It’s nearing the end of the work day. The air outside is crisp and the sun has already begun tucking itself behind trees and buildings, hiding away until tomorrow. You set your auto-responder for the holiday, schedule your social media posts, pack up your things and begin making your way out of the office. As you wish your co-workers a happy Thanksgiving and start daydreaming about your grandmom’s famous pumpkin pie, your boss’s voice interrupts this vision like a needle scratching a record.
“What are we doing for Giving Tuesday?”
That’s one of the worst things you can hear right before leaving the office for the Thanksgiving holiday. Regardless, many people out there working in small shop nonprofits are going to be asked that question and there is no sufficient answer. Chances are when #GivingTuesday rolls around, you’ll be scrolling or clicking through close to hundreds of other organizations’ GT appeals, videos and graphics muttering Pfffft, I could’ve done that under your breath. DON’T PANIC! The truth is, there is no wrong thing you can do on #GivingTuesday… except for nothing.
We’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way, at least if you start thinking about it now. And that’s whether or not you’ve got the spare resources and post-turkey strength to get it together. If you’re reading this blog post (which is your development strategy life raft, so jump on in!), it’s your lucky day. Why? Because we now present you with three actionable things you can do to prepare for Giving Tuesday so long as you start now.
- Be prepared.
Okay, before you write this off as a no-brainer keep reading.
If you’re executing any Giving Tuesday marketing campaign, you’re going to experience a higher volume of website and social media traffic than on a normal day so you need to be ready for it. Make sure you have a fun GT-related graphic to include in e-mails and accompany social media posts. Also, make it platform-friendly by having a few versions sized for top notch display on different sites. Check in with your webmaster or IT department to assure your online donation mechanism is customized for #GivingTuesday and is just straight up running properly. Even though for most nonprofits this day is reserved for giving, it’s still a normal work day which means craziness can happen. Schedule some posts and e-mails in advance so that if you need to step away everything is covered. Be poised and ready to send thank you tweets and posts back to those communicating with you on social about having just made a donation to your organization.
One last thing: know your story. Pick the accomplishments and programs you want to talk about, have pictures to illustrate them, and stick with it. Ask your board members for help distributing the message, and if you’re lucky enough to have multiple departments check in and make sure they’re doing all they can to help drive giving traffic to the right places.
2. ASK. Don’t tell.
This one is short and sweet. One thing we hear all the time about donors is that they’re more than willing to give so long as they’re asked. Don’t waste your time reminding everyone in your organization’s network that Giving Tuesday is just around the corner, know what you want and ask for it.
It can be tricky this time of year as it’s likely your organization is in the middle of an end of the year appeal. In this instance, just be mindful of other fundraising efforts your department or organization is making. If you’ve got segmented lists and know who’s given to your appeal and who hasn’t, ask current donors to give a little bit to augment their gift. For those who have yet to give, remind them it’s not too late to contribute and that they can get into the worldwide giving spirit on this special day.
3. Incentivize giving with a match or prize.
Nothing inspires potential donors during a flash-fundraising campaign like a good match. Get started now on identifying major donors or funders in your network that you can approach for a #GivingTuesday match. Whether it’s dollar for dollar or a group of donors putting up a certain amount as a challenge style match, it will rev up the excitement and encourage people to give now rather than later. Even local businesses can participate by offering a free gift to the first 100 people who donate to your organization on this day. But start hitting the pavement now, since this type of ask takes time and finesse.
The Wrap Up
Hopefully these tips will get you thinking about #GivingTuesday now, and not after the fact. It’s important to make sure that your fundraising efforts are consistent and that your message is unified. Stick to your stories, and use Giving Tuesday as a method for enhancing more traditional ways to solicit donations like printed appeals or e-mail campaigns. Get creative with how you communicate not just on Giving Tuesday, but all year long. Set up special landing pages on your website that highlight not just giving but the benefits of giving and the impact gifts make on your beneficiaries. Be sure to THANK YOUR DONORS, too!
If you have any great ideas for how to rock it on #GivingTuesday, send some Tweets our way!
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