Top 12 #GivingTuesday Best Practices

We know firsthand that the world of charitable fundraising is constantly growing and changing – especially after an extended time of social distancing. That is why our fundraising solutions were built specifically to help nonprofit teams overcome roadblocks and challenges in today’s online fundraising world. We understand it can be hard to make a splash when it comes to the biggest day in the nonprofit calendar – #GivingTuesday.

With the success of fundraising campaigns like the ALS #IceBucketChallenge and #Movember, the right campaign can become a lasting sensation beyond Giving Tuesday. To fully capitalize on Giving Tuesday, nonprofits need a branded, easy-to-use (and easy-to-create online!) presence. Investing time in an online giving or Text-2-Give microsite is the number one way to reach Giving Tuesday donors and stand-out.

Keeping campaign success in mind, here are the top 10 best practices as your team is preparing for this year’s Giving Tuesday.

Tip #1 – Choose the Right Giving Tuesday Software

GivingTuesday has gained serious momentum in the last few years, thanks in large part to viral fundraising challenges and social media hashtags like #GivingTuesday.

Along with the rise of social media and mobile communications, donors are now accustomed to ease, especially their fundraising.

Making Giving Tuesday easy for your donors is the first step to success. This is why finding and selecting the right fundraising software is so critical.

Nonprofit fundraising software is your most powerful ally. It streamlines the donor experience. And nothing says easy like taking your giving online.

As you research Giving Tuesday software solutions, look for a platform that includes:

  • Customizable online giving forms that allow donors to pick and choose donation amounts, leave messages, and share with their networks.
  • Branded microsites that showcase your mission, impact, and expand your reach through social proof and built-in social engagement tools.
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising (P2P) technology to get more people engaged before, during, and after Giving Tuesday through things like social media and Ambassador Fundraising.
  • Text-to-donate functionality that makes it easy for people to quickly donate to your cause throughout the day regardless of where they are.

Tip #2 – Make Your Campaigns Easy to Share

The best way to ensure your message reaches the largest possible audience is to make it easy for donors to share information with their networks. Create engaging, easy-to-share content in exciting formats (like videos and gifs) that promote engagement and sharing.

On your Giving Tuesday campaign website or online donation page, provide clear guidelines and supporting content such as images or social banners that your donors can use to share with their networks. Another thing that makes campaigns shareable is creativity.

Come up with campaign ideas that are out-of-the-box and that will truly help your message rise above the other Giving Tuesday noise.

Tip #3 – Recruit Fundraising Ambassadors to Lead the Charge

Modern fundraising thrives on social connections, and Giving Tuesday is no exception. One of the hottest fundraising strategies this year is adding is to recruit Ambassadors.

Ambassador Fundraising allows nonprofits to tap into their most ardent supporters, harness them to lead the charge and become active fundraisers in your Giving Tuesday campaigns.

The most important part is selecting the right Ambassadors. They should be well-versed in the mission and vision of your nonprofit, passionate about the cause, and well-connected in your community. Look to board members, volunteers, staff, committee members, or past donors.

Once you have selected your Ambassadors, it’s time to get them set up for success. This means providing the right tools and resources for them to engage with their networks, connect with potential donors, and share your message.

Nonprofits should be ready to provide Ambassadors with:

  • The goals and mission of the Giving Tuesday campaign and what exactly Ambassadors will be responsible for.
  • The guidelines and rules for any competition or game that will be played.
  • Links to all social media accounts and sample posts to share with followers.
  • Detailed messaging and content for them to populate their own social posts.

Introducing fun, competitive and socially based peer-to-peer elements into your Giving Tuesday can supercharge any campaign.

Tip #4 – Ramp Up Your #Hashtags

If there is one thing viral #GivingTuesday campaigns have in common, it’s a great #hashtag.

Sit down with your team and get those creative juices flowing. Brainstorm exciting, descriptive slogans that give people a good idea of what your message is.

A great hashtag helps attract new audience members and builds connections between like-minded donors. This is also a great opportunity to do research and to incorporate social or team fundraising, to amplify your Giving Tuesday campaign.

Tip #5 – Leverage Testimonials & Stories

This is a common practice for nonprofit organizations for large, long-term campaigns and website content – but consider gathering Giving Tuesday-specific testimonials and donor stories to help add an emotional component to your campaigns.

Because of its location at the end of the largest shopping weekend of the year, Giving Tuesday is often tied into the holiday season and donor’s altruistic urgency.

Giving your repeat donors the chance to share what connects them to your cause can boost your Giving Tuesday results and give your team momentum to leverage throughout the year.

Tip #6 – Add an Element of Competition

Nobody can pass up a good game. This is why campaigns with words like “Challenge” or “Game” or “Race” always do so well in the long-run – there is some sort of gamification component.

