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Top 10 #GivingTuesday Best Practices for 2018

At OneCause, we know firsthand that the world of charitable fundraising is constantly growing and changing. After all, 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 #GivingTuesday.

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

#1 – Make your campaigns effortlessly shareable

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) that promote engagement and sharing. On your #GivingTuesday 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 #GivingTuesday noise.

#2 – Leverage donor testimonials and stories

This is a common practice for nonprofit organizations for large, long-term campaigns and website content, but consider gathering #GivingTuesday-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, #GivingTuesday 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 #GivingTuesday results and give your team moementum to leverage throughout the year.

#3 – Keep #GivingTuesday top-of-mind year-round

We’ve hinted this before (okay, it might be more than a hint), but #GivingTuesday is more than just a single day. While this means planning ahead ensuring internal operations are running smoothly, it also means making sure your constituents and donors know about your #GivingTuesday campaigns and engagement opportunities. Set website pop-ups, social ads, and even physical marketing collateral to keep your #GivingTuesday message top-of-mind for donors. And, with the right marketing content in place, your #GivingTuesday campaigns can last throughout the year.

#4 – Get started with a mobile fundraising solution

This best practice really encompasses the growing importance of technology in the nonprofit fundraising world. Today’s donors are attached to their smartphones and your nonprofit team must meet them where they spend the most time. This means ensuring all of your content renders well on mobile and making it possible for audiences to make donations easily and without roadblocks. With a dedicated online donation page or text-2-give solution donors can engage with your campaigns and make quick donations on-the-go.

#5 – Ramp up your social #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 #GivingTuesday campaign.

#6 – Build a specific place for all of your #GivingTuesday content

For internal nonprofit teams and external donors alike, #GivingTuesday can get more than a little overwhelming with how much content is available. This is why a dedicated online #GivingTuesday solution is so critical. With an online donation for 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 #GivingTuesday message.

#7 – Come up with a compelling email campaign

While social media may have a bit more pizazz come #GivingTuesday (heck, even the name itself is a hashtag!), nothing really beats a traditional email. What can set your team apart is a truly innovative email campaign (to past donors as well as new contacts) to garner support, gather donations, and keep the conversation going long after #GivingTuesday has passed.

#8 – Add in 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.

#9 – Eliminate giving barriers

This is probably one of the most important things to remember when building any sort of nonprofit fundraising campaign, let alone a year-defining #GivingTuesday campaign. 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 using easy-to-understand language, working with clear donation guidelines, and giving your audience access to anything they could possibly need. Even better, make it easy for them to ask questions or get in contact for a true two-way relationship.

#10 – Create a repeatable process

Once your team comes up with a successful, innovative #GivingTuesday 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 #GivingTuesday donations and engagements are coming from. Knowing what worked and what didn’t can make planning for #GivingTuesday2019 even easier.

Stay informed! Check back after #GivingTuesday 2018 to see the highlights from some of the most innovative nonprofit teams who rocked this year’s #GivingTuesday. Did your team have a particularly record-breaking holiday season? Let us know and you could be featured!

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