It all starts as we digest Thanksgiving dinner. Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. After a day of rest (ideally) on Sunday, we have Cyber Monday. Then, it’s the unofficial kickoff to the end-of-year fundraising season – Giving Tuesday.
Created in 2012, Giving Tuesday is not just a day, but a movement developed to celebrate and encourage the giving of time, resources and talent to bring positive change in communities.
The inaugural Giving Tuesday generated $10.1 million in online donations. In 2016, Giving Tuesday resulted in $177 million in online donations, 1.64 million total gifts, and 2,399,092 total social media engagements. Thousands of people plan their charitable giving around Giving Tuesday.
For nonprofits, Giving Tuesday fundraising must be part of their year-end strategy. It’s no longer optional. Now is the time to establish a goal, develop a fundraising strategy, and rally the troops. Now is the time to find a sponsor or donor to match gifts. If people know their contribution will have double the impact, they could be more likely to hit the “donate” button.
How Well Do You Know Your Donors?
Prior to Giving Tuesday, learn as much as you can about the people in your database, which should be neatly organized in your online donor management software. Which of the seven donor types does each person most closely align with? Who gave on Giving Tuesday in past years? What social media platforms do they use most frequently? Do they actively like and share your posts? Do they open and click-through emails? Segment your list and tailor your strategy and messaging accordingly.
Your Story Is Critical to Giving Tuesday Success
You won’t be the only nonprofit asking for donations, and people won’t donate just because you ask. They’ll donate because they feel a connection with your story. They need to believe they can make a difference. They need to believe in your cause. They need to believe in you. That’s the power of storytelling – in pictures, videos and the written word.
Put the “Social” in Social Media
Giving Tuesday is almost exclusively an online fundraising event. It’s not about mailers and phone calls. Giving Tuesday is about social media. Identify, engage and build relationships with social media advocates – people who always like, share and comment on your posts. Fine tune your messaging to further enhance donor engagement and expand your reach.
Younger donors in particular, like to support causes recommended by friends on social media. More than donating, they like to get involved, so don’t miss this opportunity to build your volunteer team.
Get Your Technical House in Order
The clear majority of social media activity happens on a smartphone. When that activity moves to your website, it should display clearly and function properly on mobile devices. Is your “donate” button prominently displayed and easy to find? How many clicks does it take to complete a donation? Can you simplify the process? Is your automated follow-up message current? Is your network secure? Have you tested everything?
Use Free Resources
GivingTuesday.org has a complete toolkit and logos that you can use to enhance your Giving Tuesday fundraising campaign. Take advantage of these free resources to add consistency and an extra dose of professionalism to your efforts.
Mark your calendar for November 28, 2017. Start planning now to make Giving Tuesday the launching pad for your end-of-year fundraising.