Innovative nonprofit teams can appeal to the ever-present competitive nature by adding in some sort of challenge. This can also boost social sharing from donors as they get their friends and families to participate in the challenge.

Tip #7 – Take a Multi-Channel Approach to Giving Tuesday Promotion

One great thing about modern fundraising in general is that it uses many digital channels to reach donors and engage them in your giving campaigns.

Creating a robust multi-channel campaign is a key step to success. Along with social media, here are the core channels to utilize when planning your next Giving Tuesday campaign:

  • Email: This is a huge part of Giving Tuesday promotion. Create an email calendar that increases in cadence the closer you get to the big day (i.e., goes from monthly, to weekly, to daily communications).
  • Website: Make your Giving Tuesday campaign has a prominent place on your home page. To drive donations, include a modal, in-line form or link to you online mircosite.
  • Traditional Marketing: Don’t forget to promote your Giving Tuesday campaign on traditional channels like posters and direct mail.
  • Text Messaging: If you have cell phone numbers for your donors, use your fundraising software to send out a text message to supporters. By including a shortened link in the text, people can click and donate right from their phones to your donation page.

Tip #8 – Create a Giving Tuesday center

For internal nonprofit teams and external donors alike, Giving Tuesday can get more than a little overwhelming with how much content is available.

This is why a dedicated online Giving Tuesday solution is so critical. With an online donation form or page, your team can house details about your charitable organization, and specific guidelines on how to donate.

You can also include social details, video testimonials, and other content to help spread your Giving Tuesday message.

Tip #9 – Make Donations as Smooth as Possible

If there is one thing that can turn donors off from a nonprofit, it’s a poor donation experience.

On Giving Tuesday, when hundreds if not thousands of donors will be accessing your donation site, your team and your tools better be able to handle the demand. Even worse, if people can’t find you, or don’t know about your cause, or can’t understand your messaging, you’re going to lose them.

Eliminate barriers to donations by implementing these best practices:

  • Use easy-to-understand language, working with clear donation guidelines, and giving your audience access to anything they could possibly need.
  • Make it easy for donors to ask questions, find answers, or get in contact for a true two-way relationship.
  • Use effective tools, such as an online fundraising platform, text donations, or in-person fundraising to gain the highest volume of donors possible while staying flexible.

Tip #10 – Create a Repeatable Process

Once your team comes up with a successful, innovative Giving Tuesday campaign, why reinvent the wheel? Keep a detailed record of all your internal processes and decisions, and make sure to track all relevant metrics so your team know exactly where Giving Tuesday donations and engagements are coming from.

Knowing what worked and what didn’t can make planning for next year’s Giving Tuesday even easier.

Tip #11 – Build Strong Relationships with Giving Tuesday Donors

One of the most amazing, exciting parts of Giving Tuesday is how it acts as a conduit for connecting nonprofits with new donors and supporters.

With so many social campaigns, organic promotion, and word-of-mouth support, people are often introduced to new nonprofits on Giving Tuesday that end up being life-long causes. Many people use Giving Tuesday as a way to actively explore new charities to find one that connects with them long-term.

For this reason, nonprofits must also focus on a long-term picture that extends past the 24-hours of Giving Tuesday. While day-of engagement and donation experience is important, creating and maintaining strong relationships with these donors is also critical.

The same standards that are in place throughout normal year giving should still stand: personalized thank you’s, follow-ups, and messages to engage with them long after Giving Tuesday has concluded.

Tip #12 – Talk Giving Tuesday All Year

We’ve hinted this before (okay, it might be more than a hint), but Giving Tuesday is more than just a single day. It encompasses all your efforts surrounding year-end fundraising – which is important now more than ever in this new, virtual world.

In fact, over 17% of all giving happens in the last month of the year, making this prime time for nonprofit strategy and engagement. While this means planning ahead and ensuring internal operations are running smoothly, it also means making sure your constituents and donors know about your Giving Tuesday campaigns and engagement opportunities.

Keep these year-end giving best practices in mind when planning your Giving Tuesday campaign:

  • Create a theme and combine your Giving Tuesday and Year-End campaign ideas.
  • Set website pop-ups, social ads, and even physical marketing collateral to keep your Giving Tuesday message top-of-mind for donors.
  • Look outside the box for ideas and try a new channel, like Text-To-Give, to drive last-minute donations.
  • Double down on longer campaigns to keep your nonprofit top-of-mind heading into the new year.

No matter what you decide, this is the time to keep your nonprofit top-of-mind heading into the new year. And, with the right marketing content in place, your Giving Tuesday campaign engagement can last throughout the year.