Buckle up because you’re about to read some really important advice! In short, you need to resist the urge to take your foot off the gas when the dust settles after Giving Tuesday.
We know, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind. And we’re not out of the weeds yet.
With only 31 days between Giving Tuesday and the start of 2022, you might be tempted to take time to breathe, collect yourself, and get ready for the big end-of-year push.
But that could be a huge mistake! Yes, you deserve a rest after all your hard work this year, but not yet! First, you need to implement a thorough and effective plan to connect with your audience after Giving Tuesday!
Of course, we’re going to start by thanking those who donated on Giving Tuesday. But too many nonprofits send a thank you email and think that’s the end!
Effectively following up requires much more.
Different donors, different messages.
First thing’s first. You already know you need to promptly thank the donors who helped make Giving Tuesday such a success for your organization.
Giving Tuesday brings in a lot of new donors. You will need to do more than say “thank you” if this is the first time you’re reaching out to a new donor directly. And you will need to send something different to donors who are more familiar with your organization!
So, if you have their email, send first-time donors a digital version of your new donor welcome package and thank them for joining your movement.
And if you’re feeling bold, you can ask if they would prefer to receive an email or printed version of your year-end appeal.
Then, remind your segment of existing donors about the continued impact they have on your mission when thanking them after Giving Tuesday. Let them know you value their continued support and thank them for helping to spread the word about your cause.
But don’t forget your usual donors who did not donate on Giving Tuesday! Reach out to this segment and let them know you missed their contribution. Then, remind them it’s not too late to make a difference this year and ask them to keep their eyes out for your year-end appeal (or just add another donate button in the email).
It’s not just about how much your raised.
Reporting your success on Giving Tuesday is a double-edged sword. Your donors certainly care about your success, but you need to tell them in a way that gets them excited about your work! A number alone cannot do that.
For example, rather than, “We raised $5,000 this Giving Tuesday,” you can say, “We raised enough to buy 200 toys so children in poverty have a present to open this holiday season.”
And don’t overlook other numbers that might interest donors more than a dollar amount. For example, let your audience know how many people contributed this Giving Tuesday. This can be especially powerful if you had many more donors this year than last.
Reporting numbers about how many donors gave, not what they donated, helps everyone feel like a part of your community. It shows them others think your cause is worth supporting too!
Stand out on social media.
#GivingTuesday is a social media phenomenon, and you probably had several social posts leading up to, and on Giving Tuesday. But your social channels shouldn’t go quiet afterwards!
If you ran an effective Giving Tuesday social media campaign, you probably picked up a lot of new followers. Your posts got these people so excited that they donated and wanted to keep up with your nonprofit’s activities online.
Remember, you won’t get much information about someone from a page like. And if they gave through Facebook or another third-party, you might not have collected any information about them at all!
Also, a page like or follow isn’t permission to send appeals and other communications, even if you can find their email address!
So, make sure you post frequently on your social channels after Giving Tuesday. Include things like infographics that explain how donations further your goals. Post pictures of volunteer outings, or of those who benefit from your work. And encourage followers to sign up for your mailing list!
Connect the dots.
Your year-end appeal is a great way to tie Giving Tuesday into your over-arching fundraising strategy. This approach is especially powerful if you take our advice above about segmenting audiences when following up after Giving Tuesday!
Start by separating your donor base into two groups, those who gave on Giving Tuesday, and those who did not.
Then promote your year-end appeal when you follow up. Thank donors who gave on Giving Tuesday and let them know they can further their impact with another gift at the year’s end.
Then, prep those who didn’t contribute on Giving Tuesday for your upcoming appeal. Show them what your organization is accomplishing because of the support you received so far.
You can take a similar approach with your monthly giving program. For example, consider creating a segment for donors who gave less than $20 on Giving Tuesday.
It’s crucial to outline the benefits of monthly giving for these donors. Explain how monthly donations sustain the impact of your initiatives year-round. And let them know why other donors prefer to give small monthly donations, rather than one or two large contributions a year.
It’s not just a day of giving.
We won’t lie to you. There is going to be a lot of noise on Giving Tuesday.
After all, donors will probably get an email from every organization they’ve ever engaged with on November 30.
But most of those organizations are focused on raising the most they can in a single day. Nonprofits that see Giving Tuesday as a one-and-done event generally don’t have a great plan to follow up!
Sure, they will reach out to say thank you. But there probably won’t be much meat on that bone. They probably won’t reach out to current donors who did not donate on Giving Tuesday until they send that year-end appeal.
There will be a very brief quiet period for donors between Giving Tuesday and the end-of-year push. You can take advantage of this quiet time to set your organization apart, while laying the foundation for a strong relationship with your new audiences.