But before you start buying new calendars and making those important resolutions, make sure your nonprofit is taking advantage of all of the strategies and resources that can help you generate more revenue with Giving Tuesday!
In case you didn't know, Giving Tuesday (sometimes also known as #GivingTuesday) started four years ago as a charitable initiative during the holiday season. Consumers are often bombarded with fantastic sales deals during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but there didn't seem to be much giving going on in the days after Thanksgiving.
In response to this lack of philanthropy and charity, 92nd Street Y, a cultural organization in New York City, began the first #GivingTuesday campaign. Since then, the movement which occurs on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving each year (December 1st, 2015), has become a huge event that sparks charitable giving patterns and encourages individuals to think of others during the holiday season.
But how can your nonprofit take advantage of this booming trend in donor contributions?
By proactively preparing for Giving Tuesday and following up with donors afterwards, you will be able to maximize the amount of donations you receive during the first week in December.
Here are the top strategies for Giving Tuesday!
We've broken these best practices into two categories:
- Pre-Giving Tuesday
- Post-Giving Tuesday
There are several ways for your organization to prepare for Giving Tuesday. While your nonprofit may not be able to take advantage of all of these resources, find out what works best for you and your organization to help you make the most of people's generosity on Giving Tuesday.
Plan an event
If your nonprofit has the resources to put together a fundraising event, you can use that opportunity to inform attendees about Giving Tuesday and encourage them to contribute when it rolls around. While fundraising events can cost money and time, letting attendees know about Giving Tuesday during a gala, auction, or other event can be a great way to encourage giving during the end of the year, and specifically on Giving Tuesday.
Or take it a step further and plan your event to take place on Giving Tuesday.
Cast a wider net
While it might be difficult for nonprofits to reach as many people as they'd like, Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity for organizations to take advantage of their existing donor base to help them acquire more contributors after Thanksgiving.
Look into your donor database and determine who your biggest supporters are. Reach out to them before Giving Tuesday and encourage them to spread the word about making donations prior to the day.
Let supporters get to know your organization
People contribute to causes that they identify with and believe in. One of the best ways to give your Giving Tuesday campaign a boost is to let your supporters know what you've accomplished over the past year and what your short term and long term goals are.
You can post news stories to social media sites and send out emails to let donors know about the impact that your nonprofit is currently making and let them know what their Giving Tuesday contributions can help accomplish in the future.
When donors know what kind of organization they're donating to, they are more likely to continue giving in the future. Keep your donors informed!
Don't just pay attention to donors before Giving Tuesday. Keep the conversation going on Wednesday and beyond to encourage donor retention and future giving.
Look into your new donors
After this year's Giving Tuesday is completed, consider using prospect research to learn more about your new contributors. You might have unwittingly snagged a major gifts prospect or a future planned giving donor during Giving Tuesday. Prospect research can help you determine your new donors' past giving histories, business affiliations, and other important information like home addresses, employers, and marital status.
Conducting a prospect research screening after Giving Tuesday can also help you update your current donor database. Before sending out your end-of-year appeals, you'll want to make sure that you have correct current donor information. By completing a prospect research screening, you can help ensure that your fundraising efforts for the rest of the year are met with more success.
Get donations matched
What's could be better than receiving a large number of Giving Tuesday donations? Perhaps receiving twice as many?
Many donors' employers will match charitable contributions at a 1:1 ratio, with some companies making matches at up to a 4:1 ratio. With the massive influx of donations that your nonprofit could receive on Giving Tuesday, you'll want to make sure to make the most of the matching gift programs that your donors' employers may offer.
Even if your nonprofit team knows next to nothing about matching gift programs, you can still benefit from this generous arm of corporate philanthropy. For the two weeks before and the two weeks after Giving Tuesday, Double the Donation will be offering its matching gift tool for free to nonprofit organizations who want to promote matching gift programs to Giving Tuesday donors.
Visit https://doublethedonation.com/giving-tuesday/ to learn more about incorporating employee matching gifts into your #GivingTuesday fundraising.
Not only will educating donors about matching gifts help you increase the number of donations your nonprofit receives on Giving Tuesday, but it will also remind donors that they can have their previous and future donations matched. Many companies have set deadlines for when employees can submit matching gift requests, and some of those deadlines occur at the end of the calendar year.
Introducing donors to matching gift programs on Giving Tuesday could potentially lead to more matched donations later on.
Giving Tuesday is only four days after Thanksgiving, after all. Make sure you're letting your donors know that you appreciate their support, and use the opportunity to encourage them to give again before the year ends. Sending out personalized thank you cards and letters to major donors can also be a great way to ensure that they feel connected to your organization.
Keeping the door of donor communication open is one of the best ways to make sure that your donors come back in 2016.
Track and report on your progress internally:
Odds are your nonprofit is already tracking a wide range of internal statistics. At the end of this year's Giving Tuesday season take time to evaluate your organization's performance:
- How much more traffic did your website see?
- How much more in donations did your organization bring in on Giving Tuesday than a normal day?
- Where did your staff see the most value from their time planning for Giving Tuesday and where did your staff feel like time was wasted?
Tracking and reporting is a key differentiator between those nonprofits that are efficient in meeting their main goals and those who get lost in the shuffle.
Takeaway: By implementing these before and after strategies on Giving Tuesday, your nonprofit can not only reap the benefit of more donations, but you can also establish great donor connections that can carry over into the new year.
The preceding is a guest post by Adam Weinger, President, Double the Donation. Adam is blending his corporate experience with nonprofit fundraising. He studied finance and economic development at Emory University and abroad at the Singapore Management University before working in the private sector at Comcast and Capital One. Both companies offered generous corporate giving programs, yet most employees had no idea. After speaking with a host of nonprofit organizations about the need to access matching gift funds in a cost effective way, Double the Donation was born.