Recent reports show that nearly a third of annual giving comes in the final month of the year. This holiday season, get a running start on those funds by kicking off your year-end campaign on Giving Tuesday and gain the momentum you need for a strong finish.
While Giving Tuesday is a strong fundraising campaign on its own, it can also work in harmony with year-end efforts to give you a big boost in early December.
Here are three ways to optimize your Giving Tuesday campaign so you can end the year on a high note.
Start Strong on Giving Tuesday
The first step in using Giving Tuesday to power your year-end campaign is simple: launch on the giving day. Getting those first few donations is sometimes the most difficult part of fundraising, so why not use all the buzz and excitement of Giving Tuesday to start moving the bar on your fundraising thermometer?
The benefits of using Giving Tuesday to kick off your year-end campaign are two-fold. First, the goal-proximity effect tells us that people become more likely to donate as you approach your goal. Essentially, the closer you are to reaching your goal, the more the donor feels responsible for your success. So making progress on your goal earlier in the campaign can motivate other supporters to get involved sooner—which in turn can lead to a longer streak of increased donations.
Second, we know that people’s choices are influenced by what they see others do. Those first donations that show up on your campaign page provide social proof that others have already lent their support.
If you use Giving Tuesday to launch your year-end campaign, you can make one campaign page and send supporters there. Send out appeals that are branded with the Giving Tuesday logo and ask supporters to act now. You can even add a Giving Tuesday header image to your campaign page. When the giving day is over, it only takes a minute to switch back to an image with your year-end or holiday branding and continue fundraising.
And you don’t need Photoshop skills to customize your campaign page. The Giving Tuesday website provides a number of logos, header images, and GIFs that you can easily add to your page.
Check out the way Hand in Paw customized the Giving Tuesday logo to include puppy ears—it’s adorable, but also a great way to stay on brand while using Giving Tuesday’s logo.
Set a Giving Tuesday Goal
To drive your community, it’s a good idea to set a goal that ends on Giving Tuesday. For example, if you want to raise $10,000 in your year-end campaign, you can aim to get the first $1,000 on Giving Tuesday. This gives your supporters a more immediate goal, which you can reference as the day goes on.
A Giving Tuesday goal will drive engagement on the giving day, encourage shares, and as we mentioned above donors are more likely to make a gift when you near your goal.
We’ve raised 75 percent of our Giving Tuesday goal! Help us reach it by giving now!
Motivate With Matching Gifts
Of course, to take advantage of the giving day momentum, you have to motivate people to make a gift before or on Giving Tuesday. While smart marketing and engagement will help drive supporters to your donation page, you can do even more to mobilize your community. Matching contributions can increase giving by up to 20 percent, according to a 2007 study by Dr. John A. List of the University of Chicago and Dr. Dean Karlan of Yale University.
On a personal level, matching gifts moves donors to give because they can double their impact. These matching challenges also help you stand out from other organizations who are fundraising and can provide the extra push some people need before actually making a gift.
In addition, when there is a deadline on matching gifts, donors have a sense of urgency to donate sooner rather than later. It also helps you build the all-important momentum you want early in your year-end giving campaign.
Ideally, businesses and sponsors would be champing at the bit to match your donations year-round. In reality, you have to recruit partners for distinct periods of time. If you have been negotiating a holiday matching gift with a partner, consider making Giving Tuesday the deadline for the matching period.
Year-End Peer-to-Peer Campaigns
In recent years, peer-to-peer has become a more popular option for year-end fundraising. On Giving Tuesday, appeal to your community with a different call to action—instead of asking supporters to make a donation, urge them to create their own fundraising page.
With a few clicks of the mouse, people can create their own personal fundraising page, and some may even use the holiday season to request donations to their cause in lieu of gifts. If you plan on using peer-to-peer for your end-of-year fundraising, Giving Tuesday is a great time to launch your campaign.
But remember, peer-to-peer fundraisers need guidance and support to succeed. After supporters create a page, follow up with some fundraising tips and sample emails to send potential donors.
If you ask supporters to fundraise through the end of the year, that gives them all of December to reach out to people. Encourage them to set weekly fundraising goals and keep an eye on campaign pages. You can strengthen the bonds with third-party donors by commenting on their activity to thank them.
Like any campaign, starting your peer-to-peer campaign with a bang will give you momentum and set you well on your way to reaching your goals.
In a distance race, it helps to get started with a burst of speed. You get out in front of the competition and set the tone for the rest of the race. Giving Tuesday is a chance to make a great start to your year-end campaign. Using the energy around the giving day to capture donors and fundraisers early on will put you in a great position to meet or exceed your year-end fundraising goals. These strategies can bring two important fundraising initiatives together to become even more powerful.
Allison Gauss is a former writer at Classy.org. Aside from writing, Allison enjoys music, improvisational comedy, and laser tag.