Balancing out the gluttony and overconsumption of Thanksgiving Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday with altruism, GivingTuesday, which falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is an annual celebration of generosity recognized worldwide. In 2022, GivingTuesday donations clocked in at $3.1 billion dollars in the United States alone, a 15% increase from the previous year.
With inflation having the potential to limit charitable giving for some, and countless worthy causes competing for donations, GivingTuesday 2023 presents nonprofit marketers with some major opportunities (and sometimes major headaches) as they try to stand out amongst the crowd.
To help your nonprofit cut through the clutter and drive donations on one of the most generous days of the year, consider the following do’s and don’ts from R&J’s nonprofit marketing experts:
- Be memorable: To differentiate yourself from the hundreds or even thousands of other well-deserving organizations vying for donor attention and dollars, it’s critical to distinguish your brand, mission, values and impact as much as possible. Use consistent brand colors, logos and typefaces to give your campaign a cohesive look and help boost brand recognition.
- Share impact stories: One of the most compelling and powerful ways to drive donors to action is by sharing real world impact stories. What are your most heartwarming or impressive success stories? Is there a particular client, patient, group or community for whom you made a major impact? If so, get written consent from these individuals to share their stories in your marketing efforts in the form of testimonials, videos, earned media, email marketing campaigns and more.
- Use multiple touch points: If you’re going after new donors or those that may not be very familiar with your organization, chances are they will need to be exposed to your brand multiple times before they are driven to tap or click that donate button. Consider a multifaceted marketing campaign with multiple touch points such as direct mail, email marketing and social media. Digital tactics such as paid social media and programmatic advertising can be especially powerful for reaching a highly targeted audience while remaining cost-effective and maximizing results. These digital tools also allow for the capability to ‘retarget’ users who visit your website with follow-up ads to further cement brand recognition and inspire them to take action.
- Leverage your donor database: One of your biggest assets on GivingTuesday is your previous or existing donor pool since they already recognize the value of supporting your organization. However, don’t take their commitment for granted–it’s still important to share new impact stories and organization updates so they are inspired to continue to support you.
- Make the donation process easy: If people aren’t sure where or how to make a donation to your organization, you’re probably leaving money on the table. Make it as easy as possible for prospective donors to support you by using donation management software, optimizing your donation forms, and having a clear and impossible to miss ‘donate’ button on your website. When users reach the donation form, simplify the process by including options for pre-selected donation amounts, recurring gifts, and payment methods.
Set a fundraising goal: Defining a clear fundraising goal for your GivingTuesday campaign is a surefire way to help drive urgency. If you can tie your goal to a specific initiative or program, that’s another way to inspire people to help you hit that target number.
- Make your ask too broad: While your organization may offer dozens of important services or programs, honing in on one to three clearly defined areas of impact will help you tell a compelling story while illustrating exactly where your donors’ money is going and how much of a difference their donation makes. Take it a step further by tying a specific dollar amount to an action (e.g. 10 dollars can help feed a family of four).
- Forget a clear call-to-action: Once you’ve narrowed down your area of impact, don’t be vague about what you want users to do next. If they’ve visited your website and were touched by your impact stories, you want to offer them a clear and eye-catching path to your donation form. Use direct but concise language such as ‘donate today’ or ‘give now.’
- Clutter your donation page: Simplicity is key when it comes to a successful donation page. By making your page easy to navigate and keeping the message short and sweet you can improve your donor experience and avoid the potential for users to get frustrated and abandon the process entirely.
- Forget to thank donors: Once donors complete their donation, be sure to send them a ‘thank you’ email for their support. Take it one step further by following up a couple weeks later with an update on the results of your GivingTuesday campaign and how their funds made a direct impact.
- Limit your efforts to GivingTuesday: While GivingTuesday is one of the most popular days for charitable giving worldwide, don’t limit your efforts to just a few days a year. While many nonprofits also host one or two major events to drive donations throughout the year, extend and sustain your marketing efforts all year long by leveraging recurring gifts and keeping in touch with donors regularly by sharing items such as case studies, annual reports and impact stories. These tactics can help drive donations even during those ‘off’ periods.
GivingTuesday doesn’t have to be a source of stress this holiday season. Get in touch with R&J’s nonprofit marketing experts today to learn how you can optimize your fundraising efforts for this GivingTuesday and beyond.