Friendly reminder – #GivingTuesday 2017 is less than 100 days away!
It’s tempting to see the astounding fundraising numbers from last year – 1,640,000 gifts made; 177 million raised in over 98 countries – and think that this day of giving will work for your nonprofit.
You may be saying, “Sure it will work? I mean, it worked for so many other organizations. Let’s just jump on the bandwagon and see what happens!”
It might! I’m not here to discourage you, certainly!
I love creating and launching online fundraising campaigns, especially ones with built-in international buzz and a sense of urgency.
However, the reality is that launching a fundraising campaign on #GivingTuesday is a very popular idea.
The field is CROWDED and packed with nonprofits who are thinking the exact same way that you are.
Before putting time and resources into #GivingTuesday, there are 5 key decisions to consider.
(Download this free Giving Tuesday Key Decisions Worksheet and start making a plan for your nonprofit!)
If your nonprofit has been thinking about creating a plan to raise money on November 28, then you need to ask these 5 questions:
1. What exactly are we going to be doing on #GivingTuesday?
You might be yelling, “RAISE ALL THE MONEY!”
It’s definitely worthwhile to consider planning a dedicated online fundraising campaign around this day – it is a GIVING day, after all.
However, not all companies and nonprofits plan #GivingTuesday campaigns centered around fundraising and getting new donors.
What else could you do to set yourself apart on November 28th?
Some other ideas to consider in addition to or even in lieu of fundraising on #GivingTuesday:
2. What is the goal of our #GivingTuesday campaign?
Many of my clients come to me because they feel like all of their efforts in the digital marketing space are just not getting results.
After they tell me this, I always ask, “What are the results that you want to get?”
And this question usually stumps a lot of nonprofits.
Without a clear goal – or destination – in mind when you embark on any campaign – or journey – how will you know that you have succeeded?
I recommend choosing a goal that is SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.
For fundraising, this would mean: “We want to raise $10,000 in 24 hours on #GivingTuesday to provide on month of after-school programming to 125 at-risk youth.”
Raising money for the “annual fund” or “general operating expenses” just doesn’t cut it when creating online fundraising campaigns, especially in a noisy playing field like #GivingTuesday.
The more specific you can be with your goal, the better.
Once you have your SMART goal in place, you can more effectively create all of the moving pieces, like email newsletter copy, social media posts, photos and graphics, videos, stories to collect and share, and more.
3. Can we make at least one video to promote the campaign?
Love it or hate it, video is hands-down the most engaging and shared type of content on social media.
Having a video talking that clearly conveys the purpose and the goal of your #GivingTuesday campaign, along with a story that showcases the impact of your work, is an integral part of any online fundraising effort.
4. Where will we house the campaign?
Are you planning on sending potential donors to your general Donate Now page on your website?
Do you need to create a new campaign site using a tool like CauseVox, Classy, GoFundMe, etc.?
There are pros and cons to both options.
Using your own main website.
Pro: Sending people to your own website ensures that you have control over branding, colors, fonts, logos, etc. and will also provide the added benefit of increased website traffic.
Con: You may not be able to change the donation page to optimize it for your #GivingTuesday campaign. It may be clunky and hard to use and navigate, which will send potential online donors running for the hills (or, the mouse to click away).
Using an outside website
Pro: There are many desirable features you can implement on your #GivingTuesday campaign page, such as a thermometer or bar to show your progress towards your goal, acknowledgement of donors in a scrolling list, great looking layouts, and more.
Con: You will be sending donors to an outside website that they may not recognize, and you may lose people along the way.
Evaluate your website’s donation page to see if it will hold up during a #GivingTuesday campaign.
Can it be modified and changed? Can you add the campaign video to the page?
Can you add photos and stories to further enhance the donor experience?
5. Who will manage the campaign from planning, launch, and follow-up?
Running a successful campaign on #GivingTuesday requires multiple channels and touch points, answering questions and comments, and managing a pretty tight calendar.
Does your nonprofit have a person in place to manage all of these moving pieces?
Sure, you can have a committee or a group of volunteers doing the actual work of posting, sharing, spread the word – but based on my experience running these kinds of campaigns through the years, there needs to be one person responsible and held accountable for overseeing the campaign.
In future posts, I will cover the pieces required for a successful #GivingTuesday campaign, as well as how to use visual storytelling and social media to reach your goal on November 28th.