There are a lot of theories about whether #GivingTuesday is a good fundraising opportunity, a tired holiday, or a “we might as well do something” kind of day. All of these are true, depending on the nonprofit.
At MJA, we talk a lot about Campaigns of One. When we say this we mean that each donor for an annual, capital, or legacy plan is an individual who is looking for a different experience than another. If every donor has the same interests or wants the same information as everyone else, it will make everyone feel unseen. In other words, generic asks get generic gifts.
What does this have to do with a #Giving Tuesday analysis? When making strategic decisions, you are a nonprofit of one. There is no right or wrong, only the best path forward based on past performance and data (more on that below).
Did you participate in #GivingTuesday?
Let’s say you decided to skip #GivingTuesday and sent a Thank You email and post instead. That might be a better stewardship move than raising a few hundred dollars.
Maybe you decided to go all in, you wouldn’t be alone. From November 27th to December 1st I received:
- 5 emails from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (where I have never been a donor)
- 6 from Trustees of the Reservation
- 10 from American Jewish World Service (AJWS)
I just took three nonprofits from my solicitations folder (yes, I keep them).
While many do not list their specific results, Trustees said that they exceeded their goal of $50,000. And AJWS let me know that they, “raised $189,000 for social change organizations fighting for human rights, protecting our planet, defending democracies, responding to natural disasters and advancing equity for women, girls and LGBTQI+ people worldwide.”
So, should you send 10 emails in 4 days? Probably not. But look at your past #GivingTuesday data to give yourself a realistic prediction of your capacity on this day.
Past Performance and Data Analysis
Your historic results are YOUR historic results.
- Know who gave in previous years. For one client, we realized there were 62 people who had only given to that organization on #GivingTuesday in 2022. That totaled $6,000 dollars. That’s not close to $180,000 but this is only the one-time donors and they consider $5,000 a major gift. Note that I didn’t say first-time donors. Some were lapsed and for others this is the time they gave every year.
- How many first-time donors did you have? We have had clients that found that #GivingTuesday was a low-barrier entry point and that with intentional, thoughtful stewardship, they were able to convert 73% into larger gifts.
- Did they give through social media or email? For many years, everyone thought it was a social media holiday. But I think the AJWS emails show that is no longer the case. I did not see one of their social media posts (assuming they had them).
You don’t have to conjure these numbers from the air, your CRM should be able to help you with these stats. And it will even provide you with pretty graphs.
What about the rest of the year?
This is the type of analysis you should be considering for all giving. In the same way we can no longer expect donors to support an organization because it was important to their parents, asking is no longer based on gut feelings. Data is your friend.
Data lets you know if they like children getting mentored or exposure to the arts at an afterschool program. They both support youth empowerment, but from very different angles. And you, as a development professional, need to approach them from different angles.
If you still see data as the enemy, give me a call or sign up for a free consultation. I will convince you otherwise.