Ready for #GivingTuesday?

So #GivingTuesday (GT) is coming … yes, I know it’s 90 degrees in DC (and in many other places!), but holiday shopping, travel, and year-end fundraising seems to start earlier every year, so why not embrace it and get your plan in place now?


2018 marks the eighth annual GT and there are no signs that it won’t continue to grow! The 2017 #GivingTuesday Data Project reported $274 million raised from more than 2.5 million contributions last year, an increase of $97 million or 55%, overall last year.

And mobile giving is also on a growth path with 26% of GT gifts being made via a mobile device.

As you know, there’s no such thing as a single channel donor, but today’s modern donor is a mobile device donor. Every year the number of online donations made on a mobile device steadily increases. And if you haven’t yet, you need to optimize your email, website, and donation forms for mobile devices. Period.

Did you know that over $64 million was processed via PayPal? If you don’t have this payment choice active on your website, there’s Money Making Step 1.  It’s inherently mobile friendly, donors who have PayPal accounts, will very likely also have the app installed on their phone so make sure your code also includes the script to prompt phones to open the app. This UX will be so much nicer than opening a new mobile webpage for PayPal. 

And $45 million was processed via Facebook’s charitable giving tools. Are you using those? If not, why not? Yes, you don’t always get the donor information, but since when is it okay for nonprofits to turn away donations? And Facebook now offers opt-in options for all donors across all their tools, so you will get new donors, and you’ll likely find out that some of your best house-file and offline donors are VERY active on Facebook (this social platform is most used by 55+ women after all…). So Money Making Step 2 is get approved by Facebook and get these tools turned on.

It’s not just about tools and tech. If you aren’t making a good case for giving, or telling a compelling story, donors will give elsewhere. In the United States alone, those donors have 1.5 million options to give to–that’s heavy competition!

Money Making Step 3: Use this opportunity to highlight a single story, program, or need. Even if the funds raised are unrestricted, you can still frame the case for giving to “help those like Sadie,” for example. Better connecting your supporters with the cause they’ll be helping and the difference they will be making is a great strategy. Make this ask (and all your asks) ALL ABOUT THEM. The donors that is. They are the heroes here, not you, not your nonprofit. The donors. So, make sure your storytelling puts them front and center. Show them the impact of their gift, and then thank them. No one has ever said, “please stop thanking me.”

Money Making Step 4: Start early. Just like I’m encouraging you to start planning now, launch your campaign before GT. Beat that holiday rush and make GT your deadline. Everyone loves a countdown to a deadline, especially direct marketers, it lets us use loss aversion phrases like “don’t miss out”, “time is running out”, and “last chance, which really drive home the urgency of the campaign and spur giving in the last few hours of any campaign.

If you implement any of these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a successful #GivingTuesday, and if you do all four, you’ll definitely raise more money than you did last year. But even when online giving is up year over year, our job is not done. We need to move away from just counting the dollars and donors in the door, and start analyzing the value of these donors. So while you are planning your creative and outreach cadence, also start thinking about how you’ll track so you can answer important questions like these:

  • How many are new, and how many are retained after GT?
    • When do they make their next gift?
    • How are they stewarded and cultivated to be more than just GT donors?
  • Can GT be a reactivation campaign for your own lapsed donors?
  • Does giving to GT indicate a higher value? A higher gift per giver donation count? **

**For many of our clients, the answer is YES!

So, take the time, do the analysis, or reach out, and we can do it for you ?

Happy planning everyone, please tell us about your favorite GT tricks and tips in the comments too!



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