Guest blog by Candace Cody
At any given time, there’s a slew of worthy causes that donors can support. But, never is this more true than during a time like #GivingTuesday.
Not familiar with #GivingTuesday? Well, it occurs on the Tuesday after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, and is a way to inspire people to focus on a spirit of giving following the crazy commercialism of their Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping sprees. Henry Timms, the founder of Giving Tuesday, describes it as a day of global unity centered on giving.
Sounds pretty great, right? But, with such a grassroots concept, having a loyal and engaged tribe to rally around your cause is crucial for #GivingTuesday success. So, if you’re looking to build a fundraising tribe for your #GivingTuesday campaign, here are six need-to-know tips!
1. Tell an Inspiring Story
First things first, you need to give your tribe a reason to feel connected to your campaign. There’s a lot of competition on #GivingTuesday—so what exactly makes your campaign the one that they should care about?
This is where your story comes into play. Your inspiring narrative provides your goals and purpose, as well as a common thread and shared vision for your tribe to connect to.
Perhaps your story is about how your campaign will offer funds to help build schools in Kenya. Or, maybe your story explains how your campaign will provide bulletproof vests for three police dogs in your community. Or, perhaps your story is about how one person can make a huge difference in the life of a deserving teacher, neighbor, or friend.
You already have a story behind your campaign—you just need to share it.
2. Keep Them Informed
In order to connect with your tribe—and keep them connected—you need to ensure that they’re well informed. After all, people have a tough time relating to something if they have no clue what their support is actually doing.
So, keep your tribe informed with campaign updates and other need-to-know information related to your progress.
How can you stay in touch with your tribe? Here are a couple of simple ways:
● Create a #GivingTuesday toolkit so that your tribe has all the important information and resources they need at their disposal.
● Frequently touch base with email blasts to keep them in the loop about current happenings.
Knowledge is power. And, keeping your supporters informed is not only a great way to increase their feeling of connection, but also to ensure that they’re accurately educated about your campaign and able to spread the word about your efforts!
3. Provide a Platform
Why do people like to join groups? Typically, it’s the feeling of community and the sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves that’s so appealing. So, it’s important that you provide an outlet where your tribe can connect with each other, as well as stay updated on the campaign progress.
Setting up a fundraising site is great for this very purpose, as it allows your tribe to work together towards a shared end. Plus, we have some great tips for setting up your #GivingTuesday campaign site.
Always remember that your main goal with building a tribe—you want to foster a community around your cause. So, give them a place where they can share with one another and provide support for something that they all believe in.
4. Connect and Engage
We’ve all been to dinner with that friend who just wants to spend the entire time talking about themselves. Even when they appear to be listening, they’re actually just waiting impatiently until it’s their turn to talk again.
That’s pretty annoying, isn’t it? Nobody likes a completely one-sided conversation.
So, you have to remember to really connect with your tribe, rather than constantly bombarding them with pushy announcements and pleas for additional support.
So, how can you actively interact with your tribe?
● Connect with them on social media by sharing their posts, commenting on their campaign-related activity, and providing different graphics and photos for them to utilize.
● Encourage them to use the #GivingTuesday hashtag, to easily keep track of posts and expose your organization to the outside community.
● Post thoughtful responses to their comments on your blog.
● Share public expressions of your gratitude for their support.
● Keep them updated about campaign successes or milestones.
Do whatever you can to show your tribe that you’re just as engaged with them as they are with you.
5. Be Personal and Genuine
You know those infomercials you see on late night TV that promise an amazing product for an incredibly low price? You don’t trust them, do you? No matter how much they guarantee a good deal, you know better than to pick up the phone and buy what they’re selling.
What’s the biggest turnoff of those infomercials? Quite simply, they’re disingenuous and seem completely untrustworthy. So, when it comes to building your tribe, you need to make sure you’re completely personal and honest.
No, you don’t need to broadcast every flaw or misstep. And, if this is your first time coordinating a #GivingTuesday campaign, you might just run into a few. But, you’re human—so make sure you present yourself as one.
Don’t skate over roadblocks or issues; instead share that information with your community. Chances are, they might have some innovative ideas for getting through it. So, be honest and vulnerable with your tribe, and they’ll likely feel even more connected to your cause.
#GivingTuesday is a great time to launch your fundraising campaign. But, even with all of the buzz that surrounds that specific day, you’re still going to want a loyal and engaged group of supporters to back you up. So, start working on these tips now, and you’re sure to jump into #GivingTuesday with a great plan, and an even better fundraising tribe!