November is right around the corner. Along with daylight saving time, winter jackets and Thanksgiving, November brings something else that is now an important marker of year – Giving Tuesday.
Giving Tuesday, which falls on December 3rd this year, is the primary focus for many nonprofits during this time of year. And, there’s a good reason for that: Giving Tuesday is the single largest giving day of the year. In 2018, as much as $400 million was donated just on that one day.
Hundreds of thousands of donors participate in Giving Tuesday, and many of these donors are new, giving only on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Hopefully I’ve made the case for why you must participate in Giving Tuesday…
… Now, here are 10 tips for making this your organization’s best Giving Tuesday yet.
1. Anchor your campaign around a match or challenge gift
There are many benefits to incorporating a match or challenge donation as part of your Giving Tuesday campaign. Not only is it a great way to generate excitement and energize your campaign, it also yields more donors and more dollars. Plus, it is an opportunity to engage higher level donors.
One study found that announcing that a match is available can increase the revenue per solicitation by as much as 19%. Make sure to give each match or challenge a deadline so that donors have a limited amount of time to unlock funds. Also, share frequent updates on progress to help donors feel like they are part of the campaign’s success.
Creating a match is also a great way to engage your major donors and board. In 2018, one board member of Pathfinder International spearheaded a match campaign that raised $55,912 (including the $25,000 match gift) from 208 donors. The board member made direct asks to Pathfinder donors through a series of campaign emails, sharing the progress of the campaign and generating excitement as the nonprofit got closer to goal. Like Pathfinder, leverage this chance to ask one or multiple members of your board to host a match campaign around Giving Tuesday.
2. Leverage employee giving platforms
Your nonprofit does not want to miss out on the millions of employees who have access to platforms like Benevity and YourCause through their companies. These individuals may be looking to donate on Giving Tuesday, so make sure your organization is available as an option to them.
If your nonprofit is not currently registered on employee giving platforms, we recommend signing up. And, if you are currently one of Global Impact’s Charity Alliance members, we have good news for you… we can help you directly with your profile management and certifications for these platforms.
3. Leverage your best ambassadors – your donors – through a peer-to-peer campaign.
Connect and grow your donor base by utilizing your donors as fundraisers. Take the opportunity to ask your donors to raise money on behalf of your cause this Giving Tuesday. Ask them to promote what you do and share their experiences with their friends and family. The average peer-to-peer fundraiser raises $568 from seven donors – four whom will be new to your organization.
Peer-to-peer campaigns also allow you to look at what your donors are doing creatively to galvanize their communities.
4. Tell a good story
It makes sense that storytelling has become a buzzword across nonprofits – good stories create an emotional bond with donors and compel them to give more. One way to really inspire donors to give is to share the impact a donation will have on a specific program. For instance, if you are able to share how much a gift of a certain amount will move the needle in a critical area, it will resonate with donors. If you can, attach goals to your story – specific and actionable ones that people can rally around. And, of course, make sure that donors feel that they play an important role in helping your organization do what it does.
5. Make sure all messaging is consistent in your campaign
Speaking of stories, share Giving Tuesday across all channels. From your donation page and your Facebook posts to your website homepage, make sure to capture your Giving Tuesday campaign in a comprehensive way. Share specific messaging that speaks to the cause or campaign that you are focused on for that day. Also, don’t forget to have a donate option on each platform. Make it as easy as possible for donors to give, no matter what channel they use.
6. Don’t ignore Facebook fundraising
In 2018, a total of $125 million was raised via Facebook on Giving Tuesday, which is the highest amount for a single day on the platform. Last year Facebook and Paypal partnered to give up to $7 million in matched donations to U.S. nonprofits, with up to $250,000 per nonprofit (although those matches lasted only 14 seconds into the day).
Even so, if your donors are using Facebook, you should be too. It is an easy and social way to connect with people and a great tool for reaching prospective donors. Plus, your donors can ask their Facebook friends to give to your cause. To start a Facebook fundraiser, simply click the “Fundraisers” button on your Facebook page and select the green “Raise Money” button. From there you can fill in the information for your fundraiser (i.e., nonprofit’s name, fundraising goal, end date) to get started.
7. Don’t forget to say thank you
If there is any time during which it makes sense to have good manners, it is after someone makes a donation to your cause. Donors want to feel appreciated for their generosity so drop them a personalized note by email or postal mail and express appreciation for their gift and how it will empower your organization.
8. Gamify the day
Don’t forget to add an element of fun to your campaign – people are motivated to give more if they are enjoying themselves while doing so. One way of doing this is by incorporating a game component to your efforts – whether it’s a points system, achievements or a progress meter. What if your donors could compare their giving to others through a race? Or what if they could raise more funds through corporate matching dollars by winning a video game? The world of gamification is endless and nonprofits are only beginning to tap into it.
9. Live and/or real-time social media
More than ever before, nonprofits are able to directly interact with donors through social media. Through live streaming on YouTube and Facebook, you can announce new donors, share exciting donation milestones, and give donors a sneak peak of the work you are doing. Make sure to register for YouTube Nonprofits and/or Facebook Nonprofits to support these efforts. If you do plan to use real time or live social media, be sure to have a plan. Learn more about how best to do so here.
10. Decide on a follow-up outreach strategy
Hosting a Giving Tuesday campaign is one of the best times to acquire new donors – don’t lose them from the start! Introduce them to your organization’s work through an email series or a phone call. It also comes right before year-end giving so find a way for your Giving Tuesday campaign to feed directly into your end of year plans so you can double down on gifts.
However you choose to approach your Giving Tuesday strategy, the most important thing is that you have one. Go one step further and track your results, so you can go into future giving days with baseline goals.
For more information on putting together a comprehensive strategy this Giving Tuesday, feel free to contact us today. Make the most of this important day, so that you can make the most difference.