Giving Tuesday always lands on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year, that will be November 28th which is a while a way, right? True enough, but this major fundraising opportunity will be here before you know it. A little legwork done well in advance will pay dividends later. With that in mind, here are some steps to set your nonprofit up for Giving Tuesday success.
- Plan to Plan. Remind yourself that, yes, it is important to plan in advance – even when you are currently busy with this season’s many fundraising efforts. Carve out 10-15 minutes per day until you have a schedule of actions planned.
- Review. Congratulations! You have admitted to yourself that you need to get started. The first step is always the toughest. Now, review last year’s efforts. Figure out where you’re starting from, what the goal is for this year, and set the tasks that will get you there. So often we just do what we did last year. Do not get complacent. Surely, you will find something that can be adjusted. Flexing and testing new strategies is worth the effort because eventually you hit upon something that really works. But it might not always! It is important to reevaluate every year.
- Identify Sources. Do not simply rely on the reliables. Stick your neck out a little further. Are there businesses who said no to sponsorship or regular contributions, but might give a nice one-time donation for GT? Ask! Offer photo opportunities, social media mentions, whatever will make it feel like a win-win. Additionally, remind your supporters to inquire about donation matching with their employers.
- Organize Your Content. Giving Tuesday offers downloadable, customizable content. You can import it directly to Canva and change the colors to your org’s color scheme, add your logos, your best photos from the calendar year, etc. Next work on your copy. Short phrases for social media and longer storytelling pieces for your website. If you’re keeping your media kit current, you will have plenty to draw from. List any hashtags you want to use (but definitely use #GivingTuesday).
- Map It Out. This is where the rubber meets the road. Lay it all out to make sure nothing is forgotten. Whether you use a planner/calendar or a bulleted outline with dates, get it all on paper.
- Update your website with easy-to-find GT information and links to donation pages.
- Schedule social media posts on your content calendar.
- Decide whether you will solicit for GT donations through local media.
- Involve your board members. Ask them to spread the word or start a Facebook fundraiser.
- Cheerlead. In the week leading up to GT, you are posting regularly. Make sure you are emailing as well. Emails should thank those who already donated, describe progress toward your goal, and appeal for more donations.
- Acknowledge. Thanking your donors post-event seems obvious but this stewardship is crucial so we are including it here. Yes, you probably have an automated “thank you” email that is generated upon donation. But a mailed hard copy letter is a nice touch if you can manage it.
- Assess. You did it! You feel accomplished (and you should; you’ve worked hard). It is important to think about what contributed to the success of your Giving Tuesday fundraising so you can be sure to replicate it next year. Just as important, make note of what can be done better. Yes, it’s a little extra work, but keep a document outlining those ideas and put it in your Giving Tuesday folder so you will have something tangible to review next year (beyond just the numbers). Trust me, you won’t remember it all, so write it down.
Too busy for all of this? Do you need help putting together your media kit, landing page, content, your content calendar, copywriting, or anything else? We are happy to help and will work with you to develop a service order that will work for your budget and optimize your Giving Tuesday Communications.