Are You Ready for Giving Tuesday 2018?

Giving Tuesday is coming up next month.  Are you ready?

The “International Day of Giving” happens every year on the Tuesday after US Thanksgiving.  In the last number of years, this has been a time dominated by sales, giveaways, and demands to Buy! Buy! Buy! as we head into the holiday season.  Giving Tuesday is the nonprofit community’s answer to all that commercialism.

Giving Tuesday may not be relevant for all nonprofits, especially if you are running your own capital campaign during this time or are busy with annual giving.  But if you have a cause that resonates with large groups of people, such as environmental or humanitarian work, Giving Tuesday presents a great opportunity.  Use this event to share your mission with the world — and maybe give your fundraising efforts a boost as we hurtle toward the end of 2018.

And it’s a good time to get in on the action.  In 2016, Giving Tuesday participants took in $177 million in online donations.  In 2017, there was a massive jump of 69% bringing total donations to over $300 million!

Could your nonprofit use a bit of that love right now?  Here are some things to work on between now and November 27.

Create an online giving portal

On the iWave Blog, we haven’t talked much about online giving.  But it really is the way of the future, at least in terms of events like Giving Tuesday.

Imagine: one of your organization’s cheerleaders drives some serious social media traffic to your website encouraging others to give — but your website doesn’t have an online giving portal!  Prospective donors have to call or email just to talk about making a donation.  Like it or not, think of your online giving portal as you would with online shopping.  If it’s not simple, you’re more likely to get frustrated and give up.  Therefore, find a simple pathway for brand new visitors to land on a donation page, enter details without hassle (don’t forget to include a newsletter signup option), and submit.

Remember to offer different sizes of donations so donors can choose the gift that makes the most sense to them.

Here are some resources to consult when building an online giving portal:

6 Steps to Create a Donation Website for Your Nonprofit
7 Online Donation Tools to Delight Your Donors
Top 17 Online Donation Tools

Run a wealth screen

Major gift prospects and donors may participate in Giving Tuesday, but you may find the most success with donors who have historically contributed small and medium sized gifts.

Run an iWave wealth screen to help you segment your donor database and identify these types of donors.  You could even segment by age and focus on the younger demographic, which is typically more tech savvy.  Determine 3-4 target donor groups and generate reports in iWave or your donor management system to view high-level summaries of each market’s overall giving capacity and philanthropic breakdowns.  These findings may influence the types of donations you offer on your online portal!

Turn donors and volunteers into “evangelists”

Planning ahead also gives you the opportunity to incorporate an outreach strategy for major gift donors and prospects.  Don’t see Giving Tuesday as a threat to your major gifts program.  Focus instead on leveraging Giving Tuesday as an opportunity to start a conversation, nurture relationships, and better time your next gift ask.

As well as contributing gifts themselves, donors and other stakeholders (like board members and volunteers) could become Giving Tuesday champions for your cause.  Maybe someone connected to your organization has a large Twitter following or a smash-hit YouTube channel.  Within your prospect research tool, maybe you’ve identified your donors are connected to some very influential folks.  It’s time to get these people involved.  Ask them to share your message on their social media channels.  See if you can make your organization go viral.

What are you doing to prepare for Giving Tuesday 2018?

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About the author: Ryan McCarvill joined the iWave team in 2016. Ryan enjoys meeting and learning from nonprofit professionals, researching trends in the nonprofit community, and offering strategies for development teams to use iWave’s solutions to meet and exceed their fundraising goals.

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