If you read last week’s blog post, you should understand how a well-planned and through Giving Tuesday campaign can uplift your entire fundraising strategy. In that post, we broadly explained some strategies to make the most out of the international day of giving. This week is all about specifics.
If last week’s post left you thinking, “This looks great, but how do I do it?” we’ve got you covered!
1. Be Prepared
Don’t wait until the day before Thanksgiving to make sure you are squared away with your Giving Tuesday campaign. Your audience will be able to tell the difference between a campaign thrown together at the last minute, and one that was well thought out and meticulously planned.All your Giving Tuesday materials should feel cohesive and branded, like any other fundraising campaign. Take the time to design uniform graphics and logos to include in emails and social media posts.
Apply the same approach to the content of your messages. You should have a handful of stories prepared ahead of time to include in your outreach and mention in conversations you have with your audience on Giving Tuesday. Decide which programs and accomplishments relate best to your mission and mention them throughout the campaign. Also, be sure to set aside any accompanying materials, like pictures, stats, or testimonials that help tell your story.
As you plan out your Giving Tuesday communications think about utilizing different communication mediums including email, social media platforms, and possibly your blog as well as the timing around each of these. Use medium length testimonials in emails, and quick stats, quotes from the testimonial, and pictures in your social posts. These should be sprinkled throughout the duration of your mini-campaign leading up to Giving Tuesday, the day of, and afterwards. The most successful organizations even tie in their Giving Tuesday plan with their year-end direct mail appeals and look at it as one seamless message building upon each other through different mediums and angles.
Countdown to Giving Tuesday
2. All Hands-on Deck
Speaking of social media, consider recruiting your most loyal or engaged followers to serve as social ambassadors. These people should represent your ideal target audience and will publish content on behalf of your organization. They serve as an external voice to promote your cause and can help you gain access to others who fit the same donor profile. With their help, you can convert these new audiences into donors.
Rallying volunteers and other outsiders to share your message can improve your reach, influence, and your organization’s manpower. If time and personnel are limited, these social ambassadors can help you fill in any gaps in your Giving Tuesday campaign.
Sharing on social media isn’t just for your volunteers, engaged followers and social influencers. Remind your staff that fundraising is an organization wide effort. Encourage them to share on their own social media profiles to tap a potentially unique audience.
We’ve talked at length about how establishing trust is a major part of building relationships with donors. It’s one thing if those within your organization endorse your cause. Donors expect that. But when another, regular person advocates your mission, donors take notice.
3. When Making the Ask
Offering to match a gift demonstrates your dedication to the cause and can motivate donors to give more than usual. Donors who are truly connected to your mission will be thrilled that their dollars do more to further the cause when matched by the organization itself. Match gifts make it possible for a donor to provide two, or even three times the value than they may have been able to on their own. That is a powerful motivation for any donor who is truly invested in your organization’s work!
One of the major concerns many organizations have on Giving Tuesday is negatively impacting their end-of-year appeals. Put your fears to rest. As we discussed last week, Giving Tuesday can serve as a soft touch to kick off your end-of-year push and get donors in the giving mindset. This strategy essential incorporates Giving Tuesday into your year-end campaign. After all, organizations should measure and analyze giving holistically year after year, rather than focus solely on what appeals brought in the money.
If you have been segmenting your audience, you already have a head start! Consider breaking down your donor base into two groups for your Giving Tuesday campaign. First, send messages asking any donors who have already contributed to your annual fund. Ask them if they will supplement their usual gift with a Giving Tuesday donation, since they are already a loyal supporter. The second group will consist of regular donors who have not yet contributed. Remind them its not too late to give this year, that you’ve missed their usual donation, and encourage them to get into the spirit of giving on Giving Tuesday.
4. Optimizing Donation Pages
Giving Tuesday is a unique occasion, so your organization’s online donation page should reflect that. At minimum, use one of those Giving Tuesday graphics we mentioned earlier as the header of your regular donation page for a day. If you are tying Giving Tuesday into your end-of-year fundraising push, use a Giving Tuesday header on the donation page for your annual fund. You can set it back to normal afterwards.
You’re probably aware that your organization is not the only one trying to make the most of Giving Tuesday this year. Using PURLs to direct donors to personalized campaign pages can help your message stand out. You can version the content of these pages to resonate better with specific donors. Personalized campaign pages can include custom ask strings based on a donor’s giving history and make mentions of specific programs they have contributed to before.
Whether or not you use PURLs, we recommended setting up a generic Giving Tuesday donation page geared for the event. That means shorter forms and mobile friendliness, which can help your conversion rate for an event like this.
Some organizations may wonder if they really need online giving pages specific for Giving Tuesday. Imagine yourself in a donors’ shoes. Consider how they move through the process. Imagine being moved by a story, compelled to donate, and then landing on a page that was uninspired, sloppy, or just too long and arduous. You might reconsider if this organization is deserving of your contribution! Nearly every donor who contributes on Giving Tuesday will do so online. They will all see this page. So use it to seal the deal, not scare them away.
5. Thinking About Goals
Your organization’s fundraising goals can do more than just measure success. Sure, it is important to keep track of your progress to understand what is or isn’t working in a campaign. After all, this will help you adjust and optimize future communications. You can’t have a truly successful fundraising campaign if you don’t track things like response rates, average gift size, or performance among specific audiences. But you already knew that!
It is great to know this information internally, but you should be sharing progress and updating your audience on your fundraising goals too. You can’t do this without your donors, so keep them in the loop and let them know the impact of their gift. Your audience will feel a sense of pride and can celebrate your shared success if you make your objectives clear to the public and update your audience as you hit specific milestones.
However, you should only share goals that are relevant to your donors. The average donor won’t really be excited to learn that your organization’s Giving Tuesday email push had a three percent higher open rate than last year. However, they will want to know when you are approaching your total fundraising goal, or if there were 200 more Giving Tuesday donations than last year. These metrics invite your donors to quantify the progress you’ve made together and can demonstrate the impact each person has in furthering the cause.
Tie your goals into something tangible, so each donor can truly understand the difference their gift made. For example, consider making a social media post or sending an email blast that explains that your organization raised $50,000 this Giving Tuesday, enough to vaccinate 500 children at risk of disease.
Just Around the Corner
We’ve spent the last two weeks providing advice for your Giving Tuesday campaign. We’ve seen these strategies work for several of our own clients. In the spirit of giving, we are more than happy to provide you with these tips, so that your organization can make the most of the occasion and further your cause!
Remember, Giving Tuesday falls on November 27 this year. That’s less than a month away, so don’t hesitate! Now is the time to start planning, developing your strategy, and crafting your messages so you can make the most of your Giving Tuesday campaign. Next week, we will jump ahead and talk more about post Giving Tuesday stewardship.