This post originally was written for Brad Cecil and Associates.
Most organizations are familiar with Giving Tuesday, which has become a significant philanthropic event over the past several years. It was created in 2012 to encourage people to do good while doing their holiday gift shopping, and it’s grown into a global movement.
Each year, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday has become a new traditional day of giving…nonprofit organizations align their messages and brands with the international effort.
This year, the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has created a need for another special giving day focused on responding to immediate needs. May 5, 2020 is being called #GivingTuesdayNow – a day devoted to helping organizations serving those most affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Participating in #GivingTuesdayNow will help your organization during this crucial time.
Here are 5 tips on how to prepare your organization for the fast-approaching #GivingTuesdayNow event.
1. Develop a match.
Reach out to your significant donors and ask one or more to match gifts given on #GivingTuesdayNow. Most of your large donors will recognize the power of leveraged giving and be excited to inspire others and see their gift grow. When the amount of the match is determined, start sharing the news of the unique opportunity through social media in advance of May 5, 2020 and encourage friends and followers to spread the word. The strength of special giving days is built on peer-to-peer fundraising.
2. Set a Goal.
Be bold and set a clear goal in order for your team to measure your success. Identify one or two things your organization can set out to accomplish. You can set a total donation goal, try increasing your average donation or acquiring new donors.
Whatever goal is right for your organization, be ready to use this goal in your communication to help inspire others to give.
3. Find an Inspiring Story.
Stories inspire people. People give because their emotions are stirred. With the global impact of the virus, donors will be looking for stories unique to your mission. The power of your stories will help your community connect to your organization.
4. Prep Your Tech
Before you make a lot of changes to your own giving platform – check with your local community foundation to see if they’re doing a special day of giving for your community. Local community foundations often develop tech tools that are used for special days of giving. In our North Texas community, the Communities Foundation of Texas hosts North Texas Giving Day. The same website and giving portal are now being used for North Texas Giving Tuesday Now. Local nonprofit organizations can join the local campaign and benefit from the online giving platform. If you don’t have the advantage of the online platform being provided, now is the time to get your website ready.
In Tennessee a special online giving day was scheduled already for May 6-7, 2020, make sure you know the resources in your community and work together to promote.
Create a dedicated landing page with dedicated talking points about how your organization is helping during the pandemic. Keep this information up-to-date, let donors know the impact on your organization, reassure them of the safety steps you’ve been implementing in order to continue your mission, etc
Your website’s donation page
If you don’t have one, add a plugin to your website that will aggregate your gift totals throughout the day. When you set a goal, donors will stay engaged as they watch your progress to the goal. If a match is established for a certain time period, donors will want to know if the match was met. A real-time total is advised.
You’ll want to verify your donation page is functioning properly before you start asking for donations. You don’t want to wait until the big day to find out your form is malfunctioning. Be sure to have a few people test the form to make sure the payment is processing correctly.
Also, keeping a dedicated donation form will help you track donations during the #GivingTuesdayNow event.
Your social media channels
Are you keeping in touch with current donors? Share your efforts on all your channels to keep the communication open. Announce the #GivingTuesdayNow event to your donors and let them know how they can help. Post plenty of reminders!
5. Use the #GivingTuesday Resources
Since #GivingTuesday is an annual event already, there are great resources for your organization to use. Head on over to GivingTuesday.org to read through their blog and get their toolkit to make the most of the event. The kit includes a fact sheet, social media guide, a sample outreach email, a communication timeline, and a press release template.
Don’t Forget to Thank Donors
You don’t want your communication with your community to end abruptly after May 5. Keep the communication open and remember to say thank you
to your donors. Let them know how their donation is being utilized by your organization by sharing on social media. Send them an email featuring the story of someone they’ve helped by giving to you. Donors need to be thanked!