Are you stuck on Giving Tuesday Campaign Ideas?
Maybe you’re even a little bit confused as to what exactly Giving Tuesday is and how your nonprofit can benefit from it?
Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving, powered by social media, collaboration, and campaigning. #GivingTuesday was created back in 2012 by the team at the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y-a cultural center in New York City and has, since then, become a global philanthropic movement.
Giving Tuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
In 2021, Giving Tuesday is set to take place on 30th November.
In 2020, smaller organizations did better and raised more and while donor retention saw a drop in the unpredictable year, donor acquisition increased. Giving Tuesday estimates 2020’s fundraising to be up 5.2% year-over-year when compared to 2019.
The volatility of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic resulted in a highly anomalous year in charitable giving. GivingTuesday has just announced #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity, set to take place on 30th November 2021.
Giving Tuesday, in its essence, harnesses the power of social media and the charitable nature of people around the world and encourages them to donate time, talents, and resources to pressing local and global challenges.
Last year, #GivingTuesday saw a significant increase in donations, growing from $177 million in online donations in 2016 to $2.47 billion in 2020. This is a 29% increase from 2019!
Many value #GivingTuesday and see it as a way to ‘counterbalance’ the consumerism of the holiday season. The idea of the day, after the Black Friday sales, is to step away from buying and focus on giving. And what says holidays more than giving back?
A variety of organizations, from local schools to big international charities, participate in #GivingTuesday.
Giving Tuesday is right for your nonprofit if you’re ready to commit for at least three to four months (September – November/December) and if you have the resources to run the accompanying campaign(s).
If you choose to commit to running a Giving Tuesday campaign, here are some of the potential benefits:
Giving Tuesday ideas aside, what the fundraising process looks like will very much depend on your nonprofit – the size of it, the resources at disposal (staff, time, money), and the priority the campaign is given.
Even so, there are a couple of steps that your nonprofit organization can follow to ensure the success of this #GivingTuesday.
If you haven’t started in July and August, now is the right time to start planning your Giving Tuesday campaign.
Pro tip: When planning, never rely on Giving Tuesday as your main source of funding. The best thing for nonprofits is to get regular donations, ideally monthly recurring ones.
“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”
Preparation should take up the bulk of your time before you start with the fundraising activities.
Ideally, you’d do a soft launch first (with the board, staff, volunteers, long-term donors) so as to get early feedback and create social proof by asking for early donations. When you hard launch your campaign, inform your supporters of your goal, the impact of their donations, any matching gifts campaigns, important sponsors, and special incentives.
This is the basic process your nonprofit can follow to run a Giving Tuesday fundraising campaign. If you’re interested in more specific Giving Tuesday ideas, continue reading the text below.
Perhaps one of the most important items to “check off” the Giving Tuesday to-do list – an online fundraising page is essential to successful fundraising. This is especially the case with Giving Tuesday, which is primarily driven by social media and online donations.
Create a dedicated #GivingTuesday fundraising/donation page. Make sure the page is responsive, fast to load, well-designed, and clear.
If a donation page is disorganized, difficult to navigate, overwhelming, or confusing, it defeats its own purpose: increasing donations.
A donor should be able to find your donation link within a couple of seconds of your donation page loading. A good case practice is to place the link on the top navigation found in the website’s header. Highlight this button/link, potentially by using a bright and eye-catching color.
Not every visitor to your website visits with the intention to give. Most have to be persuaded. Having a brief, but enticing and compelling “why” helps with the convincing. Your donation page shouldn’t feel like purely a payment processing form.
If you choose to do any of these Giving Tuesday Ideas, make sure you get this one right first!
Pro tip: Donate $5 to your nonprofit organization both on desktop and mobile so as to go through the entire donor experience yourself. If you have trouble reading the text or clicking a link, your donors will too. Make notes of any potential improvements and then make the necessary adjustments to your donation page and/or form.
Giving Tuesday Campaign Example: For The Love of Alex Inc. provides low-income families with emergency funds for the veterinary care of their pets. In 2020, during Giving Tuesday, they set up a crowdfunding campaign on Donorbox. Their content was transparent and to the point. They first thanked their supporters, mentioned the impact that they’re creating, and then, requested a minimum of $52 donation to help meet their fundraising goal.
We also love the way they designed the fundraising page. The Giving Tuesday theme is made clear with the image and hashtag right at the beginning. When you click the donate button, a suggestive and recurring form pops out making the whole donation experience memorable for people.
With relatively short-lived campaigns like this one, it’s important to show real-time progress to your donors. You can do this by displaying a fundraising thermometer on your donation/fundraising page.
