This year has been an unpredictable hot mess. For many nonprofits that have had to fundraise while minding social distancing protocols, it’s meant transitioning to a virtual format. While online fundraising isn’t a new concept, it’s now more necessary than ever.
Even pre-COVID, organizations like the Fiver Children’s Foundation, were already taking advantage of digital fundraising.
We sat down with Melissa Benjamin from Fiver Children’s Foundation to chat about her experience growing digital fundraising for their #GivingTuesday and year-end fundraising campaigns in recent years to find out key insights for running an effective digital year-end fundraising strategy during Covid.
The Fiver Children’s Foundation is a nonprofit focused on youth development by making a 10-year commitment to children from underserved communities in New York. Through year-round out-of-school time programs and a summer camp, Fiver empowers youth to make ethical and healthy decisions, to become engaged citizens, and to succeed in school and beyond.
Last year, Fiver raised over $33K online with CauseVox and #GivingTuesday.
If you’re interested in learning about how they pulled off a widely successful campaign, check out our conversation with Melissa Benjamin from our Nonprofit Leader Panel during our Digital Fundraising Summit:
Lessons Learned From Last Year’s #GivingTuesday Campaign
1. It’s Okay To Pivot
Like many organizations, you’ve likely scrapped your original fundraising plans and pivoted. And that’s okay…and in times like these, it’s necessary.
According to Melissa Benjamin, Fiver’s Director of Development, not being able to pivot to digital fundraising equates to “a lot of money being left on the table”. This rings especially true now that more and more people are forced to get comfortable with technology, given the current circumstances.
Key Takeaway: If you’ve been hesitant to go digital, you may be blown away by the results of an online campaign. Check out our tips on creating a successful fundraising page.
2. Recruit Potential Fundraisers (And Start Early)
With every successful campaign, the first step is to identify and recruit potential fundraisers. For Melissa, the recruitment phase starts relatively early. Last year, initial conversations began in October, which allowed interested participants to create individual CauseVox pages in advance.
By tapping into their existing networks, Melissa recruited peer-to-peer fundraisers from their board, young professionals committee, advocates committee, volunteers, alumni, and organization staff. In total, these groups accounted for about 60-70 key supporters.
While not all 60-70 participated, rounding up a list of potential fundraisers gave Melissa a head start on recruitment and allowed for enough lead time to follow-up with anyone who didn’t respond.
Key takeaway: Approach people with a long history of engagement with your org even if they don’t necessarily have money or influence. Passionate constituents (which can be few and far between) are the true lifeblood of an organization. Learn more tips about planning a successful #GivingTuesday Campaign here.
3. Ensure Your Fundraisers Are Fully Equipped
During the time leading up to the launch of their #GivingTuesday campaign, Fiver created a fundraising packet replete with info about Giving Tuesday, a week-by-week breakdown of what fundraisers should be doing during that time, sample email and text templates, and social media posts.
No matter what each fundraiser’s individual goal is, “try to provide as much information and as many tools and resources as possible so that fundraisers feel confident to hit their target.”
Key Takeaway: Don’t be afraid of over-communicating! Regularly check-in and be sure to provide a plethora of information and a fundraiser toolkit so your fundraisers feel confident.
4. Encourage Early Donations
Rather than competing for donations on #GivingTuesday, Fiver encourages their donors to donate in the days leading up to #GivingTuesday.
Compiling feedback from previous fundraisers, Fiver found that making noise and promoting only on #GivingTuesday is generally not effective because other organizations across the globe are doing the same.
As a result, Fiver encourages their donors to give early, which makes the whole campaign less of a lift later on, thus alleviating the pressure of meeting a $40K goal in under 24 hours.
5. Don’t Make #GivingTuesday A Deadline
For Fiver, the end of the day on #GivingTuesday doesn’t mark the end of the campaign. In fact, Fiver extends their #GivingTuesday to the end of the year. Viewing it as the “digital arm of end of the year fundraising efforts”, Fiver’s #GivingTuesday campaign is included in the messaging for their end-of-year mailouts.
Key Takeaway: #GivingTuesday shouldn’t be a hard stop to your fundraising efforts. Instead, view it as a springboard that builds momentum for year end giving.
How CauseVox Supported Fiver On #GivingTuesday
With intuitive features, CauseVox has helped Fiver raise more with less effort. Did you know that:
Easy, Mobile-Optimized Donation Process Helped Fiver Raise More.
With conversion + mobile-optimized donation pages, donors were able to easily give to Fiver on any device. From a desktop monitor to a smartphone, CauseVox’s mobile-optimized pages provide a great donor experience with a < 15-second donation process.
The easier the process is for donors, the more donations you’ll receive.
Donors Covering Processing Fees = More Funds To Take Home.
It might only be 30 cents, but processing fees can add up quickly. By allowing donors to choose to cover their own credit card fees, Fiver receives more of the donation which is especially valuable when it comes to lower denomination gifts.
Monthly Giving Options Drive Long-term Gifts During Giving Days.
While one-time donors are more common during #GivingTuesday campaign, by enabling an option to specify giving frequency, Fiver saw an unexpected increase in the number of monthly recurring donors.
Easy Personal Fundraising Page Setup = More People Fundraising
Setting up personal fundraising pages was an easy process. Fundraisers could create pages in under 60 seconds with a clunk-free setup process.
With an easy personal fundraising page creation process, you’ll get more fundraisers set up and equipped to fundraise for your organization.
Quick And Easy #GivingTuesday Campaign Creation
Fiver could easily clone, brand, and tailor a previous campaign to their needs and have it ready to go within minutes.
Easily Manage Gifts With A Hassle-Free Database
For everyone who isn’t a “website maven”, the overall customization of their campaign site was “simple and straightforward”. With CauseVox, Melissa was able to seamlessly manage and track donations in real-time. Better yet, she could also view donor data all in one place.
Gearing Up For #GivingTuesday? CauseVox Can Power-Up Your Fundriasing
We know you’re busy, especially during a time of the year when there’s a high volume of donations being processed. With #GivingTuesday just around the corner (Dec 1, 2020), we’re here to make your life easier. So, if you’re spinning your wheels on what to do for #GivingTuesday, take a page from Fiver’s book.
With CauseVox, we’ll help you raise more with less clunk in today’s progressively digital world.