Giving Tuesday & Social Media for End of Year Nonprofit Fundraising
The end of the year for nonprofits and their fundraisers is known as “the season of giving” or “the giving season” since year-end giving is an important component of revenue for most nonprofit organizations. According to Neon One, nearly one-third of annual giving occurs in December. Most nonprofit professionals begin strategizing early for their end of year appeals or year-end fundraising plans.
One popular campaign for a lot of nonprofits is Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving that takes advantage of the power of social media by activating their social media platforms and followers. An updated statistics page for Double The Donation cites the fact that revenue from online donations has increased by twenty-three percent over the past year and that almost half of the donors in the United States prefer to pay online.
Balancing Everything points out that GivingTuesday continues to grow in popularity as a fundraiser for nonprofits and that Facebook remains one of the top social media channels to inspire online charitable donations. At least $511 million was raised online last year alone through GivingTuesday, making it a remarkable fundraising strategy for meeting end of year fundraising metrics in a world still facing a pandemic.
Meeting Year-End Fundraising Goals This Year
Several nonprofit leaders are facing a holiday season in 2020 where a global pandemic has affected their fundraising or operations in some way or fashion. Fundraising events are no longer possible for every nonprofit. Some restrictions in place limit public gatherings and some individuals in the organization’s donor base might be apprehensive about the safety of meeting in person. Online fundraising is now more ideal in terms of fundraising ideas, as fundraising appeals can be sent via emails and online fundraising campaigns can be accomplished through already established vehicles such as GivingTuesday.
This year’s year-end fundraising goals were most probably set at the end of the prior year or beginning of the year before the world shut down. There is still a chance for nonprofit leaders to grow to meet those goals with the right messaging and the right fundraising campaigns. Donor retention is one metric that could be met still, as most donors intend to continue their current level of giving, with some increases, according to a Fidelity Charitable survey. As for the donor acquisition metric, Giving Tuesday and peer to peer fundraising through social media are powerful tools in acquiring new donors, while also publicly giving a donor base the chance to proudly display their support for their favorite charity or two.
Using Peer Fundraising and the Power of Social Media
Prior to any fundraiser or publishing of social media posts, all nonprofits should do an audit of their donation pages. Institute for Nonprofit News published optimization tips for year-end fundraising to help nonprofits. The idea is to create the best online experience for donors from start to finish. A couple of really important tips to note that could further the number of online donations a nonprofit might receive – reduce the number of web pages between the ask and the donation page and create default donation amounts on the donation page itself.
After ensuring a sound donation experience for if the donor decides to give, the next and most important step is to guide the donor to that decision to give. Peer fundraising is a powerful fundraising technique because it is relatively cost-effective compared to its potential payout. Individuals are likely to give to charities that their friends, family, or peers are involved with. A new donor is likely to donate to a charity if someone they know and trust asks them directly to support that charity, making peer fundraising very effective.
Network for Good recently posted a few of the motivations behind giving. A couple of those reasons, that they want to be a part of something and that the nonprofit has caught their attention, makes social media platforms a perfect place for nonprofits to acquire new donors that might not necessarily know about the charity and its good work. GivingTuesday is well known by now and has a trusted reputation, and so if peers are sharing GivingTuesday campaigns for charities they care about, those social media posts have a higher chance of reaching new audiences and leveraging the power of social media to reach more people.
What is a GivingTuesday Campaign?
GivingTuesday is also known as the global day of giving. There is Thanksgiving on Thursday, Black Friday on the Friday directly after Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday on the Monday after Thanksgiving, and then GivingTuesday on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. As people are spending their money and thinking about the holidays, there is now a whole dedicated day to giving back to causes people care about. This year’s GivingTuesday is December 1st.
GivingTuesday is also a formal organization. Nonprofits can register with on GivingTuesday’s website at givingtuesday.org to be a part of the “global generosity movement”. For the complete toolkit, resources, and options to register, a nonprofit can use their page specifically meant for organizations looking to get involved. Their toolkits assist with content creation and they also provide different social media graphics. Timelines, workbooks, talking points. The page is a wealth of resources for nonprofits to have a successful GivingTuesday campaign.
