Established in 2012, Giving Tuesday is a global day of kindness, generosity, and solidarity to support the community’s nonprofits. It has grown from a simple concept to an annually celebrated day worldwide, with millions participating. Giving Tuesday is the perfect timing for nonprofits to prepare and launch an online fundraising campaign that reaches all potential contributors.
In 2019, Giving Tuesday raised $511 million in donations in the US alone and $1.9 billion worldwide.
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The importance of Giving Tuesday to nonprofit organisations
The majority of nonprofits depend on donations from the public to fund their educational, research, advocacy, and support programs to advance their objectives. They often use in-kind donations to support their work, and there are many ways to support these organisations individually.
Giving Tuesday has become a global phenomenon; much of the work related to promoting the day and sharing its significance has already been done. The most important thing for nonprofits is to direct sponsors to their sites during the large amount of Giving Tuesday requests.
At a time when we are all experiencing the pandemic, generosity brings together people of all races, religions, and political views worldwide. Generosity empowers people to make a positive change in others’ lives and is a fundamental value that everyone can act on.
As a nonprofit, you can maximise your easy online fundraising efforts and Giving Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to do so! Here are some ways you can participate:
- Collaborate with sister organisations and other nonprofit organisations.
- Showcase all the good news and share your stories about the impact and the services you provide.
- Appreciate your supporters and show your contributors that you are grateful.
- Thank your community, volunteers, and anyone who has contributed in ways big or small to your nonprofit.
- Showcase and support the work of other nonprofits.
- Share live updates with your audience – show them your work in real-time.
- Creatively collect donations online!
Let’s get started now!
1. Get started! Including the core messages
Giving Tuesday is a global day of generosity, which will take place on 1 December 2020 this year. Join the Giving Tuesday movement to access Giving Tuesday’s resources now.
The core messages are a kind of standard communication, which can be used by all nonprofits – it includes all essential communications and messages that all nonprofits can use. Giving Tuesday has released its core messages so that the entire community understands their significance and can communicate it effectively.
Refer to all of their core messages and make sure you convey just the right messages and connect effectively with your audience.
Your audience and contributors will come to your donation page simultaneously, so make sure your online donation page is ready with all the necessary features. You need to provide your Giving Tuesday contributors with the best payment experience possible.
If you are a foundation or a fundraiser, you can find out how to participate in Giving Tuesday here.
If you do not yet have a donation form, you can start one right now and create a Whydonate campaign. You have several options – make it a popup or embed it as a WordPress plugin. You can choose colours to match your site’s branding, and there are also other ways you can use to tailor the donation platform to your donation website.
2. Overview of social media
Social media is one of your main virtual playgrounds for Giving Tuesday – it’s a cost-effective and impactful way for nonprofits to reach their audiences and encourage Giving Tuesday donations.
It’s really not that complicated—all you need to do is populate your supporters online.
Brand your online channels with Giving Tuesday; use your private accounts to brand and talk about your participation. This allows you to inform your charity patrons, as well as your followers, about your nonprofit’s participation in Giving Tuesday.
Remember not to change the name of your nonprofit anywhere on social media – this can make it difficult for your supporters to find your profile.
Start creating your content.
There are different strategies for every social medium. For example, Twitter is more conversational than LinkedIn, and Instagram relies more on eye-catching images than copy-focused Facebook. Develop a sound communication timeline that effectively covers all channels.
Create content that effectively reflects your mission, impact, current work, and the progress of your nonprofit. Your content should inform your audience about the objective and the work. Furthermore, your content should give people a reason to support your cause and build an emotional connection.
Don’t forget to use #GivingTuesday to increase your reach on the day. Giving Tuesday also promotes posts tagged on their channels.
Start promoting once a week at least two months in advance. Anticipating your participation in Giving Tuesday is crucial.
When you have about one month left, start increasing the number of posts. For the two weeks before, you should be posting 3 to 4 times a week, and the week before, posting daily is critical.
When you have a communication plan, you can successfully execute your campaign. Please note that you will need to expand promotions and speed up communication in November after announcing your entry. When the countdown begins, start preparing the communication for Giving Tuesday day.
When used correctly, any social media source will be equally effective.
Now let’s take a more in-depth look at how to use each platform in the best possible way.
Facebook is one of the smoothest platforms for raising awareness and raising money. Their donation pages are set up quickly, and users can navigate through them even more efficiently.
The simple approach uses clear instructions and a donate button on the website that makes it easy for users to contribute with one click.
- Make the most of the description box. Introduce your nonprofit, explain what makes it different, describe where the money is going, and provide examples of past successes.
- Have individual members post on their walls and invite their friends who are also passionate about the nonprofit, its mission and/or employees.
- Let us know if you are matching donations and post this in your description and social sharing. From Facebook: “Fundraiser creators, verified profiles, and verified pages can set up donation matching for their fundraisers.” Here is the toolkit to successfully build matching donation for your nonprofit.
