It’s that time of year again….and not just pumpkins, scarecrows, and (socially distanced) apple picking. When October arrives, your calendar should alert you that it’s time to start planning for Giving Tuesday. As the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the holiday has been an opportunity for nonprofits and grassroots organizations working throughout our communities to fundraise for their causes after several days of consumer-based activities. Now, the day has become a worldwide recognition of charities and causes and has become one of the biggest fundraising days universally for nonprofits to raise awareness as well as general operating funds.
This year, Giving Tuesday falls on December 1st, and is sure to demonstrate the creativity within the nonprofit sector as we continue to rely on primarily virtual and small group opportunities for volunteers. As a kick-off to the last month of the year, Giving Tuesday will continue to be one of the last opportunities for giving by those looking for a tax dedication in the year 2020.
Here are a few steps to start thinking about your Giving Tuesday strategy:
No matter if you are choosing a virtual or socially distanced event, picking a theme for your event is key to start determining how your organization will conduct your Giving Tuesday event or campaign. Are you able to center your theme around one of your programs, such as education to support a local school, or around a need that appears around winter of every year, such as running a sock drive for a local women’s shelter? Are there unofficial holidays or organization-specific anniversaries that can be highlighted? Your organization could start a fundraiser with a local ice cream shop that opens again for national ice cream day, or you can celebrate your organization’s 20th anniversary of founding or 10th anniversary of running a program. No matter what the theme, try expanding outside of the general “Giving Tuesday” theme, and find a way to stand out from the crowd.
Not every campaign has to be extravagant or overly ambitious. For some organizations, demonstrating how you are different from other organizations and why donors should support you on this day is enough and does not need to be paired with an event, social media campaign, and outreach. If your organization doesn’t have the manpower, the resources, or even just the mental power, that is perfectly okay! Determining what is best for your organization without overtaxing your already hard-working employees is key to maintaining a healthy staff and culture. Sometimes a simple effort can be just as effective, so consider what your organization really has the capacity to do this Giving Tuesday.
With an understanding of your capacity and an idea for a theme, now it’s time to state what your goals are. Is it all about the money or will awareness be a focal point as well? Is there a way to join with a larger campaign happening around a similar topic? If you have a bigger capacity, maybe your fundraising goals are some of your highest for the year, as the economy starts a slow pick-up. If you’re focused on a smaller fundraising goal, that is great too! As with any fundraising and awareness campaign, state your goals clearly, and work backward on how to make it happen.
It might seem early, but as you know with any campaign and event, the earlier you start, the better off you’ll be. With your determined goals and theme, your organization can start drafting any designs, graphics, and content that will be needed for Giving Tuesday, and a strategy can be built about how to begin dissemination. With Giving Tuesday on December 1st, starting to tease what will be happening as a “save the date” or “stay tuned for more information” about six weeks prior is ideal. Any monthly newsletters can start to tease content, as well as weekly social media updates. While there is always the biggest push the two weeks before, starting your content creation, copywriting, and strategy early will always serve you well!
As you begin your communications and social media marketing, always identify what key audience you’re looking to engage. Is it attracting new donors or focusing on current? Do you want big donations from a few or smaller from many? Once you have an idea, find a way to get them involved! Can a donor share and ask their friend to match what they just gave? Can a donor post a photo or short video about why they gave that you can share to your social media pages? Think about creative ways for your donors to do more than give - get them to be as important to your campaign as your organization! Providing clear directions to your audience can be key to igniting their fire to be part of the action.
Click on the pin below for some great tips on how to make the most of Giving Tuesday this year!