Your fundraisers will be more motivated to fundraise thanks to a visible tracker of progress, and your donors will be able to see the impact their donations are making in real-time (especially since the thermometer automatically raises as donations flood in).
Fundraising thermometers work because the goal and the progress are so visible.
Additionally, seeing the thermometer rise because of a donation being made provides a sense of immediate gratification.
Finally, a fundraising thermometer is a way to build social proof.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a Giving Tuesday idea with a lot of fundraising potential. Often underutilized, an organization’s best resource is often the current base of donors and other supporters.
Your current donor and supporter base can help spread the word that you’re participating in #GivingTuesday to their networks. They are also the most likely to donate on the big day.
Ask your supporters to make personal fundraising pages so they can rally their family, friends, and acquaintances and get them to donate to your cause. For example, your supporters could set up a Facebook fundraiser asking their friends and acquaintances to give to your cause. Facebook fundraisers tend to work well as they are simple to set up, easy to share, and have the benefit of social proof.
Make sure you give your fundraisers a specific fundraising goal – this will help motivate them. Finally, don’t leave them on their own – they are doing this for your cause after all! Send them some fundraising tips – or if you have the resources, train them. Follow up with them, encourage them, and help them gain momentum.
Ideally, you’d equip your fundraisers with:
This would make it much easier for your fundraisers to reach out to their friends and family!
Anchoring is the tendency to accept and rely on the first piece of information received before making a decision. That first piece of information is the anchor and sets the tone for everything that follows.
Tversky and Kahneman report powerful anchoring effects when people choose how much to contribute to a cause. In an experiment he conducted at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, participants were told about environmental damage and asked about their willingness to make an annual contribution to save 50,000 offshore seabirds from oil spills.
This is why it is advised that you ask for a specific amount from an individual based on that individual’s history of giving and capacity when making direct fundraising asks.
You should also specify a suggested amount in your donation form options and copy. Donorbox donation forms allow you to highlight the suggested value. Note that the average donation amount in 2017 was $134 (Blackbaud).
The vast majority of the top 100 nonprofits used an approach that included 4-5 suggested donations paired with the option to enter a custom amount. Around half of these organizations highlighted a default suggested value (usually the 2nd or 3rd option).
Giving Tuesday was designed to be a collaborative effort. Implement this Giving Tuesday idea and forgo the spirit of competitiveness.
Giving Tuesday is about raising money for your cause, but it’s also a time to connect with prospective and current donors. It’s also a great opportunity to connect with businesses, other nonprofits, and movements in your local area or in your country.
This will help increase your exposure and your reach. With that, more donations will trickle in, more individuals will pledge to volunteer, and more people will know about your nonprofit. The potential that lies here is enormous.
Whether you choose to partner with only one or two organizations (businesses or nonprofits) or you choose to join a large-scale movement – partnerships matter. Whatever you choose to do, ensure that you:
Pro tip: Matching gift campaigns is one of the most efficient fundraising strategies. Philanthropy Works cites that just declaring a matching gift increases giving by 19 percent. Plus, a match increases the likelihood that an individual gives by 22 percent. For example, as part of their Giving Tuesday efforts in 2019, Patagonia matched donations to organizations associated with Patagonia Action Works. No Kid Hungry partnered with Citibank last Giving Tuesday, which means that all donations made to No Kid Hungry were matched by Citibank, up to $100,000. (For some context: $50 means 1,000 meals provided).
Donors are, more than ever, focused on impact.
In your Giving Tuesday campaign, make sure the donors know where their money will go. How is it going to make a difference? Be as specific as possible.
Take these two sample fundraising appeals:
“Please donate $10 to help prevent violence against women in Africa.”
“Your donation of $10 will equip 1 health care worker to respond to domestic or sexual violence calls in Kenya for one day. Empowerment counseling interventions help prevent or reduce violence against women.”
Although both appeals ask for the same amount of money to create the same result, the second one has a much clearer pull to it. The second one clearly states a plan of action with a resulting outcome – the impact is visible.
To be able to focus on your impact in your external communications, it’s important to channel your inner Simon Sinek and ‘figure out your why’ first. Your internal, organizational ‘why’ needs to be clear for you and the whole team before you can communicate it to anyone else. You’re not simply asking for donations because it’s Giving Tuesday (hopefully). If not, then why are you fundraising?
Pro tip: Leading up to Giving Tuesday, your donors will likely be trying to sort through a deluge of fundraising emails – all looking alike. Try to get creative with your subject line and remember to stay donor-centric in your communications.
Giving Tuesday has become big! While it’s completely possible to achieve your Giving Tuesday fundraising goals, that time of the year is very busy.
