A Simple Guide for a Productive Giving Tuesday – Part 2

Giving Tuesday is less than two months away but there is still time to pull together a compelling and productive campaign. Last time, in A Simple Guide to Productive Giving Tuesday Part 1 we covered how to segment to your best target audience and provided tools to leverage your campaign. This time, we’ll lay out a simple communications plan by addressing campaign strategies, incentives, and a framework.

What will people be giving to and why does it matter now?
My old boss used to tell me, “Need is not a case; hope is not a strategy.” Your case for support must be more than just covering your organization’s financial needs. Your Giving Tuesday campaign should evoke two “I’s”: Immediacy (why donors need to give now), and Impact (what will result from my gift). If you can make a compelling, concise case for your general operating fund that covers both I’s, then feel free to do so.

Conversely, if your general fund is in good shape as you approach year end, you may want to raise money for special projects or capital assets like new computers for a school, new canoes for a camp, or winter coats for your rescue mission. These projects can provide prospective donors with an easy to understand, tangible outcome for the campaign.

A third option is to take an item from your general fund budget and “projectize” it by turning it into its own campaign. Your organization may already have a $10,000 technology budget but that doesn’t mean that you can’t raise funds for computers. Any funds raised for this campaign would be restricted to that budget line item but the net result to your general fund is the same.

How will you incentivize people to give?
One of the biggest negatives to Giving Tuesday is that thousands of nonprofits are simultaneously vying for donations at the same time. As a result, differentiation and incentives really matter. One of the most common ways to incentivize gifts is to offer a matching fund. While I don’t encourage you to send Giving Tuesday materials to your top donors who give in the last week of the year, donors in this group are keen to the idea of using their gift to incentivize others. Could you ask your board members to pledge a matching gift fund? Is there a champion donor that would love to see you maximize their gift in this way? Creating a matching fund can be as simple as asking some key donors to make their commitments early. If that isn’t an option, you could offer a promo mug or t-shirt for any donor that gives a certain amount or more (ala NPR or PBS). Such promotions can be a great way to on-ramp new donors.

Where should they give?
Does your donation software allow you to make a one-off campaign page (all the good ones do)? If you opt for your ministry’s main donation page, be sure to add something to make the website visit feel a bit more special like adding a banner, making the case for support relevant to the campaign, or highlighting the incentives. Follow through on your campaign importance and immediacy by making a landing page worth giving to.

Communication Calendar
Because Giving Tuesday falls only days after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, etc., your donors will have the holidays on their minds. As a result, communications need to be direct, frequent, and only start when the donors have the capacity to receive them. 

Purpose. First, remember that the purpose of your social media campaign is to bring awareness and anticipation for Giving Tuesday. Launch “Countdown to Giving Tuesday.” Starting on Friday, you can post mission-centric stories that convey the impact of your work while “counting down” to Giving Tuesday. Maybe you could have 4 ways that gifts impact your mission or the people you serve? Studies have shown that adding numerals to your subject lines/posts increase engagement (did the “4” above stand out to you?). However, if you need content for a post, you could mention the upcoming match or promo item associated with the campaign.

Emails. Your Giving Tuesday campaign can be done in as little as three emails (four if you include Thanksgiving). Sunday afternoon is a great time to reveal the campaign to your donors who might not be as engaged on social media. Use this time to tell them what Giving Tuesday is, how they can get involved, and why their giving matters. Perhaps counter-intuitively, include a “Give for Giving Tuesday Button” at the bottom of this email in case donors would like to give on Sunday as you hate to have willing donors needlessly wait till Tuesday to give to your campaign.  

Communications Framework. While the content for this table could easily become an entirely new article, this simple framework and suggested subject lines provide a good starting point for your campaign:

Remember, the goal is to have a simple, yet productive Giving Tuesday campaign. Taking care of the basics (communications, incentives, and updates to your website) and following this framework will maximize your efforts.

If this article inspires you to launch a Giving Tuesday campaign this year, reach out to us and let us know how you did. What were your expectations vs. results? What did you learn from the experience? The Timothy Group is always excited to learn and share best practices, so we’d love to hear about your experience.

About the Author: Jonathan Helder, CFRE, ECRF, Consultant

With over a decade of proven fundraising experience and a love for data, Jonathan is blessed to serve nonprofits and help bolster their impact on the community. Jon enjoys helping ministries implement data-based strategies and tools to improve fundraising and organizational effectiveness. Jonathan has written articles as well as presented to local and national organizations including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (West Michigan)Do More GoodNonprofit Hub and the Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance.



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