Tips for charities getting ready for #GivingTuesday

October 4, 2018
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#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving, powered by social media and collaboration.

Celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the US and the widely recognised shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.On this day, people around the world come together to give back. As the movement continues to grow in the US, other countries around the world are leading their own #GivingTuesday movements with initiatives that encourage giving in their communities.Whether you’re a seasoned #GivingTuesday fundraiser or just getting started, here are a few tips to make sure this global day of giving doesn’t sneak up on you.

Have a plan

Whether you have 3 months, 3 weeks or 3 days to plan, take the time to figure out how you will use #GivingTuesday to your charity's advantage. Will you have a year-end appeal, and if so, where will #GivingTuesday fit in? Will it kick off your Year-End campaign or just be a milestone in it? How will your #GivingTuesday messaging complement your year-end appeal? Or will you not have a Year-End Appeal and instead put all your effort into #GivingTuesday?

Know your audience

Like any fundraising campaign, the more you know about your supporters the better you can tailor your messaging and theme to get results. If you’ve run a #GivingTuesday campaign in the past, take a look at the profiles of the people who donated. Were they new or existing donors? How much did they give? Did they respond better to a specific message or on a specific channel? See my previous post about 'segmenting' your audience in this way to increase your fundraising.

Figure out your #GivingTuesday message

Once you know your audience, you can work out the best message to attract donors. Decide if it should be framed around a specific goal. For instance, you could set a 24-hour fundraising goal on #GivingTuesday towards a new school building, or you could use the day to attract more monthly donors. Don’t forget to use the innate urgency of the day in your messaging. Your supporters only have 24 hours to help you reach your goal. Also let them know how donating now will make a difference in reaching your goal. To incentivise it for an extra boost, you may want to consider asking some of your major donors to match your supporters' donations or to make a large once-off donation if you reach your #GivingTuesday goal.

Organise your material

Now that you have a plan, and you know your audience and message, it’s time to start bringing it all together. You’ll need to start a list of all the communication tools you’ll need for #GivingTuesday. This will include: e-mail series to kick-off and end the campaign with, a social media calendar, videos or photos to use on your fundraising page, and of course your online fundraising page on GivenGain. Make sure you have as much in place as possible before the campaign starts.

Engage your supporters

Don’t wait till #GivingTuesday to engage your supporters.

  • Start speaking to potential major donors who can match your donations as soon as you have a basic campaign plan.
  • Then make a list of all your charity champions (supporters who always give and share everything you do) and begin reaching out to them personally (by phone or e-mail) about one week before #GivingTuesday. Ask them to give early (even before #GivingTuesday) and to share the campaign with their networks. This team of champions will help create momentum and create a sense of FOMO for those who join in later.
  • Finally, use your own channels to build excitement sharing about #GivingTuesday and your plans for the day in the weeks and days leading up to it. Do a countdown and be clear about the goals you hope to achieve.
  • On the day, send out e-mails, share updates on social media and celebrate each milestone. Once it’s over make sure to send a thank-you e-mail to everyone who donated.

If you are still looking for more tips to make your #GivingTuesday a success, be sure to take a look at givingtuesdaysa.orgforresources and an official GivenGain toolkit free of charge.

If you’ve got a cause you care about, I’m here to help you grow and fund it. My name is Wendy van Eyck and I am obsessed with teaching non-profit fundraisers and marketers with few resources, little time and high targets how to generate the funding they need to bring change to a community they care about. Find free resources and ideas at van EyckNon-Profit Communications Expert