When it comes to philanthropy, few dates on the calendar are recognized as quickly as Giving Tuesday. Positioned as a global day of generosity, Giving Tuesday has been solidified as an annual opportunity for nonprofits to promote the spirit of giving following the consumer-focused days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We have found most fundraisers have a love-hate relationship with the event as they navigate how to best approach the day.
Giving Tuesday’s Upsides
On this day, the power of collective giving is harnessed to shine a spotlight on nonprofits, garnering support from individuals and corporations. Success stories abound, with organizations experiencing surges in donations and a heightened sense of community engagement For many fundraisers, the love for Giving Tuesday lies in its ability to bring attention to giving back and elevating missions to new heights.
Challenges and Frustrations
Yet, amid the glow of Giving Tuesday’s excitement, the annual event brings with it a set of challenges that fundraisers are all too familiar with. The competitive landscape on Giving Tuesday is fierce. As countless organizations vie for the attention of donors, standing out becomes an intimidating task. The pressure to craft compelling narratives, eye-catching campaigns, and unique appeals can lead to a sense of overwhelm, with the fear of getting lost in the digital noise. The risk of donor fatigue adds a layer of complexity to the fundraising equation.
The dual nature of this relationship is a dance between opportunity and challenge and navigating this involves a strategic approach that acknowledges both.
Strategies for Success:
Messaging to Evoke Action: Stand out in a crowded digital space by crafting that resonate with donors. This can be done with a focus on need, value, and differentiation.
Mobilize Your Inner Circle: Harness the power of your greatest supporters (engaged donors, volunteers, board members, etc.) by connecting with them in advance and asking them to be part of the Giving Tuesday strategy. Be specific in what you want from them and in what the intended outcomes are.
- Ask them to share with their networks via social media channels and personal outreach.
- Make it simple by sharing a script that can be used and personalized easily.
- Reinforce the importance of their help in this by sharing the impact made to the organization, both now and in the long run as the impact of the organization is more widely known.
Set a Goal: Assess past Giving Tuesday results and set a goal that is both ambitious and reasonable. If you can, give examples of what that dollar amount could mean for your organization. For example, if you raised $20,000 last year, you might set a goal to raise $25,000 this year.
Stewardship, Stewardship, Stewardship: Connect personally with donors and don’t miss out on this great opportunity to broaden your donor base by keeping relationships top of mind.
- Gift acknowledgement: Send a gift receipt AND an immediate thank you. Consider a personalized note, email, or phone call from staff or volunteers to share your gratitude within a timeframe that shows how valuable the donor is to you.
- Communicate results: Share the impact that Giving Tuesday has on your organization with data and impact driven communication.
- Relationship building: The gift and thank you is just the beginning. Year round stewardship strategies are key to creating a robust development program.
And don’t forget, fundraisers who successfully navigate Giving Tuesday understand the need for adaptability. The ability to pivot, adjust strategies in real-time, and learn from both successes and setbacks is a key to effective fundraising. Rather than viewing the love and hate as opposing forces, savvy fundraisers see them as two sides of the same coin, each offering valuable lessons and opportunities for growth.