Giving Tuesday is almost here! Love it or hate it, this global day of giving is undeniably one of the most important days of the year for nonprofits.
Last year, $300M was raised online on Giving Tuesday. That’s a 69% increase over the $177M raised in 2016. Giving is expected to increase by another 21% this year.
But with so many nonprofits participating in Giving Tuesday, how can you make sure your nonprofit is heard above the noise?
Here are 6 tips for making the most of Giving Tuesday this year:
Leverage the power of peer-to-peer (P2P) giving.
Did you know P2P fundraising accounts for 1/3-1/2 of all online donations? Raise more money on Giving Tuesday by enlisting a small (or large) army of passionate supporters to run P2P fundraising campaigns on your behalf.
P2P fundraising is undeniably one of the smartest strategies for raising funds and reaching new networks of people. And, it costs your organization next to nothing.
Since Giving Tuesday is largely associated with social media, and since personal posts tend to perform better than nonprofit posts, your campaign stands to benefit significantly from the extra noise and attention created by your P2P fundraisers.
This year, you may want to consider asking supporters to create their campaigns using Facebook Fundraisers. Here’s why:
- Facebook charges no fees on donations made to nonprofits on Facebook.
- Last year, $45M was raised on Giving Tuesday through Facebook alone.
- This Giving Tuesday, Facebook is partnering with PayPal to match a total of up to $7 million in donations made to eligible US-based 501(c)(3) nonprofits.
Get your P2P fundraisers started with this step-by-step guide for creating a Facebook Fundraiser.
Finally, take the hard work out of P2P fundraising by giving your supporters access to key campaign assets like logos, organization overviews, campaign summaries, photos, videos, suggested social media posts, etc.
Learn more about how to make the most of P2P campaigning here.
2. Create a customized donation page for your nonprofit’s campaign.
One of the most important factors in the success of your campaign is your online giving page. Your giving page needs to allow you to incorporate your campaign branding, photos, videos, and real-time giving updates on it.
Classy, Squarespace, Kindful, Network for Good, and CauseVox are just a few examples of sites that let you create dedicated giving pages that highlight your campaign and showcase real-time progress.
There are multiple benefits to a giving page with branding that reflects your campaign. First, it creates a seamless transition for the donor who’s clicked through from a campaign email or social media post.
Second, it improves the odds that your donor will complete his/her transaction by allowing you to make your case again directly on the donation page.
And finally, it will let you track how many donations (and how much) were a direct result of your campaign efforts.
3. Tell great stories.
As a non-profit communicator, you know the power of a good story. Great stories are captivating. They’re memorable. They stir our emotions and tug at our heartstrings. They are the quickest way to your donors’ hearts and wallets.
A great story is your most powerful fundraising tool. There are lots of stories you can tell to inspire giving, but the most powerful stories are often your clients’ stories. Stories shared by donors, volunteers, and staff members can also be very powerful.
Share short stories throughout the day via email and social media. Be sure to include a powerful image, your call-to-action, and your giving page URL (link) with every story.
Learn how to write great stories here https://smackdabcommunications.com/2018/04/03/how-to-tell-stories-that-inspire-people-to-give/ and here https://smackdabcommunications.com/2018/04/16/how-to-turn-a-client-story-into-a-powerful-fundraising-tool/.
4. Create a sense of urgency with a “challenge match.”
Energize your campaign and take the matching gift concept to the next level with a challenge match.
Here’s how it works: Ask a corporate supporter, foundation, or major donor to contribute a decent chunk of change ($5,000 is a good start) toward your campaign as a matching gift. Tell them you’d like to promote it as a “challenge match,” whereby your organization will receive it when they raise a certain amount of money by a specified deadline.
Promote the “challenge match” on your website, giving page, social media channels, as well as via email.
I recommend announcing the matching gift opportunity through an early morning email, followed by a midday email update announcing how much has been given so far, topped off with an early evening email push reminding donors there’s still time.
Challenge matches work because donors are much more willing to give when they know their gift will be doubled (or tripled) and tight deadlines create a sense of urgency, encouraging immediate giving.
5. Promote your campaign using video.
A one-minute video providing a brief but powerful overview of your campaign will significantly contribute to your fundraising success. While your video doesn’t need to be shot professionally, it does need to tell a story. Focus on the WHY of your campaign – why people should support your endeavor. Post it on your website, embed it in emails, and post it on your social media channels.
Did you know a tweet with a video in it is 6 times more likely to be retweeted than just an image?
Video gives you a big advantage on Facebook too. According to a study by Buffer, video posts on Facebook have the highest average engagement and twice the level of engagement of other post types on average.
And, according to a study by Social Bakers, the average video post generates 135% greater organic reach, when compared to photo posts.
No time to shoot a campaign video? No worries. Go Live on Facebook. In fact, you need to go live on Facebook even if you do have a campaign video.
According to Social Media Today, people spend three times more time watching live videos than pre-recorded videos. Three times more! Facebook Live videos are more likely to appear higher in News Feeds too.
Facebook Live has the ability to define the success of online campaigns, so don’t be shy. Grab your speaking points, tell a story, interview a donor, chat with a client, tell people why they should support your campaign by going live on Facebook on Giving Tuesday.
6. Thank donors all day long, and tomorrow too!
Have a personalized “thank you” email qued-up and ready to send to every donor you have an email address for. Be sure each and every person who makes a contribution knows just how much you value their gift. Tell them how their donation will be used, too.
But don’t stop there. You can now post thank you messages directly inside Facebook Fundraisers as long as your P2P campaigners register their pages with Facebook Payments. This is a great way to encourage and interact with the people running Facebook Fundraisers on behalf of your organization. Here’s how.
Make this Giving Tuesday your organization’s most successful one yet by following the 6 tips outlined above. Do you have additional tips? I’d love to hear them. Go ahead, share your thoughts in the comments below.