11 Ways Nonprofits Can Reach Donors on #GivingTuesday
By Julia Campbell
#GivingTuesday, a campaign that promotes a national day of giving that celebrates and encourages charitable giving, set for Dec. 2 this year, offers nonprofits a great opportunity to raise funds online but they need to be prepared.
Last year, approximately 370 Massachusetts nonprofits participated in #GivingTuesday
, a five-fold increase over 2012 and better than the three-fold increase in participation at the national level. And those that promoted #GivingTuesday out-performed those that did not.
Participating in #GivingTuesday is free and easy. Here are 11 ways that nonprofits can leverage the national attention and buzz:
1. Register as an official partner.
Registration is free. If you register as an official #GivingTuesday partner, your project and nonprofit could be featured nationally:
2. Use the free #GivingTuesday materials.
Add the invitation graphic to your website, check out the videos and download the helpful tip sheets and Partner Resources to create your campaign.
3. Determine your fundraising goal and announce your project.
Tangible projects work best rather than raising money for general operating expenses. Choose a project based on need and what is most likely to excite your donors and get new donors on board. Determine a fundraising goal and have a big announcement explaining your participation in #GivingTuesday.
Make it fun and exciting! Think of creative ways to announce it and potential partners who can help you spread the word.
4. Get your online ambassadors involved.
Who are your biggest online champions? The ones who forward your emails, retweets your tweets, and share your Facebook posts?
Identify a group of at least 10 people that you want to cultivate and engage to help spread the word about your #GivingTuesday campaign. These people are already comfortable online and love spreading the word about your cause. Give them something to tweet about!
5. Promote it!
Much like just putting a Donate button on your website will not in itself generate donations; just registering to participate in #GivingTuesday is not enough.
Let your supporters know that you are involved. Publicize #GivingTuesday wherever you publicize your annual appeal and end-of-year events.
Publicize it with your annual appeal and announce it at all board meetings, volunteer orientations, press releases and gala events.
6. Create a communication schedule.
Write up a timeline as to when and how often you are going to communicate with supporters regarding your campaign. Are you going to post on social media every day or every other day? Are you going to blog? How often are you going to send email blasts? Are you going to make phone calls?
When you have a time-sensitive online campaign like this, weekly emails are appropriate as long as the emails are updating the donors and potential donors on the progress and the impact of their donations. Dont forget to include acknowledgements and celebrating success in your communication schedule.
7. Work in live or virtual events.
Do you already have fundraising or awareness events scheduled for the last quarter of the year? Work in your #GivingTuesday message, put the hashtag on all materials, have a Q&A session with the director about the importance of end-of-year giving, provide stories and testimonials of the impact your organization is having on the world.
8. Get matching gifts for all gifts donated on #GivingTuesday.
Double your money with matching gifts. Identify and approach a generous donor, local foundation, or even a small business that wants to increase their profile and help you raise even more money.
9. Hold a contest.
During #GivingTuesday last year, the American Diabetes Association (through a gift from a corporate sponsor) gave away a chance to win a free trip to Hawaii via a raffle. If you donated on #GivingTuesday you were automatically entered into the raffle.
10. Remember that the person-to-person ask is always the most effective.
Urge all #GivingTuesday donors to spread the word on their social networks by providing them with sample tweets, Facebook posts, and graphics to pin or put on Instagram.
The #GivingTuesday resources page provides you with sample social media posts that you can adapt. Send these to your donors and volunteers so they can easily spread the word on the social networks they prefer.
11. Acknowledge your success!
Provide updates throughout the day on how much has been raised. Share stories about how donors and Online Ambassadors are spreading the word. Post client testimonials and impact stories to let people know that their gift is making a difference.
Now Is The Time
#GivingTuesday is a fantastic way to reach out to new donors and to bring off line donors into the online fold. It should be approached as another tool in your fundraising tool box, used to augment your effective year-end fundraising tactics.
When used effectively, #GivingTuesday can raise your nonprofits profile and expose you to a new generation of donors.
Julia Campbell, Principal at J Campbell Social Marketing, helps nonprofits use social media tools to connect with supporters and to advocate for social change. Her blog on nonprofits and social media is at www.jcsocialmarketing.com Call her at 978-578-1328 or email Julia@jcsocialmarketing.com.