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by Kathryn Good

20 Last Minute Tips for #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is coming up on November 29, 2016- exactly 5 weeks from today. The helpful planning guide from givingtuesday.com recommends beginning your planning in July, but there is still time to get a campaign going.

First, a little history. #GivingTuesday began in 2012 as a way to give back after the consumer-driven Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is estimated that giving on this particular day has increased from $28 million in 2013 to almost $117 million in 2015. The increase in participation from is evident from a marketing point of view as well. Last year, I felt like my email and social media were flooded with #GivingTuesday requests, which is a great thing because more and more organizations are taking advantage of this day. But how can you stand out, especially if you are just now planning your campaign?

Here are my 20 tips to get a #GivingTuesday campaign off the ground and quickly:

  1. Don’t be intimidated. You can do this (we can help!) - even with just a month to plan.
  2. Develop your WHY. What is the long-term impact of giving to your organization? Be sure to communicate this message in everything you do. Don’t just ask for money - tell why someone should give.
  3. Set your goal. What do you want to accomplish? Communication is often easier when tied to a specific goal rather than just donating money. For example, "help feed XXX children" or "help us reach XXX to fund our XXX program in 2017."
  4. Decide your time span. I recommend either a smaller goal that is attainable on #givingtuesday or a larger goal that can be carried throughout December to encourage year-end giving. Don’t be afraid to dream big, but accomplishing the goal gives you a whole other thing to communicate - celebration and thanksgiving.
  5. In what ways can you stand out from the crowd? Can you offer a matching gift? Is there a free giveaway you can provide for any #givingtuesday donation? Do you have extra promotional items that you can give away if someone contributes on Giving Tuesday?
  6. There's a whole website dedicated to the day, so join the movement there! You'll also find a toolkit to help you with  your campaign. 
  7. Plan out your tasks, so you stay organized and focused. We love www.trello.com
  8. Create a menu of contributions - much like a sales promo used for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. So if they give $10, what will that help accomplish? $25? $50? World Vision does a holiday catalog each year for the entire holiday season, and your organization can develop something similar, even if you feature just a few options. The point is to clearly show how donor contributions will be put to good use.
  9.  Create a landing page that includes why their donation is important and what their donation can do. Make sure to have a donation form that is ready for mobile and tablet.
  10.  Develop supporting stories. What photos, testimonials, and client stories can you share that help support your "why"? Create graphics with your stories and image.
  11.  Form a consistent message and put it out on every channel you have - website, email marketing, social media, text. Make sure to ask them to give and give the link to your landing page.
  12. Schedule social posts ahead of time. We all get busy, so plan ahead. We like Buffer.
  13. Ask your board and regular supporters to help you spread the word. Send them graphics and wording to post on social media. Send them an email example for them to forward to their friends.
  14. Provide donors with a social media post. For example, "I just supported @korefoundation on #givingtuesday. Make sure to give to your favorite nonprofit today!"
  15. Create an email plan. I recommend sending out an email on the Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving introducing your current donors to the campaign. Then send another email first thing on #GivingTuesday. Send a few more emails as the day progresses to both remind people to give and update them on your progress. If you have other scheduled emails going out earlier in November, be sure to mention your upcoming campaign.
  16.  Add a popup to your homepage on #GivingTuesday as well as a direct link to your campaign landing page.
  17. On #GivingTuesday, update users on the goal. Tell about your progress and give visual queues like a growing thermometer if possible.
  18. Say thank you. Send an immediate email, text, Facebook post, tweet … you get the idea. A handwritten follow-up is always a good idea as well.
  19. Add new donors to your email list and encourage them to follow you on your social media platforms.
  20. Update donors on their gift. Make sure to plan regular updates on how your organization is using donor money.

On a side note, I would love to see a #givefirst campaign take off. I love the idea of promoting giving before we ever think of spending money on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but I’m grateful for a day to focus on nonprofits and giving back. Good luck!

If your organization needs assistance developing a landing page, website popup, social media posts, or an entire campaign, give us a shout.