This post was originally published October 31st, 2017
The establishment of #GivingTuesday in 2012 altered the traditional end-of-year donation landscape for nonprofits. We know that charitable giving has been on the up and up for some time now but #GivingTuesday totally changed the digital fundraising game.
Yes, year-end fundraising is basically clockwork for any seasoned nonprofit development director. You could probably run this campaign in your sleep (and I mean that knowing that you are doing it without sleep cause it is a ton of work). However, why don’t you try shaking things up this year and use #GivingTuesday as the launch pad into your well established year-end fundraising plan. This allows you to start your fundraising season off with a bang but allows those good times to keep on rolling after.
It seems logical but sometimes the simplest step is the easiest to forget (I am guilty of this). Don’t forget to register your organization for the big day. Click here to sign up.
Like we said above, use #GivingTuesday to launch your end of the year campaign. If you brand it as the first event within a larger campaign, it acts as a natural kickoff point for holiday donation. In addition, just because #GivingTuesday is only one day doesn’t mean you can only fundraise on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Get people in the giving mood before by sending preliminary emails to remind them and to give the option to donate early.
Although your two campaigns will be interconnected, retain separate goals for each campaign. Maybe your #GivingTuesday goals will include “attract 15 new donors” or a certain monetary amount. You want to be able to evaluate both campaigns separately as well as take a more holistic view of their successes.
Get a clock
Use #GivingTuesday to start the end of the year clock. Put a countdown clock on your website and continue reminding potential donors via email. Stress that they have a limited period of time to give a tax deductible charitable donation before the year ends. People are more likely to take action when they feel they have a limited period of time to do so. It’s not wrong to use this to your advantage, it’s just smart fundraising!
Recurring or Matching Gifts
Give folks the option of recurring gifts starting on #GivingTuesday through the end of the year OR into the New Year. Get a board member or corporation to sponsor matching gifts. When people see that they are able to double the impact of their donation they are more likely to give. #GivingTuesday is the perfect time to bring up matching or reoccuring gifts because people are getting into the holiday spirit and ready to make a difference before the year is over.
If you are ensure on how to secure a matching gift, consider talking to a major gift donor who has recently given and ask if you can redirect their donation to encourage even more giving. They are giving to you as an investment and emphasize that this is the best way to maximize their investment. They are going to love to be of even more help!
Use the Heifer Model
It’s the holiday season and people need to get gifts for their friends and family. Like Heifer, allow donors to give in the name of another as a gift or in memory of a deceased loved one. This sort of giving operates as a transfer of goods. You are providing them with a meaningful gift and they are providing you with funding.
Because of this have something prepared for your donors to receive in return; a personalized letter to represent the donation for example. Make sure that whatever you give them shows the impact of their gift; where the money is going and how it will impact lives.
Heifer is the gold standard for this kind of giving. You are able to see the impact of your gift on a micro level and have a TON of donation options. This may not be possible for your organization but the more personalized you can get the better.
Tell a Story
No matter what your organization does you have a compelling story to tell. These are the stories that move potential donors to give. Think about the services that your organization provides and think about what would happen if you weren’t providing them. How would lives be impacted? In there lies the human connection and you will be able to craft a campaign message that will resonate and engage.
THANK YOU ^ 100000000
After #GivingTuesday thank everyone and their mother. You literally cannot say thank you enough. Use handwritten notes, emails and videos. In these thank you messages show how much you were able to raise, what that money will do and how much more you need to make an even BIGGER difference.
Remember it’s an emotional appeal. Use your storytelling tools and remind people that your campaign is still ongoing. #GivingTuesday is your catalyst for end of year giving but without thank yous your campaign will fizzle out.
Charity: Water says thank you to its donors for its fifth anniversary. Consider using a similar model for your #GivingTuesday thank yous.
You don’t want to miss out on #GivingTuesday. It’s an awesome way to boost your donations and serves as a perfect beginning to your year-end campaign! Remember, it’s the holiday season and people want to give, you just need to give them a viable way to do so.
If you have any more #GivingTuesday suggestions please comment below! As always, please reach out with any questions, we love hearing from you!