Getting Noticed on #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is a powerful swell of support for philanthropy across the world. With over 1.5 million gifts given last year, it’s clear donors are paying attention. Make sure your content helps your mission stand out on Giving Tuesday!

Check out our video below for three tips for outstanding #GivingTuesday content, even with the smallest of budgets.

Do you need help planning your biggest #GivingTuesday yet? …or launching your first? No one has planned and launched more online giving days that Groundwork Digital. Fill out your contact info below and we’ll get back to you with a free, 30-minute #GivingTuesday consultation.

Last Minute Tips for #GivingTuesday

I know, I know …we should have started our #GivingTuesday planning many months ago. And most of you have. But there are still a few last-second items you should consider to give your fundraising on December 1 an extra boost.

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The following are some quick, easy-to-implement tactics for getting the most out of #GivingTuesday:

Map out a strong email schedule

Oh, the dreaded unsubscribe. While it’s true that we don’t want to spam our donors on any channel, let alone email, too many of us are actually sending far too few emails for fear of our donors unsubscribing. But from experience, we’ve seen some of the top performing email programs sending donors, on average, one solicitation per week.

Especially on a day like #GivingTuesday, when the leading nonprofits in your region will be carpet bombing your potential donors, it’s imperative that you have a robust email strategy with several touch points across the day. That doesn’t mean you should be sloppy with your email – content still matters. So what does a good email strategy for #GivingTuesday look like? Here are a few tips:

  • Provide meaningful updates. Do you have a challenge? Keep donors apprised of your progress on a regular basis. Are you raising money for something concrete that impacts a specific person (or profile of a certain type of individual)? Send an email from that person’s personal address with a story about how a donor’s gift improves their life. Make your email about more than just the ask …while also being sure to include an ask. (It is #GivingTuesday, after all)
  • Send emails that redirect your donors and constituents to content on blogs and social media.
  • Let them know when a milestone is reached and thank them for their support in the campaign. Use this a reminder to give if they haven’t already or if they have given, remind them to share on social media and via email to encourage their friends to give.
  • Send more email than you’re comfortable sending. If a recipient is going to unsubscribe because of a #GivingTuesday ask, they probably aren’t going to become a donor anyway. Focus on an email strategy that ensures you hit every potential donor and not on the vocal minority who don’t want to see you in their inbox.

Identify at least 10 online ambassadors

If you already have 10, then find 10 more! The more individuals you have spreading buzz about your cause on #GivingTuesday, the more new donors you will connect with. Go to Twitter, search hashtags that relate to your organization’s mission, and find Twitter users who are including those mission-related hashtags in their posts. Then, analyze the Twitter users’ bios to determine if they have online influence beyond Twitter. If the answer is yes, ask them to be an ambassador on #GivingTuesday.

Produce a compelling #GivingTuesday video

According to a recent Georgia Tech study on Kickstarter data, crowdfunding projects with a video perform far better than those without a video. Perhaps even more compelling, a recent Google study found that 57 percent of donors who watch a nonprofit’s video will eventually go on to make a gift to that nonprofit. 57 percent. So yeah, make sure you have a coherent and engaging video to host on your website and share via email and social networks on #GivingTuesday.

Justin Ware is the Vice President for Digital Fundraising Strategy at ScaleFunder, where clients use the ScaleFunder Crowdfunding module to launch successful #GivingTuesday campaigns.


3 Tips for AFTER #GivingTuesday

GivingTuesday Logo 2013It’s the day after #GivingTuesday and your organization is flush with first-time donors. You had a strategy to boost participation and acquire new donors. That strategy worked great, but now what? After a big online fundraising rush comes the real work of retaining those new donors. The following are a few tips to help you turn someone’s online impulse to give into a lifetime of support for your mission.

Thank first time donors: They’re online donors and so far, that’s the only way they’ve supported your organization. So be sure you thank them in a clever, engaging, and (most importantly) online way. Be ready with a brief, funny or heartwarming, and shareable video that reinforces their gift and makes them want to give more. Produce an infographic you can share with these new donors …a top ten list of why their support is so important …an email from someone who’s benefitted from your mission. Something, anything online that catches their attention and thanks them in a way that leaves them wanting more.

…but don’t forget about mail. Studies tell us dual channel (online and mail) donors give more money per gift and over time. That’s especially true when the donor receives follow up information from the nonprofit via both mail and online. So send them a welcome packet in the mail. Then study their response. Is online the only way they continue to interact? If so, significantly reduce the amount of mail they receive going forward. Then, reallocate those savings from reducing your mail program to add more staff and technology to support your online stewardship. Obviously, you should thank all your donors who give on #GivingTuesday. Be sure to have a unique plan for the first-timers who’ve come to support your organization via the web.

Steward through great content marketing: With all we know about the power of good content and how it moves donors to give more often and acquires new donors, you should have a solid content marketing strategy in place already. With an influx of new donors from #GivingTuesday, it’s especially important you’re producing and/or sharing good content to tell your story and reinforce their intent to support your organization.

This is another component of retention. New online donors will often visit your website, Facebook page, or blog to learn more about what you do. It’s imperative you have a rich set of content ready to greet those new, curious donors and steward them toward becoming more entrenched supporters.

Online ambassadors help drive interest during crowdfunding campaigns.

Online ambassadors help drive interest during crowdfunding campaigns. Use #GivingTuesday to find more of these ambassadors who will support your mission in future online campaigns.

Find new online ambassadors: Chances are, some influential social media users gave to your organization on #GivingTuesday. In your thank you message(s), ask for the donors’ Twitter handles, Facebook profile URL, blog URLs, website links, etc. Then, review their submissions to find social media users with large online followings. There’s a decent chance many of these social media savvy new donors wield influence online and can help you raise more money during upcoming giving days and online campaigns. Identify these potential online ambassadors and build them into your online fundraising and stewardship strategies.

Justin Ware helps nonprofits build successful online fundraising and stewardship programs. To learn more about Justin’s work at Bentz Whaley Flessner, click here.