#GivingTuesday 2020 Wrap Up – How to Follow Up With Donors After Your Campaign

Julia Claire Campbell Fundraising, Nonprofits, Online Fundraising, Social Media Leave a Comment

The final numbers are still being calculated, but GivingTuesday 2020 is shaping up to be a huge success!

GivingTuesday reports total giving increased from $1.97 billion to $2.47 billion in the United States alone, representing a 25% increase compared to GivingTuesday 2019. Read more here.

And that’s on TOP of the surge of generosity represented by #GivingTuesdayNow launched by GivingTuesday earlier this year, when more than $503 million in online donations were contributed in the U.S. alone.

Nonprofits of all sizes shared in this global movement of generosity, either by increasing awareness of their missions, raising money for projects, or thanking donors and supporters for their commitment all year long. 

Did your nonprofit participate?

Whether or not you raised money on GivingTuesday, if you participated and created a campaign, you most likely brought some fresh faces into your community.

Good for you! These people are excited and eager to hear more about your work and how they can help. 

Here are some tips for engaging the new people you brought into the fold – whether they are Facebook donors, email subscribers, or social media followers. 

My top tips for wrapping up a successful GivingTuesday campaign: 

1. Don’t focus on the Facebook match.

Let it go. Last year the match was gone in 7 seconds.

This year, from what I heard, it was gone again in the first hour or so. 

Don’t worry about it if your nonprofit didn’t get a piece of that (very small) pie – instead, focus on the money and attention that you did receive!

2. Celebrate your own match!

If you got a match from your Board or a generous donor, be sure to thank them in all of your communications and show donors exactly how their gift was doubled/tripled, and how this affected the end game of the campaign. 

Giving Tuesday Matching Gift Announcement

3. Thank your donors and then thank them again.

Use all the tools at your disposal.

Use all channels, including social media, texting, phone calls, meetings, events – whatever you can manage.

No amount of thanking is too much. 


4. Make a thank you video.

You can easily do this with just your smartphone, or your laptop/desktop camera. I received several thank you videos via email around Thanksgiving and they were delightful. 

Use a personalized video platform like CauseVid to easily create, store, and send out a group of individualized, custom thank you videos to a segment of your donors.

Camera shy? Create a short video with graphics and text detailing 3 accomplishments that you are especially proud of, from the last week or month.

This can be a simple photo montage, rather than a traditional video featuring people talking or moving.

Use donor-centric language, such as “We could not have done this without you!” and “Without your support, this would not have been possible.”

Donor Thank You Video

5. Work your donor stewardship plan.

I hope you have a strategy to retain the new donors and supporters you worked so hard to engage on GivingTuesday! 

We know what donors want.

They keep telling us, and we keep ignoring them and pushing out own agenda.

Check out the National Donor Commitment Study by Donor Voice – it tell us that donors give again and again to nonprofits where:

  • The organization is perceived to be effective
  • The donor knows what to expect with each interaction
  • The donor receives a timely thank you
  • There are Opportunities to make views known
  • Donor feels like they are part of an important cause
  • Donor feels that their involvement is appreciate
  • Donor receives info showing who is being helped

What’s your plan to give this, and even more, to your new donors?

6. Have a special plan for third party donors, like the ones that came in from Facebook.

Create graphics and tag people where you can inside the Facebook fundraiser itself.

My advice for your next GivingTuesday campaign (or year-end): 

Send more emails than you think you need – but be intentional and thoughtful with them! 

Mass Audubon sent me three emails, all with very specific subject lines that worked together:

Because wildlife – sent at 7:59 AM

Because land – sent at 2:04 PM 

Because people – sent at  8:08 PM 

In each email, Mass Audubon convinced me that there is an urgent problem that needs my attention: “North America has lost an estimated 3 billion birds since 1970. And 76% of all bird species in the US are currently in decline, including many familiar species like Song Sparrows, Evening Grosbeaks, and Bobolinks. We’re working hard to help our feathered friends – but we can’t do it without you.”

Have a specific goal focused on impact, not dollars.

Make-A-Wish had a very specific goal to raise enough money to grant wishes for 40 kids who are waiting. 

And then they emailed me to let me know that they exceeded their goal:

Show how the gift will make a difference.

