5 Tips to Maximize Your Giving Tuesday Campaign
By: Natalie Zundel, Director of Development, ASCRS Foundation
Giving Tuesday has become a staple event in the fundraiser’s year-end giving campaign. If you aren’t leveraging the national holiday for giving as a way for motivating your members to give, then you are missing out! There are a few things you should know, though, before launching a Giving Tuesday campaign. Here are my top 5 tips for having a successful Giving Tuesday campaign.
- Start planning now! Sure, Giving Tuesday isn’t until November 27th this year (it is the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving every year), but you want to start planning your campaign schedule now. The easiest approach is to integrate Giving Tuesday into your year-end campaign. I have found having our year-end letter appeal mailed to donors in early November, followed by Giving Tuesday e-appeals, with a final mailed appeal in December is the best combination.
- Create a sense of urgency. Sure, it’s good messaging that donors should give on the holiday for giving. But its great messaging to have some sort of incentive. I have found having matching challenge grants are huge drivers for Giving Tuesday donors. You can either set them based upon an amount (e.g. our board will match the first $5,000 in gifts) or number of donors (e.g. if 300 members give today, the XYZ Foundation will release a $20,000 gift to benefit our program).
- Have a theme. At the ASCRS Foundation, we are focused on treating preventable cataract blindness. So, we celebrate Giving Tuesday as #GivingSightDay. The University of Michigan has morphed Giving Tuesday into #GivingBlueDay (their school color). Find something that relates to your programs or members, and adopt Giving Tuesday messages to be more in tune with your mission.
- Use the free templates and messaging. Giving Tuesday has a phenomenal website with tons of free tools, graphics, and messaging for nonprofits. Use them early and often. Visit: givingtuesday.org
- Focus on the digital and visual. Giving Tuesday is digitally based event, and you need to plan your campaign that way. Make sure you have a solid plan for social media, including posts for Save the Date, 24 hours before, the day of, and the day after. Make sure you have multiple emails lined up, again, including Save the Date (I like 2 weeks out), the day before, multiple emails the day of, and a wrap-up campaign reporting email. Utilize and promote hashtags (e.g. #GivingTuesday and make your own), and create interesting graphics ahead of time (e.g. program photos with captivating quotes, social media headers, fundraising thermometers). Giving Tuesday campaigns that are well plan digital campaigns – with good visual components – will gain the most traffic, and the most dollars raised.
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