Thursday Thoughts: Partners React to GivingTuesday Data
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 last month’s post here!
With GivingTuesday just behind us, we published a few initial results we saw on the EveryAction platform from one of the biggest giving days of the year—but we wanted to know what our partners were seeing from their points of view. We asked them, what insights can you share about this year’s GivingTuesday? What could these findings mean for the rest of the year? Here’s what Raise the Roots and Do Big Things said.
Email Volume is Way Up
As EveryAction noted in their blog post, nonprofits are sending more email than ever on GivingTuesday. That was certainly true for our partners. Email volume increased 15%, but that correlated to an overall increase in email fundraising as well. As we head into year-end, we’re preparing partners for more email campaigns than last year. Don’t fret about all the email content. Consider re-sending emails to supporters who didn’t open it the first time, try email forwards with a lift note, or attempt the double forward with a lift note on top of a lift note (for trained experts only!).
Find Ways to Win the Inbox
Most donors receive emails from multiple nonprofits. With the increase in overall email volume, one thing we want to avoid is overwhelming folks with appeals this time of year. In addition, almost every email provider is using algorithms to place marketing emails in promotions tabs. All of this makes the inbox more like a social media feed and requires strategic sending.
On GivingTuesday, EveryAction saw most donations come in during the late evening hours, between 9:00 and 10:00pm, and our partners saw a similar trend. Test sending during these off-peak email periods or on weekends to avoid getting buried in the inbox.
Offer Virtual Gifting
All of this talk about choked supply chains and USPS slowdowns leaves donors looking for unique virtual gifts that are guaranteed to arrive on time for the holidays. Many fundraisers look down on eCards, but they have been a huge success for our partners. Consider other virtual gifts that donors can “give” a loved one or encourage donors to raise money for you in lieu of gifts.
Brandon Fuller is the owner and Chief Strategist of Raise the Roots—a digital agency partnering with EveryAction users to leverage this powerful platform to run successful advocacy, fundraising, and engagement campaigns.
GivingTuesday 2021 had no precedent. It took place at the tail end (we hope) of a global pandemic that left many with fewer resources to give—yet the amount given shattered expectations. At Do Big Things (DBT,) we even saw some clients exceed their 2020 GivingTuesday numbers while sending fewer emails—some by as much as over 12%. What this confirms for us is that the capacity for generosity expands when it is part of a powerful narrative—like rebuilding after devastation and renewing networks of support after two years of isolation.
It’s possible that this outperforming trend will continue into end-of-year giving as the prospect of a different, brighter 2022 spurs similar emotions, but it’s also possible that the conventional giving milestones (end of month, end of quarter, end of year) will exhaust their appeal in the months and years to come. We plan to stay observant about which asks, formats and frequencies appeal to our clients’ lists and proceed without assumptions about what’s next.
Janani Sreenivasan is a Senior Content Director at Do Big Things, where she helps campaigns create strategies to forge meaningful connections with their supporters that drive them to take action. If you’re looking for help with your fundraising or your digital programs, get in touch.