Giving Tuesday, or the “opening day of the giving season” is just a few short weeks away. Giving Tuesday began in 2012 to counter the spending, shopping, and other materialistic endeavors associated with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So, to honor the intended spirit of the holidays, Giving Tuesday was born. An International Day of Giving, Giving Tuesday harnesses the power of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring real change to communities and causes across the globe through donations of time, money, and talents.
Giving Tuesday represents a day of global fundraising success, but it can be intimidating to participate alongside so many worthy causes, so planning and having a strategy is necessary for your organization’s successful Giving Tuesday campaign. We asked some of our industry expert pals their best advice and resources for nonprofits to help you make the most of Giving Tuesday:
Why should you participate in Giving Tuesday? You get a free ask! If you’re a non-profit leader or advocate who’s dedicated to the mission but asking for money is uncomfortable or perhaps you’re just beginning to venture into individual giving; it’s your lucky day. As a global day of giving, Giving Tuesday makes the ask for you. Let your supporters know that they can support you on this day.
It’s a perfect time to cultivate and convert. Grassroots organizations can cultivate a culture of philanthropy and convert existing volunteers or followers into first time or repeat donors.
It’s a party so invite your friends! Align your supporters and your organization with this global party and the bigger picture of changing the world, one donor, and one organization at a time.
I recommend doing something to stand out from the pack of organizations sending bulk emails on Giving Tuesday. Instead, select individual donors and send personal emails and make phone calls. For example, call all donors who give $100 or less, and invite them to join your monthly donor club. But don’t use an email template. Start with a phone call, and then follow up with a personalized email just for them. I’m also a fan of “thanks for giving” campaigns on Giving Tuesday. Finally, using Giving Tuesday to plan for a capital campaign in 2021. Free resources available at AmyEisenstein.com and CapitalCampaignToolkit.com.
#GivingTuesday is an incredible social movement and revenue generator for the nonprofit sector. Yet, it takes significant time for an organization to plan and deliver a messaging strategy on a day that has much competition with other worthy organizations.
To make the most of the effort, consider making Giving Tuesday one piece of a multi-part, month-long year-end strategy. Kick-off your fundraising with a crisp, multi-channel messaging blitz that starts on Giving Tuesday. Then, continue the messaging for the next four Tuesdays of December. Pivot the message from #GivingTuesday but continue the focus on the beneficiaries of your services and the opportunities to make an impact yet this year. This will help your message stand-out for a longer duration of time and improve the response from your donors.
GivingTuesay is great for massive attention. But that attention could last just one day. Here’s how to convert a day of giving into long-term support:
1. Every donor receives a thank-you. Small donors may also be first-time donors. Leave them all with a great impression after GivingTuesday, and it’s likely they’ll give multiple times, and larger amounts, across the year.
2. New donors get special attention. Thank them for their first gift to your organization and tell them how their gift will be used.
3. Stewardship continues 3-4 months later. Reiterate gratitude, tell them where their gift went, and who benefited from it. This is still a thank-you, not an appeal.
4. Stewardship continues 3-4 months later.
Remind donors of the impact of their support. Personalize your message, and in another (you guessed it!) 3-4 months, begin your appeal!
Giving Tuesday is an excellent tool to raise money for your organization, as long as it is part of your overall development plan and not the “Hail Mary” pass to make the budget at the end of the year. Working with our clients putting their development plans together, we suggest that a Giving Tuesday campaign is part of the plan. Some methods that have had success have required a match from an individual, company, foundation, and/or board. Giving Tuesday is used as a launch for the end of the calendar year fundraising campaign. Done correctly it can raise significant dollars for your organization as you take advantage of the groundswell of marketing and awareness that occurs around Giving Tuesday. If your organization is going to participate, make sure it is worth the effort!
Giving Days inspire donors and generous gifts. Your charity focuses on clear messaging, developing challenge or match gifts, and thanking donors.
And then what? Have plans now for how to continue with your new and repeat donors. My shorthand? “Have TEEA with your donors.”
Thank beyond the official letter. What can you do? A call from a volunteer? Send drawing from a participant? Develop a TikTok-length video clip of staff saying thank you? Make it mission-related if you can.
Educate about the cause or mission you serve. Stories of success are best, with very brief factoids about impact.
Engage offers donors a way to connect beyond money. Give people a way to help with Time, Talent, Treasure, or their networks.
Ask again only after you’ve had TEEA. Too many requests is one of the top reasons people switch charities. Knowing impact is one of the top reasons people stick with others.
The best advice from all of us at iWave? After Giving Tuesday has come and gone, it’s time to screen and segment your donors.
A fantastic way to segment your donors is by running them through a wealth screening. This approach enables your development or research team to segment hundreds or thousands of individuals you know very little about into a prioritized list of prospects. From there, you can see if there are donors in your Giving Tuesday list that have a high capacity and inclination to donate a major gift to your organization – possibly even beyond what they’ve already given!
In iWave, we make that part easy. But we also put the reins in your hands. The information you get from a wealth screening is only as valuable as your investment into what you do next. Our transparent, customizable results will allow you to plan ahead for your 2021 fundraising goals.