In prior blog posts, we have stressed the importance of following up with donors with a strong stewardship program. Fundraising is really about building relationships with donors. A quick thank you message does wonders to let a donor know you appreciate their effort. Nonprofits should put the same effort into developing a Giving Tuesday stewardship program. Letting a first-time donor know how much their effort means to your organization can be the difference between a one-time $10 gift, and a long-term supporter.
Giving Tuesday has raised more money each year since it was first celebrated in 2012. The most effective fundraising organizations are catching on and realizing that Giving Tuesday is a potential goldmine of new donors. In fact, Classy recently reported that Giving Tuesday brings in twice as many new donors as December 31. However, nonprofits shouldn’t just be aiming to secure as many small gifts on Giving Tuesday as possible. Instead, organizations should shift their focus to converting these one-off donors into loyal supporters with a Giving Tuesday stewardship program that ties into their year-end campaign.
Thank You Email
Your organization probably already has an automated email to thank donors for their Giving Tuesday contribution. But don’t stop there. Most Giving Tuesday donors probably haven’t heard very much from your organization directly. Chances are, they heard about you from a friend on social media. Last year, Facebook processed more than $45 million in gifts, roughly 15 percent of all Giving Tuesday donations in 2017, according to philanthropy.com.
If this is the first time a donor is contacted by your organization directly, you should welcome them to your community and provide some education about why your work matters and how your organization furthers your mission. As always, demonstrate the impact of their gift and let them know exactly how they’ve helped further the cause.
Encourage new donors to spread the word about your organization to capitalize on the social nature of Giving Tuesday. You can make this even easier for donors by including a button to share to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram in the email itself. This gives donors an opportunity to broadcast their efforts to their own network, while your nonprofit benefits from a new advocate. Be sure to have a link to your donation page included as part of that post. This streamlines the giving process for those who want to contribute.
Don’t forget to let these new donors know to keep an eye out for communications regarding your organizations end-of-year push. Are you feeling adventurous? Ask them if they would prefer to receive and end-of-year appeal through email or direct mail. This gives you insight to their preferred method of communication while encouraging them to give again before the year end.
Part of Something Bigger
In our last two posts, we explained the benefits of integrating your Giving Tuesday stewardship program into your year end appeal. Consider looking at Giving Tuesday as a soft touch to warm up repeat donors for your end-of-year appeal and as a lead generation tool for a whole new set of donors.
But how can nonprofits avoid coming off as pushy while sending appeals for two major fundraising events in a short span? Simple, focus on the donor! Something about your Giving Tuesday message resonated with donors enough for them to support your cause before many others. Now is the time to double down. Make them the hero of your Giving Tuesday story, and let them know you still need their help.
When you send your end-of-year appeal, mention how much donors gave to your organization on Giving Tuesday. Tell them what they will help your organization will accomplish as a result, and explain how making another gift today will enable them to make an even bigger difference.
If you are comfortable with being a little aggressive, you can include a recurring gift form in you Giving Tuesday stewardship communications. Smaller, but more frequent gifts make it easier for more humble donors to budget and contribute what they can.
Your End-of-Year Push
Leave no stone unturned when integrating Giving Tuesday stewardship into your end-of-year fundraising campaign. I think we’ve hammered home the point that your Giving Tuesday follow up should be helping prepare donors to give again before January 1. In turn, be sure to make mention of your Giving Tuesday success in your next appeal.
You can even version your end-of-year appeal based on whether donors contributed on Giving Tuesday. Both versions should let your audience know how much your organization raised and, of course, the impact of those gifts on your beneficiaries.
But you can also let donors who did not participate in Giving Tuesday know that you missed their contribution. Reassure them there is still a chance to help advance your mission before the year ends. On the other hand, take this opportunity to thank those who gave on Giving Tuesday one more time. Then, remind them there is still much work to do. Explain what they can help your organization accomplish by contributing to the annual fund this holiday season.
Putting it Together
Remember, Giving Tuesday falls on November 27 this year, just 35 short days before December 31. If your organization hasn’t developed a thorough Giving Tuesday campaign in the past, this is the year to get started.
Giving on the national day of philanthropy has increased exponentially each year since the first Giving Tuesday in 2012. Last year, nonprofits raised a total of $274 million. Some are estimating that nonprofits could raise well over $300 million this year.
However, it is important to recognize that you may be unable to convert many of these Giving Tuesday donors into regular contributors. But if an organization can acquire even a small percentage of them, their life-time value can be extremely beneficial. Rather than focus on the exact number you can convert, just worry about having a plan in place to do so. This way, you leave nothing to chance and can to maximize your fundraising potential.
While there are still some out there who have yet to realize the importance of Giving Tuesday, it is getting harder and harder to ignore the evidence. A thorough and well-planned campaign, accompanied by a Giving Tuesday stewardship program, can help your organization raise more than on any other single day of the year, while expanding your donor base and generating excitement for your year-end campaign.