One example in an email that I received: 

“90% of every dollar donated supports survivors. From answering the phone when a survivor calls to standing beside our client in court, we rely on individuals like you, to continue our work.”

Explain that all donations count. 

From that same email:

“No donation is too small to make a difference. Consider making a contribution today or pledge a recurring gift to show your commitment to survivors. Double your support with a matching gift from your employer.”

Tell me a story.

In this email from Best Buddies: “Before Best Buddies, I had no friends. I was sad and I felt like I didn’t fit in. Joining Best Buddies gave me friends. It gave me indescribable happiness. Grace likes the things I like, and I love having someone to make and share memories with.”

I asked you to share your campaigns – or your reasons for not participating – and here are just a few that came to my inbox: 

“Earlier this year, Hope for Widows Foundation was honored to implement our very first financial grant, the Restoring Hope & Peace Grant. We awarded the grant to a widowed mother of two recently diagnosed with breast cancer, providing her assistance with home repairs. We launched our first #GivingTuesday campaign with the goal to increase the amount and/or number of Restoring Hope & Peace Grants. We also hope to increase the support we provide to Hope Sisters through their grief journey with items such as grief books, workshops, counseling, car repairs, or by purchasing necessary items for their home or children.” – Lidia Varesco Racoma

“At The Hunger Project UK we’ve created a new campaign for GivingTuesday: Coaches to End Hunger. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/r1ohifib6d6zzqp/AABe3bvFpr5g6GKCOUj9d9fba?dl=0

Hoping the campaign will bring together coaches around the power of leadership development to end hunger. We think it may be the first coaches-themed campaign so we’re hoping it will do well! We have coaches within our supporter base – their work often has synergy with our own empowerment-based model for ending hunger.

We’ve created a campaign doc (attached here) and campaign site on our page here: https://www.thehungerproject.org.uk/join-the-movement/lead/coaches-to-end-hunger/” – Niki Psarias, Campaigns and Communications Manager, The Hunger Project UK

“This year for the first time in a number of years, we will not be participating in Giving Tuesday. And here are the reasons: 

1) tracking results, it’s not a campaign that works for us

2) Since we’re already in our year end fundraising – the message is a bit redundant

3) our audience is 96% non-resident Indian Sikhs. It’s just not something they relate to

4) after trying various strategies, the one that works the best for us is GIVING a gift on Giving Tuesday, and still only nets around $2.4K (in comparison, other appeals bring in anywhere from $11K-30K

5) the time and effort from the team to put it all together, put it out there on social media, our website and email, along with the creation of a digital gift of some sort is more effort than the return. We have tried, year after year and this year we decided no, we’re not going to do giving tuesday. 

I think it’s really important to know your audience, and I think giving tuesday is really more beneficial for very large non profits and not very profitable for smaller ones. I did your webinar last year (actually, it might have been the year before?) and really worked it, but it’s not something our audience relates to.”  – Darsha Kaur, Sikhnet.com 

“We’re going to do an email blast and Facebook post for ‘Thanksgiving Tuesday’ , so rather than asking donors for money we will simply thank them all for their past and future support.  Too many people with their hands out on that day.  I’d prefer not to be one of them.” – Kenneth J. Gustin, Dir. Mission Advancement & Communications, Holy Union Sisters

“We will not participate in #GivingTuesday in the traditional sense. As you noted, there’s so much hype about it, so many orgs feeling they HAVE to do something on that day or they miss out (FOMO!) that it’s a crowded field.

Instead we will do what I have done for several years — we will thank our supporters that day. Our plan is to do something on web, email, and social. We will probably send one email with a video embedded and then take to social several times with static posts, video, FB live, IG stories, etc. featuring our staff, the youth we serve (we may even have a couple do a take over, we’re coming to some final decisions on that this week) and other stakeholders. We’re going to keep it fun, light, and focus on how important others are to us.

Our year-end giving plan will start the Thursday after. We have a game plan already and assets nearly done for that (we do a letter – I am a BIG believer in direct mail – that hits the week prior to thanksgiving and then do email/web follow-up on a regular schedule)

So, no. We won’t push #GivingTuesday because we don’t need to. I have found that just by thanking people we’re actually standing out and getting more engagement that has paid dividends on our year-end.” – Paul F Morris, Deputy Director, Elevate Oregon

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