- Make it easy for everyone to support you. Encourage those who may not be able to donate money to share posts. Everyone’s efforts are valuable!
- Hesitate to ask for what you need – be it cash donations, in-kind donations, partnering with larger companies or sharing the mission on social media.
- Push too hard for donations. Some people do not have the option to donate. Again, it is essential to emphasise that sharing your post is just as helpful.
Twitter is all about keeping it short and sweet. Twitter is also great for connecting with potential contributors by starting a conversation and exploring hashtags. Furthermore, it is the most casual platform, with jokes and memes dominating the timelines.
- Follow hashtags relevant to your nonprofit and then use these hashtags in your own tweets.
- Not forget to use #GivingTuesday with CamelCaps.
- Involve your followers! Twitter is all about communication, and people love connecting with organisations that have missions they believe in.
- Post a link to your donation page in every tweet. Followers are unlikely to search for the page themselves – so give it to them straight away.
- Be afraid to tweet several times a day. (Remember: SIX THOUSAND tweets per second!) You are not going to clog someone’s feed by promoting your campaign; in fact, you’re likely to grab the attention of others. Instead of tweeting the same thing ten times an hour, make sure that you convey your message in multiple ways.
- Forget to research the best times to post – find out what times of the day people are most likely to read your tweets.
Pro Tip: Organise Twitter chats or AMAs with your top nonprofits to talk about your cause, work and impact.
You can download all brand images for social media here.
Use eye-catching images for Instagram. In this case, a picture paints a thousand words. You have two options for captions: short and sweet (think 1-3 sentences) or long and personal. People are less likely to read a long paragraph if they cannot relate to it, so use a cool image with a poignant caption to get them to follow.
- Make a logo specifically for Giving Tuesday. Use your colours, or the colours of the charity you represent, for a custom design that sets it apart from other organisations.
- Include photos of volunteers and staff at work. It shows contributors where their donations are going, and it engages them in the good that inspires you.
- Connect with other pages. Whether you are responding to other Giving Tuesday posts, responding to the comments on your posts, or following other nonprofits, engagement is critical here. It will often – in likes and donations – be reciprocated.
- Use Stories. This way, you will not hide people’s feeds or come across as annoying – people will still see your story but will not feel annoyed.
- Under any circumstance, copy someone else’s pictures. Not only can it get you in trouble legally, but you can also come off as lazy to your followers for not creating them yourself, alienating you from your base.
- Do not spam other pages. Respond thoughtfully to the caption, then promote yourself gently. This is best done a few days in advance so that the eyes of other Instagram pages will be on you.
The most professional of the platforms is LinkedIn, explicitly created for networking and finding work. So your tone should be a little conversational and with full intention. The goal is to showcase what is so special about your nonprofit and thereby attract contributors. Using the correct sentence structure is crucial here!
- Link directly back to your donation page. It is guaranteed to receive more clicks.
- Divide the paragraphs so that there are approximately 2-4 sentences in each paragraph. Choose which sentences can further enhance your post.
- View your connections for possible partnerships. Post about Giving Tuesday and then personally reach out to your connections to see who would like to support you on that Tuesday.
- Use informal language. Write posts as if it were a dissertation. Professionalism is paramount here.
- Just contact someone within your network. Think about the types of contributors and companies you want to work with and then tailor your message to each person.
3. Email Campaign
An email campaign is your next big virtual playground for Giving Tuesday. While it may seem outdated with social media and smartphones, people still faithfully check their emails every morning. Creating a campaign does not have to be that difficult! There are many ways to create them.
Send your first email one month before Giving Tuesday – it is close enough to be relevant, but far enough away not to seem intrusive.
Create a schedule; your email calendar should build understanding for Giving Tuesday and keep their interest alive. A communication timeline is essential here.
3.1 Choose a catchy subject line
There are many ways to start an email, and the last thing you want is for someone to delete the email without opening it or worse, not read the entire subject.
The best way to start is with some exciting information. Instead of “Give us a donation on Giving Tuesday,” you can say “Feed a hungry child today.” Make sure it touches their heart!
If you have merchandise, are there any discounts on Giving Tuesday if they want to make a purchase? Put that as one of the first keywords in the topic. “Giving Tuesday is just around the corner” is a bit vague and does not sound like a deal needs to be struck to support them. Instead, try “Giving Tuesday: 25% Off All Products Today”. People will be tempted to open and read it.
3.2 Create a catchy introduction
Grab the reader’s attention immediately. Draw them a picture – who are they helping by supporting your cause? Why did they have problems before? How do you help this group now? Personal, moving information makes a better impression.
If there is a specific story that you think is moving, use it to convince the reader to move on and see how they can help. Giving a group a face works wonders.
