Doesn’t it seem like the major holiday season begins earlier and earlier every year?
Thankfully, charitable giving rises alongside the holiday spirit. In fact, more charitable donations are made at the end of the year than any other time. One way to kickstart the season of giving is by participating in #GivingTuesday. This annual “Day of Giving” event that takes place on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving and has helped to amplify the charitable message of the year-end.
#Giving Tuesday has brought the idea of “holiday giving” to the masses.
But the beginnings of this international day of giving were quite humble. Just six years ago, the 92 Street Y in NYC and the United Nations Foundation pondered how they could cut through all the noise of Black Friday and bring back the spirit of giving. What started out as a simple idea quickly transformed into what is now #GivingTuesday.
Last year, #GivingTuesday saw a significant increase in donations, growing from $116 million in online donations in 2015 to a whopping $177 million in 2016 (that’s a 44% increase!)
“In 2016, $177 million was donated to nonprofits on #GivingTuesday…” tweet this
Before you know it, #GivingTuesday 2017 will be here. Okay, we know what you’re thinking: it’s way too early to start planning! But that’s not the case! In fact, it’s never too early to start thinking about how your nonprofit or cause can get in on the action.
November 28th, 2017 is just around the corner. To help coordinate your #GivingTuesday 2017 campaign, follow these simple steps:
1. Start Preparations Early
People don’t just give because they’re asked to. They give because they’re motivated by the story of a friend, a video you post on social media, or the client spotlight in your eNewsletter. Giving is the result of inspiration.
So start your #GivingTuesday planning by considering who you want to inspire and how you want to do so. Since #GivingTuesday is, for the most part, fueled by online donations, it’s common for nonprofits and charities to focus on online audiences including those on your email list and social media followers.
Then, think about how you want to incorporate this campaign into your annual fundraising plan. For some nonprofits, #GivingTuesday is the perfect chance to kick it off a large-scale year-end fundraising campaign or, at the very least, give it an extra boost. If this sounds like something you want to do, go ahead and integrate your goals and plan instead of trying to create something entirely new and different for a single day. With so many competing messages and calls to action around this time of year, it’s best to stick to one powerful message and theme that carries through the entire holiday season.
On the other hand, if you haven’t considered a year-end campaign yet, you can still capitalize on the energy and resources available for #GivingTuesday participants by holding a day-long event to inspire and activate your donors. For inspiration, check out the this customer story from The Adventure Project.
So what exactly does #GivingTuesday planning look like?
Think about #GivingTuesday as you would any other fundraising campaign. It’s not just a 24-hour event (even if it only “runs” that long). Instead, it’s an opportunity for storytelling, donor cultivation, and a way to build awareness around your organization and mission.
Follow these fundraising plan best practices, including:
- Set a goal based on your organization’s needs
- Note your go-to strategies for success (such as a particular type of fundraising campaign, ideal length of campaign, etc.)
- Size-up your resources, including staff support and budget
- Create a thorough plan that addresses:
- Campaign audience and the message that will best resonate with them
- Any additional items of note
Armed with basic information about campaign planning, map out your own #GivingTuesday campaign.
- Decide if you’re integrating your #GivingTuesday message into an established year-end campaign, or if #GivingTuesday will be a standalone campaign
- Establish a fundraising goal and a thorough fundraising plan
2. Use Your Resources
#GivingTuesday.org is known for its extensive set of resources to help nonprofits plan for the big day, whether you started thinking about the campaign in January or October.
Between weekly calls and Google+ Hangouts to frequent blog posts and online tools with tips and updates, there’s ample support before, during, and after #GivingTuesday
As you’re probably well aware, nonprofit budgets are tighter than ever, which could limit the size and scope of your #GivingTuesday campaign. Therefore, maximizing your resources is essential.
Here are a few ways to take advantage of the tools available to you:
#GivingTuesday Website: Visit #GivingTuesday.org, which is chock-full of resources, results from previous years, case studies, and more. Their toolkit has ideas, logos and branding materials, videos, and more. They also regularly update their blog with examples from other organizations that participated in #GivingTuesday, general announcements, and best practices.
Your Organization’s Community: Often, your best resource is your current base of donors and other supporters. They can help spread the word that you’re participating in #GivingTuesday and are most likely to donate on the big day. Ask them to share why they plan to support you on #GivingTuesday on social media, and then use those stories as inspiration and a call to action to rally others to give.
The CauseVox Resource Database & Case Studies: In the last few years there’s been an increase 24-hour giving campaigns. Thus, there’s no shortage of case studies and best practices to help you plan your own. CauseVox’s learning center and blog are a great place to start. Don’t forget to check out these case studies on Project Renewal’s and Grey2k’s experiences with #GivingTuesday.
- Join the #GivingTuesday campaign as a partner to start receiving updates and information as soon as possible.
- Set a date to start talking to your community about #GivingTuesday so they can help you reach your goals.
- Read up on successful #GivingTuesday campaigns for ideas and inspiration.
3. Try Something New
#GivingTuesday is a great opportunity to test out new fundraising techniques, messaging, and tools. Since most of the action is centered one day/campaign, you can try something new without the risk of a long-term commitment.
“#GivingTuesday is a great opportunity to test out new fundraising techniques, messaging, and tools…” tweet this
From just 6 years of data, we’ve learned that #GivingTuesday draws a notable increase in donations and online engagement, so it’s worth trying something different such as a peer-to-peer fundraiser to expand your donor base and recruit more supporters.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to launch a new website the same day or try something so out of the box that you’re setting yourself up for failure. Put all of your ideas on the table and then work with your team to figure which ones are best for a day like #GivingTuesday.
Consider one or more of these different techniques:
- Get a matching grant from a partner or major donor. Campaigns with matching grants work extremely well for short timelines. Plus, it’s publicity for both your campaign and the sponsor.
- Do something fun and different on social media such as creating a special #GivingTuesday hashtag for your campaign.
- Integrate a physical or virtual event for extra engagement on November 28th, such as a walk-a-thon or giving up a meal.
- Focus on your donors and use the day to show them why they should give during the holiday season. In other words, make use of the #GivingTuesday concept and show your community some love!
- Incorporate #GivingTuesday into your year-end fundraising campaign to kick it off with a bang!
Don’t shy away from making #GivingTuesday a chance to break out of the same ol’ thing – go big try something new.
Final Action Items:
- Hold a brainstorming session with your team. Create a list of ways to add a touch of excitement to the campaign.
- Talk to corporate partners and major donors early on about any potential matching gifts.
- Consider reusing a tactic from a previous marketing or fundraising campaign and kicking it up a notch.
#GivingTuesday is several months away, but it will be here before you know it. Start taking steps now to plan your campaign. After all, it’s easy to get sidetracked by everything else on our plates.
“#GivingTuesday is several months away, but it will be here before you know it.” tweet this
Whether you sign up on #GivingTuesday.org today or two months from now, we want you to be as prepared as possible, and the CauseVox team is here to help you have a successful fundraising campaign.
Contact us for a one-on-one demo to learn how you can use CauseVox to create, manage, and promote your #GivingTuesday campaign this year.