I think this #GivingTuesday will look different than previous years.
Many nonprofits will be asking for money and often forgetting basic fundraising rules – you know, like making it about the donor or telling a story.
Instead, consider some ways to up your game during a crowded time period and excite your donors.
- Lead up to #GivingTuesday as an event. Remembering that the goal is still to make the day about the donor – not just your nonprofit. What would interest them in a trickle campaign? – How about a “Have a poll/naming game” for a mascot, new lounge or title for a new program? Silliness, creativity, and/or something useless that intrigues people will play well because they know that you are trying to engage them and have fun – not just ask them for money. Announcing the results on #GivingTuesday with an ask will give people a reason to open your email (instead of the 50 other emails and social media asks).
- Ask people to give something besides money on #GivingTuesday. Whether you need volunteers to fill backpacks with winter necessities or people to work at an event during the holiday season – asking for something besides donations can be a strong strategy for deepening your donor relationships.
- Use peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising. The easiest way for you to get people’s attention might be to ask others to help. Facebook will help by matching donations and eliminating fees, so make a plan to creatively encourage your donors to fundraise on your behalf.
- Don’t have your act together for this year? See if you can figure out a giving event in December or even January, that you can promote on #GivingTuesday.
- Team up with another nonprofit for a challenge. While in theory, you are all competing for donations, in reality, there is more money being donated than either of you are getting. Embrace the giving season by working together to create something fun, engaging and somewhat connected. It can be a contest to see who can get more people to like a picture, donate a pair of socks (or some other small but valuable to your organization donation that can be given in person or online), or write something nice on an online “wall.” And, you guessed it, the winning organization and the results will be announced on #GivingTuesday.
- Thank donors before #GivingTuesday. I worry that nonprofits will have low open rates on the actual day. This is not based on fact, only on the huge number of organizations that will send me emails, social media messages and posts. – Because it’s hard to break through the clutter, you have to be different if you want to stand out. If you are not geared up to do a huge campaign, consider that you can use the time to steward donors and encourage giving during December – when a disproportionate amount of giving takes place. Whether you thank them with a creative email, a small gift or phone call, the point will come across that you are giving on that day and not asking. While it may be tempting to send that on #GivingTuesday, remember that they will only see the thank you if they open the email and don’t automatically hit delete.
And please let me know what you discover!