People are constantly bombarded by fundraising appeals and many organizations are vying for their attention. In that kind of noise, it’s important to stand out and find a way to win over donors’ hearts.
One of the best ways to do that is through storytelling.
As humans, we’re hardwired to remember stories and find them compelling. Stories allow for emotional connection. To tap into the power of storytelling:
Videos are an increasingly popular way to tell stories of impact. Video is the way to go in 2018 to raise more funds and grow your reach. Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in a text format. They can portray characters and situations in a way that a text will never be able to, and are much more dynamic than still images. See this World Vision video for an example.
Nonprofits sometimes resort to negative messaging in order to evoke feelings of guilt. However, research shows negative messaging doesn’t lead to donations. 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.
You may want to include more for a full communications plan, but for Giving Tuesday, 2-3 will help suffice. Think about your “why”, not your “what”.
People relate to people. Having relatable characters is essential because they bring the issues your work addresses down to a personal level. It can be hard for the everyday person to relate to big social issues like poverty or hunger.
Pro tip: If you’re struggling to decide which of your stories to share and what will move your audience to act – ask them. Ask your donors (perhaps in a survey) why they got involved with your organization in the first place and what motivated them to give. Ask your long-term supporters why they stayed and what aspects of their involvement have been the most rewarding. Equipped with that information, you can customize your stories and communications better.
This Giving Tuesday idea is a must. Giving Tuesday is very much driven by social shares and mentions. Most of the fundraising is done online, and the movement depends on heavy online campaigning and peer-to-peer fundraising.
Here are some things you can do to stay on top of your social media game:
Pro tip: Social media campaigns are essential to your Giving Tuesday success. However, in your zest to go all-in on the socials, don’t forget about the email. Email is still an incredibly effective fundraising tool. If you’re planning your campaign well in advance, create an email drip campaign (an email series) to engage your supporters. Make sure to segment your donor base, craft engaging subject lines, and always include a link to your donation page!
Now, this might not seem like a Giving Tuesday idea, but #GivingTuesday is the perfect time to launch or promote your recurring or monthly giving program.
When a donor sets up a recurring donation, they choose to give a pre-determined amount of money on a regular basis. Many people like to give monthly, bi-monthly, or yearly, but they can give as frequently as they’d like. Monthly giving is, out of all of those, probably the most frequent form of recurring giving.
Great monthly giving programs have a much higher return on investment compared to one-time giving programs. The average recurring donor will give 42% more in one year than those who give one-time gifts. Monthly donors also have a greater lifetime revenue per donor.
Finally, 52% of Millennials are more likely to give monthly vs. a large one-time donation. They prefer the ability to show their support without a huge financial commitment and donate toward a cause they care about for a small amount they’ll barely notice.
A monthly giving program is the most effective and effortless way to retain the Giving Tuesday donor support beyond the 24-hour social media buzz.
Pro tip: Raising funds is important and encouraged on Giving Tuesday. However, Giving Tuesday is called ‘Giving Tuesday’ and not ‘Fundraising Tuesday’ for a reason. Make sure you offer other opportunities for your supporters to get involved with your cause (e.g. volunteering or becoming an ambassador of one of your programs).
After #GivingTuesday, it can be easy to forget about the donor/supporter aftercare. However, this step is essential for maintaining a good reputation and great relationships with your donors and supporters. After Giving Tuesday:
Don’t reach out to your donors asking for another gift too soon. This might be off-putting. However, this doesn’t mean radio silence for a month. Stay in touch with your donors by sharing stories of impact and how their donations are being put to use. Ideally, you’d also respect the donors’ desires about how frequently they want to be contacted.
Pro tip 1: Don’t make another ask in your thank you letter. There will be plenty of time for that later, but the purpose of that message is to celebrate what the supporter has already done.
Pro tip 2: Don’t forget about your team! They worked hard, probably working long hours for the campaign to be a success. Celebrate your achievements with a cake and a team get-together.
#GivingTuesday is an amazing opportunity for nonprofits around the world to raise the much-needed funds for their worthwhile causes.
Giving Tuesday is a great time to connect with your donors, create partnerships, boost your finances, and try new fundraising ideas without having to commit to them for a full year! Organize a physical event, find a corporate partner to match the donations, or create a cartoon – whatever it is that will get your creative juices flowing!
Don’t forget to visit our Giving Tuesday Toolkit. We have included downloadable resources, branding materials, logos, and much more.
Also check out Donorbox for a reliable, efficient, and world-class donation system that will ensure you receive and manage your Giving Tuesday donations!