions participate in Giving Tuesday this year? We’d love to hear from you.

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