T’was the night before #GivingTuesday in the nonprofit sphere,
When some organizations would try peer-to-peer.
Their websites were built and their platforms were ready
And fundraisers knew they must breathe slow and steady,
But still in their minds there lingered some fright:
“How do I know if I’m doing this right?”
(Apologies to Clement Clarke Moore).
#GivingTuesday is later this month. Are you ready?
This online celebration of generosity is now in its seventh year, and many organizations find it worth their while to run a 24-hour fundraising campaign, or kick off their year-end fundraising on this day.
Whether this is your first year tackling #GivingTuesday, or you’re an old pro, we’ve got seven reminders to keep you on track, and get the very most out of #GivingTuesday.
1. Tell Your Story
The thing that makes donors give isn’t how flashy your video is or how clever your emails are, it’s the story you tell. #GivingTuesday is a chance to tell the story of the work you’re doing and the impact it makes. Make that story the center of every message you send.
The way #GivingTuesday has grown is exciting, but with that growth has come a lot of competition. Your organization is vying for donor attention with thousands of other great nonprofits. Telling a relatable story helps you stand out of the crowd and connect with donors’ hearts.
Research shows that donors are more likely to give when they feel a connection to the cause and are inspired by a narrative. Character-driven stories with an emotional component activate empathy and encourage giving.
Take a look at World Bicycle Relief’s “Forward” campaign, which focuses on using bicycles to help girls access education. They tell their story by introducing us to two particular girls who live in rural Africa, Angela and Dianah.
By showing us the details of the girls’ hopes and dreams for their future, and how a bicycle will help make it possible, World Bicycle Relief makes it real. It packs an emotional punch–we want to help Angela become a doctor and Dianah become a college professor.
2. Test Your Tech
You only have a short time to raise money on #GivingTuesday, so don’t lose one of those precious hours to a technical snafu. Once you’ve got your online campaign all set up, it’s smart to do a little troubleshooting. Make sure to:
- Make a test donation to determine that payment processing is in working order.
- View your campaign in different web browsers, just in case something funky happens in the ones you don’t usually use. (Cough, cough, Internet Explorer).
- View your campaign on a mobile device
- Make a test donation on a mobile device
3. Rally Your Troops
#GivingTuesday is a big deal in the nonprofit sphere, but most of your donors probably don’t have it circled on their calendars. They are almost definitely not thinking about it in September, or counting down the days. It’s more likely they’re thinking about all the stuff they have to do in the holiday season, and wondering how November flew by so fast. For our own good, we need to remind our supporters #GivingTuesday is coming.
Rally your supporters by promoting your campaign via email and social media. It’s best to start this at the beginning of November, but if you haven’t, that’s okay. Even a single message on Cyber Monday is better than starting cold on Tuesday.
Prepare your donors for #GivingTuesday by:
- Sending an email blast about the campaign
- Posting on social media (use our free ###GivingTuesday social images)
- Sharing #GivingTuesday content
If you’re running a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, check in with your fundraisers today. Make sure they know how to use the resources in their fundraising toolkit, and are ready to go.
Remind your fundraising folks:
- Of your fundraising goal, and what kind of impact it will have
- To share campaign posts on social media
- How grateful you are that they’re helping your cause
4. Keep Your Message Positive
#GivingTuesday is a celebratory day. It’s about making a difference and doing something positive for the world. Since we’re encouraging people to do a positive thing, we should do it in a positive way.
While shocking stats and scary stories may get attention, the shock doesn’t necessarily pay off. Decades of marketing research demonstrates that negative framing almost always has a negative impact on the subject’s decision to act. People will feel bad, but they probably won’t give.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t talk about tough stuff; many nonprofits exist in order to deal with very negative circumstances. It’s a matter of framing your story in a positive way. What is your organization’s solution to the negative facts you face? What does it look like when a negative circumstance is changed?
5. Go Visual
You know that a picture’s worth a thousand words, but that’s especially true online. Content with relevant graphics can receive up to 94% more views than the same content without visuals. Photography, video, and infographics are all great visual elements to boost engagement with your content.
If you’re thinking, “It’s Cyber Monday, what’s the point of telling me I need fancy graphics? I have no time to get anything!” don’t worry. We’ve got a #GivingTuesday Social Media Toolkit with a free package of photos and graphics you can use to promote your #GivingTuesday campaign.
6. Update And Celebrate
Did you hit a goal? How close are you? Let your supporters know throughout the day by giving them regular updates.
Don’t be afraid that you’ll be obnoxious–it takes more reminders than you think for someone to take action. In marketing, this is called “effective frequency”, and while there’s a lot of debate, common wisdom says it takes seven encounters with an advertisement before it makes a significant impact.
Chances are, you’ll get bored talking about your campaign long before your audience is bored of hearing about it.
Take a minute today to think about milestones you’re hoping to reach tomorrow. Make a note of things to celebrate–your first donation, your first hundred dollars, reaching a match, or your fiftieth donor.
As you celebrate, remember to thank the donors who made it all possible.
7. Stay Engaged
#GivingTuesday is based in social media. Social media is conversational–it’s just as much about your followers as it is about your message In addition to your planned messages and posts, stay engaged with your supporters online. Check in with your platforms throughout the day to re-tweet and share your supporters’ messages about your campaign, as well as your own content. Mention and thank those who shared your posts. Give shout-outs to donors as they make donations during the day. Promptly reply to any comments you receive online.
Grey2K USA keeps the conversation going by sharing their supporters’ tweets.
Go, Go, #GivingTuesday!
You’ve got this. Celebrate your milestones and engage with your supporters tomorrow with eye-catching visuals, heartwarming positive stories, and easy-to-use technology, and have your best #GivingTuesday yet!
For More #GivingTuesday Resources, Check Out:
This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.