In 2022, over $3.1 billion was raised on Giving Tuesday, and donor retention is 2.4 times higher from that day as opposed to any other time throughout the year.
In recent years, it’s no secret there has been a lot at play in fundraising that has made revenue generation unpredictable. With Giving Tuesday being a cornerstone moment for millions of donors, despite fluctuating giving trends, this oft record-breaking day is a major opportunity for nonprofits of all sizes to engage new and returning donors.
Some organizations view Giving Tuesday as a waste of time because they find it difficult to break through the noise of the day. But did you know that organizations that promoted on Giving Tuesday activated 40 percent to 60 percent more donors over the whole end-of-year giving season?
With such a significant number of transactions happening in just one day, investing slightly more energy in your plan and communications can make a significant difference in your success on Giving Tuesday.
Why Wait Until Giving Tuesday?
Share your Giving Tuesday donation page well in advance of the day.
Upload videos, photos, impact statistics, and updates on your mission to help others understand your nonprofit’s mission and purpose. Those creative assets can be repurposed in your communication throughout your campaign plan.
In my years at nonprofits and working closely with organizations of all types and sizes, those groups who share their donation pages via e-mail, newsletters, and social media in the days and weeks before the day have a high percentage of return visitors. It’s a myth that doing so will negatively impact your giving traffic on the actual day.
Your team could even consider kicking off actual fundraising with a raffle, auction, recurring giving campaign, or board initiative to drum up awareness and increase giving.
Enable Your Volunteers
Recruit social media ambassadors from your existing network to help spread your message.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with dozens of passionate, dedicated volunteers in my years with nonprofits. Create inspiring Giving Tuesday posts and calls to action to ensure your brand guidelines are followed, the message is clear, and that volunteers have less lift.
Make sure to send them branded merchandise and talking points so they can craft their personal message about why they care about your mission and are asking others to support your organization, too.
Don’t forget to send your volunteers reminders, encouraging messages, and updates throughout the day to keep them motivated.
Use Your Tools
You’ve invested in finding the right fundraising and donor management tools. In my experience, most organizations are not using close to everything available to them.
Evaluate what is available to you. Can you embed your dynamic donation form on your website? What messages can you share via text to encourage and appreciate giving? Have you advertised your text-to-donate keyword or used QR codes out in the community via posters, signage, or corporate newsletters to increase awareness and giving?
Use more of what you already have to drive traffic to your existing giving page, and get more return on your hard work.
Steward Your Giving Tuesday Donors
More than four in 10 Giving Tuesday donors give again the following year. While retention is generally higher, that still leaves too many people who have the willingness and capacity to give, who are instead waiting a long time to give again, or who are falling off altogether.
Plan ahead for your stewardship and thank yous. Consider updating your donation page in real time with how the dollars raised are going to be used to impact your community. Ask your high-level volunteers to record thank you messages to top donors within 24 hours or ask them to call and personally thank donors for giving.
Just as your organization should start sharing your page earlier than you think, you should absolutely invest more time (and people!) in your thank-you plans.
Don’t turn away from a day that, even if you feel it is over-saturated, has a lot of opportunity for fundraising and other engagement from new and returning supporters. Investing time in refining your communication timeline, engaging your volunteers, and stewarding your donors will make Giving Tuesday a worthwhile campaign for your organization.
Cara Dickerson is the Vice President of Customer Success at GiveSmart.