Make the most of Giving Tuesday

November 8, 2016

November 29 is #GivingTuesday, and there’s still time – and good reason – to get in on it, because last year, more than $116 million was donated on this day alone.

Here are some simple things you can do to prepare over the next few weeks:

Engage some #GivingTuesday ambassadors as messengers

Encourage donors, staff, board members, volunteers, and fans to share their thoughts on the impact of your organization. Prior to the 29th, ask a handful of people why they care about and support your work, then use those answers to create emotionally connective content, which can be far more powerful than your organizational voice.

Join in the #UNSelfie movement (find more on the #GivingTuesday website) by asking ambassadors to post #UNSelfie pictures on social media, tagging your organization. Then re-post them on your own social platforms and website throughout the day to motivate others through the actions of real people.

Write some blog posts for a few days around #GivingTuesday that feature a donor or beloved staff member to demonstrate the human impact and community nature of your organization. Don’t forget to expand the reach of this content through social channels and hashtags.

Integrate #GivingTuesday into your year-end plan

Add your #GivingTuesday communications to your year-end fundraising and marketing plan to ensure that your messages are clear and don’t conflict with other appeals at the same time.

Use tools provided on the #GivingTuesday website, which include a full suite of graphics, communication resources, and ideas to help you be successful. But don’t stop there. Take the #GivingTuesday logo and create images that tell your specific story, which can be used in emails, home page banners, social media avatars, blog posts, digital ads, and more.

Consider setting a special goal for the day to set it off from the rest of your year-end fundraising. It could be the funding needed to start a pilot project, to purchase a piece of equipment, or provide scholarships to students. Or it could simply be a dollar or donor goal. Make sure you use social media channels to update donors throughout the day. Updates can be highly motivational.

Always remember, even though social media and online communications can have a casual in-the-moment feel, the most effective efforts are planned out and written in advance with graphics, pictures, and videos chosen and prepped so you’re not forced to be clever on demand.

Lead with online efforts

#GivingTuesday is primarily meant to be an online activity, so make sure you’re ready. Assess your home page, donation form, and email formats to determine how they stack up against donor expectations. This isn’t about employing the latest hot design technique, it’s about ensuring that donors feel comfortable and secure making a donation, and feel delighted after they’ve done so.

Small changes can have big impact. Make sure your donation button is obvious, easy to find, and links directly to the donation form, not an intermediate page. Remove unnecessary questions or distractions from the donation form. Make sure your emails are mobile-responsive, as more than half of your recipients are likely to open them on a phone. And don’t forget to spend a little extra time writing refreshed content for your donation confirmation page and e-mail auto-responder.

And finally, be sure to include plans for how you’ll thank and engage with your #GivingTuesday donors to ensure that they feel appreciated and proud of their support. Through a simple email follow-up, you can share campaign results and revisit some donor testimonials, #UNSelfie posts, and program accomplishments to help supporters understand how their donation has become a part of a true community of caring.