#GivingTuesday is a global movement that promotes community engagement and giving back. Started in 2012, it has quickly become the biggest giving day of the year. In 2018 alone, nonprofits around the world raised $380 million online.
“Traditionally celebrated on the Tuesday following U.S. Thanksgiving, and fueled by the power of social media and collaboration, GivingTuesday inspires millions of people across the globe to show up and give back to causes and issues that matter to them. The goal is to create a massive wave of generosity that lasts well beyond that day, and touches every person on the planet. GivingTuesday takes place on December 3, 2019, this year.” GivingTuesday.org
While most of our clients and partners are retailers, we now serve over 20 non-profit organizations and have found that collaboration is key to campaign success. We want to make sure both know how to make the most of this internationally recognized day of giving.
We encourage non-profit organizations to team up with a trusted, value-aligned retailer to make the most of this year’s Giving Tuesday. An example of how this partnership might look: a retailer offers to collect and match donations for a specific organization OR a retailer offers a prize and all donors on Tuesday, December 3, will be entered to win it.
Regardless of whether you team up or not, we are firm believers in thoughtful preparation. Here are a few tips to help you plan, prep and execute your campaign.
Make a Plan
- Set a goal – What does your team want to focus on for this #GivingTuesday? Is there a project you want to get funded, is there an amount you want to raise? Set a realistic goal and make sure your team is in agreement.
- Make a plan and delegate tasks – With your goal in mind, write out a plan for how you will get there. Write out the tasks your team will need to get done. Then set clear deadlines and delegate, assigning owners for each task. Make sure to schedule periodic check-ins to make sure things stay on track.
- Create a Communication Plan – Social Media is a key part of #GivingTuesday. Start planning your communications calendar now. Create your plan for when you will start communication and through what channels. Check out #GivingTuesday’s 6-Week Communication timeline to help you set out your calendar.
- If you’re coordinating with a retailer, make sure you highlight their generosity and impact and ensure that you’re both using the same messaging and that you have an agreement about where, how and who is in charge of the financial donations and donor information.
Pro Tip: Write out your emails and social media posts ahead of time and schedule them to be sent out (check out these free social media scheduling tools, courtesy of our friends at The Modern NonProfit). At FootSteps Marketing, we manage dozens of accounts for dozens of clients and we couldn’t do it without our scheduling tools!
Engage Your Crew
While financial donations are critical, the real value of #GivingTuesday is the opportunity to build relationships with your supporters and engage your community. Get creative this year and think about ways you can engage your community beyond donations. Consider offering volunteer opportunities and other ways people can get involved with your cause.
Reach out to local businesses and ask if they would consider sponsoring a matching grant for your campaign or donate in-kind donations.
Additionally, don’t rely on social media alone. Prep your consistent donors with an email inviting them to participate, to share their story of giving and stewardship and to make an even great impact by aligning their donation with a matching gift, sponsored by your retail partner or a board member.
Gratitude is the Greatest
This may be the most important part of your whole campaign: thank your donors! Because it’s a relationship-building opportunity, why not totally capitalize on the data you collect and be gracious recipients? When you collect the personal information from each donor, be sure to collect a mailing address and/or an email address and send out timely and personal thank you letters. This letter will make your supporters feel like they matter. For an extra personal touch use this free tool to record a short, personalized thank you video to send with your thank you emails.
Be True to Your Community
Remember that, at the end of the day, authenticity is going to go farther than simply jumping on the #GivingTuesday bandwagon. Representing the service you provide accurately, conscientiously showcasing those who you support and why, will keep your organization in good standing, regardless of how much you raise.