It won’t be long before retailers start talking about Black Friday. And, before we know, online retailers will soon begin touting the unbeatable deals they plan to offer on Cyber Monday. Only a second after Cyber Monday concludes #GivingTuesday will arrive. So, my question is, is your nonprofit ready for #GivingTuesday?
While some nonprofits treat #GivingTuesday like a 24-hour fundraising blitz, others start weeks in advance, using the day-of as an aggressive last push to help achieve their fundraising and donor engagement goals. Regardless of which approach is best suited to achieving your nonprofit’s goals and objectives, keep these best practices top-of-mind:
Make it easy for donors to give
We’ve all been in an unending checkout line at the store – nobody likes it and the same can be said for a donation process that is time-intensive. Ensure any data collection forms you have developed are clear, concise and gather the most pertinent information you need to accurately tag/sort/catalog funds raised on #GivingTuesday in your donor database.
Make it fun
Human beings are competitive by nature – and so are nonprofits, by virtue of the fact that one’s donor pool isn’t unlimited. Consider how contests, competitions and prizing may factor into your #GivingTuesday campaign, particularly with how these clever twists and incentives can increase social sharing and, by extension, hashtag usage.
What motivates donors to give to your organization? Which programs and services are most widely supported? What proof points have successfully been leveraged to drive action – i.e. donations – in the past? Collecting these insights will help to craft a series of asks that will be well-received, well-supported and generate a #GivingTuesday campaign outcome that positively boosts your organization’s bottom line.
Know your sweet spot
What was the average size of the gifts your organization secured during #GivingTuesday 2014? While being ambitious is admirable, you also don’t want donors to feel turned off by your ask. You want to ask for an amount that is manageable (and, of course, give options for bigger gifts) yet also makes donors feel like they are making a real impact. One technique that can help with achieving this objective is correlating various donation amounts with how the funds will be used. For example, $25 may buy one member a one-month bus pass to get to and from the program; $100 may cover the cost of new bedding for an adolescent living in transitional housing; etc.
In 2013, #GivingTuesday yielded $19 million in nonprofit donations. That number grew to a staggering $45.68 million in 2015. While it’s great to see a global philanthropic event growing, it also means an increasing number of nonprofits are vying for donor’s dollars. Think of ways (that are on-brand, of course) to stand out from the crowd and both re-engage existing and cultivate new donors on December 1, 2015.
Whether they last for weeks or are concentrated into a 24-hour window, the most effective #GivingTuesday campaigns proactively address “what’s next?” For example, if your nonprofit is fortunate enough to grow its donor base by 10 percent, how will those new donors be engaged moving forward? How will they know their donation made an impact? If #GivingTuesday is the tipping point for reaching a critical campaign milestone, how will you communicate that to the donors who helped you achieve that goal? And, most importantly, how will you say “thank you” and ensure that each donors feels recognized as one individual who made a difference, not just a number in the sea of many supporters. If your 2015 #GivingTuesday action plan has yet to be finalized, take the time to address “what’s next” before 12:01 a.m. on December 1st arrives.
While the power of #GivingTuesday 2015 remains to be seen, one thing is for certain: it’s a dedicated day of online giving, a great feel-good way to kick-off the holiday season and an opportunity for each and every nonprofit to remind stakeholders why their work and mission are critical to those they serve.