Thursday Thoughts | Last-minute to-do items before GivingTuesday 2022
Welcome to another installment of Thursday Thoughts, a dedicated space for our friends in nonprofit sector leadership to reflect on reports, statistics, and other trends—because when our community shares knowledge, we can all do more good. Check out our last installment here!
As of Thursday, November 10, there are only nineteen days until GivingTuesday 2022! Many nonprofits have finalized their plans, but some are still adapting and adding tactics, like tweaking donation page settings, updating social media images, or double-checking that their organizations are in alignment with email best practices before the big day. What are some last-minute to-do list items and tactics that can help nonprofits before GivingTuesday? Here’s what three of our expert partners said!
Julia Devine, Co-Founder
GivingTuesday and the nonprofit end-of-year fundraising cycle are quickly approaching! Here are a few last minute tips to maximize your efforts and make the most of this season of giving:
1. Segment your audience.
If email or mail appeals are a part of your GivingTuesday strategy, segmenting your audience could make a big difference for return on investment (ROI.) Don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be complicated. If you’ve never tried it before, start with these two simple audience segments: active (made one or more donations in the last 12 months) and lapsed (made zero donations in the last 12 months.) From there you can create two versions of your appeal: 1) thanking active donors for their previous contributions and asking for a final end-of-year gift to maximize their support, and 2) reminding lapsed donors about your organization’s important work while also letting them know they still have time to make a donation. This added personalization shows donors that their philanthropic activity (current or past) has not gone unnoticed by your organization, and your reminder may give them the extra push they needed to make an end-of-year gift!
2. Refine (and quantify) your message.
Does your organization have a new project or special initiative within your community launching in 2023? Make sure you tell your supporters about it! Get specific about how a gift today will translate to impact tomorrow—and wherever possible, quantify! Donors want to know what your organization is accomplishing with their donation dollars. Think about your own giving: If presented with the choice to “donate now to support animal rescues” or “donate $35 to feed a rescued puppy for a month,” wouldn’t you feel extra motivated to give knowing what $35 was able to do?
3. Track and analyze your results.
This isn’t just a good idea at the end of the giving season! By listening to your donors and continuously learning from their giving trends, you can make adjustments to your fundraising strategy in real time to increase your campaign’s revenue. For example, let’s say you send two emails on GivingTuesday and one raises twice as much as the other. That is a big difference! You should immediately try to learn why. What was special about the better-performing email? Perhaps it mentioned a specific initiative that donors really liked! If it did, you’ll want to incorporate other mentions of that initiative into your upcoming end-of-year appeals. Check to see if your constituent relationship management (CRM) platform or email marketing system has the ability to A/B test and let your emails race to the finish line! Don’t be afraid to make some last-minute changes to your campaign if the data supports them. Your bottom line will thank you!
Looking for more last minute tips? Join Devine & Parker Consulting, Bonterra, and Nonprofit Hub for an informational webinar on Wednesday, November 16 to learn about how you can make the most of your end-of-year campaign.
Working toward their vision of a nonprofit sector that is future-focused, unafraid of pursuing change, and fully equipped with the right knowledge and skills, Devine & Parker Consulting bridges the gap between organizations’ missions and their members with responsive technology and solutions for the modern nonprofit. Contact them here!
Emily Goodstein, Founder + CEO
Our number-one suggestion is to thank your team. Make sure your staff, consultants, and volunteers know how much organizational leadership appreciates their contributions. GivingTuesday is such a busy time for anyone involved in a nonprofit organization, so thinking of thank you gifts and sending thank you notes is extra important. You may also consider having lunch delivered to a team working extra hours without time to prep meals during the lead up to GivingTuesday—they’ll appreciate the support!
Founded in 2014, Greater Good Strategy is an agency helping organizations and good-for-the-world companies take their digital marketing and fundraising from good to greater and thrive online. Get in touch here!
Katy Beth Cassell, Director
There are still a few weeks until GivingTuesday, which means nonprofits can make adjustments to their plans in order to make sure they’re engaging the right donors leading up to the big day and getting supporters’ help spreading the word about the event.
Every nonprofit should make sure that loyal donors (from monthly sustainers to high net worth individuals!) are part of their plan. An easy non-monetary ask is to prepare social media posts in advance that you can send to donors that give loyally and consistently—ask them to share your post on their platforms and with their networks. At the end of the day, this kind of peer-to-peer connection is a helpful way to amplify your goal on a day saturated with communications!
Nonprofits also still have time to reach out to major donors to see if they would like to serve as a match donor for this year’s GivingTuesday campaign. You can also ask for seed funding—make sure you’re not starting at 0% to your goal at midnight on November 29. Try to seed between 15-30% of your goal to show your donors and prospects that you’re successfully generating support for your cause and their gifts can help you reach your goal.
The weeks leading up to GivingTuesday are a great opportunity to speak with your supporters about what your goals are for the day, and what kind of impact their gifts can help you make. You can start creating these messages by asking these five questions internally:
1. What have you raised in the past and what is a realistic goal?
Share your goal in advance of GivingTuesday and update your supporters on progress made during and after the day has ended. If you miss your goal, use that in your messaging to help corral gifts in the following days. If this is your first GivingTuesday, try highlighting new programs or testimonials that demonstrate the impact of your organization—what is your organization doing now that should be the priority takeaway for audience members?
2. What is the quantifiable impact of each dollar amount raised?
You can facilitate donors’ participation by telling the story of their tangible impact. How many people will your organization provide ‘x’ resource with ‘y’ dollar amount? Use storytelling and real-life examples to demonstrate the importance of their support.
3. Who in your network can you leverage to make a greater impact?
A donor match is a great tactic for motivating donors to support you. Consider what major gift donors would be incentivized by a match. Alternatively, you could use a match as a way to steward a gift that you have already received. GivingTuesday is also the perfect opportunity to call upon your most enthusiastic supporters to serve as your ambassadors for your cause, and using a peer-to-peer giving platform or creating a social media toolkit for donors and volunteers will help spread the word.
4. What platforms are most effective in tapping different target audiences and what are your largest and most engaged channels?
Is your organization hoping to expand its individual donor base with immediate contributions from older donors? Are you prioritizing the cultivation of younger potential donors to expand your reach? Use audience segments to appeal to your target audiences. Donors will feel special if they receive messaging that acknowledges a gift they made earlier this year rather than a general solicitation.
5. How will this day tie into your larger fundraising efforts and kick off your end-of-year campaign?
GivingTuesday galvanizes and reminds donors why they support your work. How will you ride this wave to cultivate donors and prospects beyond November 29? Be sure to thank your GivingTuesday donors and give folks who missed GivingTuesday ample opportunities to make their gifts before year-end. For those who gave on GivingTuesday or early in the end-of-year campaign, send a reminder about employee matching gifts to help double their impact.