#GivingTuesday Crash Course

07 Nov

On Tuesday, November 27th, 2018, #GivingTuesday will be upon us.  Many non-profit organizations have already embraced this opportunity, while others have not yet organized a formal campaign.  At this stage of the game, the question is, can your organization rally to make this fundraising push worthwhile?  The answer varies by organization, so let's take a minute to explore the possibility.

For those who may not be familiar, #GivingTuesday began six years ago as a way for all non-profit organizations to jointly promote and fund-raise for their causes in the wake of big Black Friday and Cyber Monday spending.  Held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday has grown to include thousands of non-profits in over 150 countries.  In 2017, online donations totaled more than $300 million.  Quite impressive.

To decide whether or not your organization is ready for a #GivingTuesday campaign,  let's consider the following 4 step, "Must Do" checklist:

  1. Set a focused goal, plan your strategy, and choose a form of measurement.  Consider setting your fundraising goal to cover a specific initiative such as $45,000 for new playground equipment or $10,000 to fund a nursing scholarship.  By doing so, planning your strategy becomes much clearer, and more importantly, it will not interfere with your year-end fundraising plans.  Once this is set, determine how you will measure the gifts and compare the results to previous years.
  2. Coordinate your social media.  If done in-house, this will be a time consuming activity.  However, posting on Facebook and Instagram 1-2 times a day, and 3+ times a day for Twitter, is a necessary part of this movement.  To lessen the stress, write out all of your posts at one time, even if it is only with pencil and paper.  Taking the time to draft all of your posts ahead of time will not only help with a cohesive social media presence, but it will keep your campaign on track even when your work life becomes busy.  Be sure that you finish with a bang by scheduling multiple posts throughout the day on the 27th.
  3. Connect directly with your community via e-mail.  A focused campaign like this one is the perfect content for an e-mail ask.  Send an initial e-mail describing your #GivingTuesday project with a link to the donation site as soon as possible.  Then, a week before #GivingTuesday and on #GivingTuesday, send short reminders that also describe the progress made and the amount needed to achieve the financial goal that was set.  Recipients will be motivated to help complete your project and will appreciate the ease of giving via direct link.
  4. Remember to say thank you.  After #GivingTuesday has come and gone, be sure to thank all of your donors individually.  In addition, e-mail and post the results of your campaign and the total of the donations collected.  While you should not directly ask for year end support, you could mention something along the lines of, "While we appreciate your generous support of our organization year-round, we are especially grateful that you were able to make our (playground, scholarship, etc.) project a reality in honor of #GivingTuesday."  

So now that you can see the minimum that would be required of your organization over the next three weeks, you will have to answer the big question for your group.  Do you have the time and resources to complete each of these steps in-house or with third-party help?  I hope the answer is "yes".  #GivingTuesday is a unique opportunity for everyone.  Individuals are encouraged to take a minute to really think about where their money is spent.  And, non-profits of all sizes share one day to work together and shine a collective light on the good works being done around the world.  That's pretty great for a Tuesday.

Inspired Media wishes you all a Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful #GivingTuesday.


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