This year, #GivingTuesday takes place on December 3rd.
If you’re not familiar with #GivingTuesday, it is a hashtag holiday created to benefit all organizations that work hard, every day, to give back to those in need.
Amid the holiday hustle, and numerous shopping days such as #BlackFriday, #SmallBiZSaturday, and #CyberMonday, #GivingTuesday is the day that communities rally in support of the causes they care about most.
Since it’s inception, #GivingTuesday has had such a profound effect that nonprofits have raised a staggering total of $400M!
With that kind of influence, if you’re a nonprofit, you can’t afford to miss out on the gifts of #GivingTuesday.
With that in mind…
Here are 3 ways to kick off a successful #GivingTuesday campaign plan:
1. Spread the word!
Donors who know you’re participating in #GivingTuesday are much more likely to join in and donate. Not sure when to start getting the word out?
Begin emailing donors and posting on your social media channels in the weeks leading up to #GivingTuesday.
Here’s what to include in your messaging:
- A brief explanation of #GivingTuesday
While it seems like a no-brainer in the nonprofit world, not all of your donors (or potential donors) are likely to know about #GivingTuesday unless you give them the details. At the end of your explanation, be sure to welcome donors to celebrate with you.
- Your organization’s fundraising goal
Set and share your expectations of what your organization would like to achieve by participating in #GivingTuesday. It could be a general dollar amount to support your organization as a whole or to meet a specific need. Give donors an idea of what your goal is, so they can see just how impactful their participation will be.
- How your donors can help you promote
In addition to contributing funds, your donors can also contribute to your promotional efforts.
2. Set up and test your website for collecting donations before the big day.
It’s important to make sure you’re prepared to collect the influx of donations that you’ll receive on #GivingTuesday. If you aren’t currently set-up to accept donations online, this web-based fundraising holiday is a great reason to start!
Here are two things you’ll definitely want to give a second look:
- Your website’s donation form
Send your website to someone outside of your organization and time how long it takes them to spot your donation form. If they see it right away, you’re set! If it takes a minute, consider repositioning your donation form in a place where potential donors can’t miss it.
In addition to placement, design is also a factor in ensuring your donation form catches the eyes of potential donors. Switching up its color and style can make a big impact on visibility.
- Your donation processing service
Don’t wait until the day of to discover something’s wrong. Have a few people within your organization make test donations, so you can pinpoint any glitches prior to #GivingTuesday.
Testing is crucial to making sure you receive every donation that comes your way. Not to mention, payment processing support lines will likely have quite a long wait on #GivingTuesday, so you’ll solve issues faster by calling ahead of time.
3. Get social with planned status updates, pre-drafted tweets, and heralded hashtags.
#GivingTuesday takes place in the social media spotlight. From your favorite NFL quarterback to your distant cousin Bill who you only see at reunions, many people on your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds will be sharing who they’re supporting on #GivingTuesday.
Here are ways you can leverage social media for your organization on #GivingTuesday:
- Plan Facebook status updates in advance
Facebook is a great space to share fun, visual content that highlights the heart of your organization and the impact of your work.
Constant Contact makes scheduling and publishing Facebook and Instagram posts a breeze.
Delve into your archives so you can debut your #GivingTuesday Facebook asks alongside photos that let potential donors see donations in action!
- Draft your day-of tweets days before #GivingTuesday
Take the stress out of whittling down lengthy sentences into 140-character punchlines by drafting your tweets beforehand.
Once written, place them in a handy spreadsheet next to a column of post times. On #GivingTuesday, highlight tweets as you post them to avoid accidental repeats. You can also schedule tweets ahead of time using a tool like Hootsuite.
- Maximize visibility by using buzzy hashtags
Pair each of your social postings with hashtags that will increase their visibility. Always use #GivingTuesday, but be sure to use hashtags specific to your organization as well.
For example, an animal rescue could use the following: #animalrescue, #adoptdontshop, #rescuedog, etc.
Not sure which hashtags best complement your organization? Use this handy hashtag search.
Those are just some of the many ways your nonprofit can see success on #GivingTuesday.
Chock full of helpful tips, tools, and free templates, DonorPerfect’s free #GivingTuesday E-Book can help you get set for the biggest fundraising holiday of the year.
Editor’s Note: For relevance and accuracy, this post was updated on October 25, 2019.