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Plan NOW for #GivingTuesday: Before, During, and After

When it comes to planning for a successful #GivingTuesday, there are a ton of moving parts. As an innovative nonprofit leader, you know better than anyone that good ideas don’t just come together overnight. A successful campaign takes planning, strategy and logistics to get everything to come together just right. And for something as important as #GivingTuesday, the Super Bowl of charity events, it’s important to bring your A-game.

As you’re working through your 2018 #GivingTuesday strategy (and yes, we know you’re getting started early), keep these things in mind. After all, #GivingTuesday isn’t just a single day. It’s the culmination of a yearlong campaign that starts long before the actual day.

BEFORE: Map out your goals, timelines, and campaigns

Before you get to the fun part of watching the donations roll in, establish a campaign goal. Because #GivingTuesday is a large part of end-of-year giving, it can be tempting to have a huge donation goal associated with the single day. Instead of pinning all your hopes on a 24-hour period of giving, map out your campaign timeline to spread out your deadlines throughout the year. In this timeline, it’s also important to include what types of campaigns you’ll run – such as email, direct mail, peer-to-peer, and social media – and when they’ll go live.

As part of the planning process, test out different variations of #GivingTuesday messaging to find one that fits with your brand and cause. Figuring out how to communicate with donors about a single day of giving and engage them for the  rest of the year can be hard, but the right messaging will inspire supporters to donate both during #GivingTuesday and after.

During the planning stage, set your budget for your #GivingTuesday campaigns. While the goal of #GivingTuesday is, of course, to raise money for charity, there is typically overhead involved. Will you be printing direct mail pieces? Do you have an email marketing tool in place? Understanding your campaign budget before getting started will save you from surprises down the road.

DURING: Communicate with your audience and get those campaigns rolling

Now that the planning is over, it’s time to get started! When it comes to #GivingTuesday, success is all about engagement – how engaged your donors and the general public are with your campaign. The best way to rally the troops and get your message out there is, you guessed it, communication.

On #GivingTuesday and during the days leading up to it, there are four main types of communication to be aware of:

  1. Excitement: Share your #GivingTuesday message and get people excited to donate. This is how you’ll spread the word of your campaign and garner donors in the beginning, and how you’ll keep charitable givers updated on the progress and results of your campaign later on.
  2. Logistics: Make sure your audience knows exactly what to do when it comes to #GivingTuesday. Is your Text2Give, Online Donation Page or campaign microsite socially shared and easy to find? Does your core audience know when #GivingTuesday actually is? Are your internal team members, stakeholders, and board members ready?
  3. Fundraising Tools: Set up fundraising peer-to-peer campaigns to make it easy for your donors to share your #GivingTuesday information with their networks. In addition, create promotional content that’s easy to understand and access from all types of platforms – especially mobile for existing donors (or interested donors) who are always on-the-go, and include a text-to-donate solution or Online Donation giving opportunities. Both provide easy to use and give anytime solutions options for your donors. Lastly, be sure to create a mobile-optimized online microsite that has information about your nonprofit, its mission, your goals and progress, and a “Give Now” link that’s easily accessible.
  4. Impact: Nothing brings people together for a cause more than knowing how their contribution will help the nonprofit advance its mission. When communicating with past or potential donors, one of the strongest messages you can portray is centered on the impact the donations will make. Proactively share how the funds will be used and what the campaign is targeting specifically. People love to feel connected to concrete ideas and programs, and this is your chance to communicate the importance of your mission. This connection is so important that we did an entire webinar on the concept – check it out here!

AFTER: Follow-up with your donors and have a well-deserved celebration!

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to #GivingTuesday is that just because the day is over doesn’t mean the campaign should end. First, send a thank you message to all donors who participated in #GivingTuesday. Make sure they know they’re recognized and valued as a benefactor. Next, welcome first time donors into the family. This is the perfect opportunity to share more information about your organization’s mission and overarching goals, as well as provide other ways to be involved throughout the upcoming months. Finally, make sure all of your donors and stakeholders know how successful your #GivingTuesday campaign was. Donors and stakeholders like to know the results of public programs, and a social-heavy initiative like #GivingTuesday is no different.

#GivingTuesday is a year-round commitment that requires consistent planning, communication, and effort. That being said, a successful #GivingTuesday calls for a much-needed celebration. Gather your team, toast to your success, and start brainstorming ideas for next year. After all, it’s never too early to start planning!

Just because planning and implementing a successful #GivingTuesday campaign takes time and effort doesn’t mean it has to be hard. With intuitive online fundraising solutions from OneCause, your team can seamlessly execute on #GivingTuesday and any other day of the year. Need some more inspiration? Check out some of our other helpful end-of-year resources:

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