These resources provided are meant to help grab the attention of the audience via social media, emails, etc, and then guide people back to a donation form or other fundraising platform for that Tuesday fundraising. A GivingTuesday campaign can be used simply as a form of virtual fundraiser or simple giving day. It can also be used as a year-end appeal. With this year’s GivingTuesday happening in early December, it is right in time for the holiday season and to possibly assist with any year-end appeals.
To participate, a nonprofit can register officially with GivingTuesday, then use some of the resources provided for email messaging and social media posts to encourage as many people as possible to support and share their organization’s mission and support opportunities.
How to Kick Off a Successful Giving Tuesday
Something as big as a GivingTuesday campaign needs a lot of energy and momentum behind it and having a plan to lead up to the day will make that Tuesday fundraising a complete success! Preparation ahead of time is necessary, as CauseVox and several others pointed out ahead of last year’s GivingTuesday. With potentially even more nonprofits competing on this year’s giving day, preparing ahead of time and getting creative are crucial strategies.
Use the templates provided by the GivingTuesday organization to save time on content creation and share trusted branding for the day. Set a plan to segment posting on all different types of social media platforms. Each platform should give insights on the type of audience the nonprofit has per each different type. Use that insight to create more impacting posting types per each platform. For consistency, a nonprofit can use one or two unique hashtags that will be special to their mission while also taking advantage of the trending general GivingTuesday hashtags.
While conducting a donation page audit, it might be smart to create a fundraising page at the same time. Either by using just the donation page and having prepared GivingTuesday language to place on the donation page ahead of and during GivingTuesday. Or by creating a simple and separate page with the donation form information tied in. Whatever is used as a fundraising page needs to be easily shareable by peers and supporters on social media.
Post “Save the Date” graphics and videos to social media at least a month out, with multiple reminders leading up to the actual day. As part of a “save the date” strategy, it is a good idea to reach out personally through email to the existing donor base, asking if anyone would help be a part of a massive push out team to kick off GivingTuesday in a really big day. With save the date and reminder posts on social media, and a “kick-off” team in place, the lead up to GivingTuesday will have a genuine online impact.
DonorBox recommends having a soft launch with board members, very loyal donors, and volunteers ahead of the actual day. This could help better the donor experience for the day of, and catch anything that might have been overlooked or forgotten.
Leveraging the Global Day of Giving
For the day of, have posts scheduled throughout the day directing people to the fundraising page. Build-in some time to give updates and special shoutouts. Create fun ways to go live, especially Facebook live or Instagram live, to create a more “real” experience for the day. Ask loyal donors and volunteers to also send their own updates throughout the day for maximum reach on the big day.
Ahead of the day, send asks to companies and organizations about providing a matching gift or even matching employee donations made to the charitable organization. Kindful lists this as one way to further expand revenue without directly asking the same donors for more money. Double the Donation offers several free resources on establishing matching gifts. This could also expand reach as the company shares the fundraiser with their employees.
The global day of giving can be leveraged for more sustainable revenue in a few key ways. GivingTuesday is great for attracting and acquiring new donors. Make sure to put in place a phenomenal thank you system to thank the Tuesday donors, especially the new donors. These donors could potentially be then converted to multi-year, long term recurring donors assisting in future donor retention metrics.
GivingTuesday is a great way to use the power of social media to expand a nonprofit’s donor base and social media following. This will in turn grow the nonprofit’s audience, engagement, and overall future endeavors. Asking volunteers and loyal donors to engage current supporters in a new way, asking for matching donations can increase corporate donations, and growing the social media following will place more fundraising opportunities in front of more people.
When looking at this year’s year-end fundraising strategies, nonprofit leaders should most certainly consider GivingTuesday and peer fundraising via social media platforms. It is vital for charitable organizations to utilize online donations this year while everything is so virtual. By getting creative with how to incorporate a GivingTuesday campaign into long-term fundraising strategies, nonprofit leaders will be able to successfully hit some of their key metrics this year.
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