“Allan was ill, but he did not have a child specialist in the hospital. [Insert image.] That is why we do XYZ. ”
3.3 Summarise your story
No one has enough time in a day to read a lengthy story about a nonprofit. Explain in three to five sentences what you are doing, why you are working on the cause, how you started it and what you achieved.
Back to the one-liners, this is the perfect place to write what you hope to achieve now.
For example, “Our company was established in XZY year. We have been doing XYZ ever since. We are now looking for XYZ. ”
3.4 Create a clear CTA
Here, it’s certainly not the time to be vague. Get straight to the point: what do you need and why? If you have prepared your email with the last three tips, you don’t need anything else at this point.
For example, if you have an animal shelter, you could say, “We want to raise $ 50,000 to give chemotherapy to dogs.”
5.5 Write a personal email of the day
Giving Tuesday has finally arrived! If you have emailed them before, send a follow-up now for the day itself. Promote it as much as possible in the subject line. Do not seem too pushy – make sure the rest of your email has a slightly softer tone.
3.6 Avoiding donor fatigue
Donor fatigue can get in the way of your Giving Tuesday campaign, so you need to be careful and tactical to avoid getting to a point where boosting donations becomes counterproductive. It should be noted that your posts and posts’ frequency is unlikely to cause donor fatigue as much as the quality of your content. Make sure your content is fresh, attractive and not repetitive. Your content should be engaging rather than preachy. Provide excellent content to your audience, and you will ensure that your audience is less likely to unsubscribe from your updates.
4. Press releases
Press releases are straightforward and a bit like email campaigns: you announce that you are joining the Giving Tuesday movement, explain who you are and what you do, where you organise your fundraising campaign online, where these donations go, past success and a summary of the content.
You can send press releases to local media, potential partners and other charities you would like to join.
- Write in the third person. While it may seem appealing to write in the first person, press releases are written from an outside perspective. Consider this your spokesperson.
- Include a quote from a senior citizen. Have your director, a spokesperson or the board chairman share their insights in the press release. It adds a personal touch while remaining professional.
- Rush with a press release. It is an official document that, if published, could reach thousands of potential contributors, so take the time to be thorough and considered.
- Do not blindly send press releases but send them to research organisations you think are right for you, partners who share your morals, official donor companies and media related to your type of organisation.
5. Discover creative ideas
Explore some alternative creative ideas for involving your supporters in your nonprofit. For example, send an agenda for the day of Giving Tuesday to your supporters and subscribers. They will receive a personalised reminder on the day of the donation in their calendar. Explain to them the exact steps to be able to donate on Giving Tuesday.
While running your campaign, send a series of emails to build anticipation. Share something creative and something new in your emails and keep adding value and attention to your cause. Countdown to the day of Giving Tuesday.
If you are a stand for a compelling goal, consider holding a virtual rally to create a powerful movement.
6. On the day
It’s the day of Giving Tuesday! Now’s the time to go all out. Write a post that morning on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Send an email at midnight with an urgent subject line so that night owls will receive it immediately and early risers will receive it as soon as they wake up.
Post to Twitter multiple times – 6,000 tweets per second, remember? You do not want to get lost in a sea of tweets. Make sure to edit each post so that it is slightly different.
- It may help to include a different brand image. You can also retweet other nonprofits, mentions of your organisation, and interesting articles about your nonprofit’s mission.
- In every tweet, talk about different parts of your work. It is crucial to make sure you share the impact driven by your nonprofit and your effect on the community. Now is the time to show your work.
Connect your Facebook to your Instagram so that they show up on both platforms when you post stories. This way, you only have to post once or twice (maximum) on the two platforms.
Go live on various social media platforms, discuss your work from the past year, the highlights and the impact of your efforts, bring up the most exciting topics and questions for an engaging live stream. Discuss how your nonprofit is dealing with the effects of Covid-19. Share inspiring ways your team and organisation fought to reach your goals this year.
7. The follow-up the day after
You did it! You’ve brought in donations, found potential contributors, and connected to the base.
Make sure to send an email after 24 hours. Thank the people on your email list extensively – if you have statistics for the day, add them to your email. If something remarkable happened, you should, of course, also mention these events. It is important to share how you will use these donations to increase impact and share the expected results, your mission and the impact goal.
You should also express your gratitude on social media. Create a Twitter thread to give yourself the space to write as much as you want, create a catchy Instagram caption for a beautiful image, write a longer post with the achievements for Facebook, and add a link to the completed fundraiser to click Post LinkedIn. You want to reach everyone.
Giving Tuesday is critical for nonprofits, so tap into every aspect of every possible platform. You will undoubtedly bring in donations, increase your organisation’s awareness, and get in touch with others. There are many ways to engage your followers on this day and to grow the number of followers. Make it your most successful celebration ever! Get started on the Giving Tuesday website.