GivingTuesday has become a global movement of generosity and philanthropy.
In the United States in 2022, thirty-five million people participated in GivingTuesday and gave $3.1 billion. Over eighty-five countries also took part.
People love to feel connected to a large community of supporters doing good. They can come together from all over the world on GivingTuesday to make the world a better place.
GivingTuesday is so well recognized by supporters that it is important for every ministry to have a GivingTuesday campaign and raise funds for their cause. By not participating, your ministry misses out on a wonderful opportunity to communicate with supporters. Your donors and supporters want and expect to hear from you.
In this blog post, you will receive practical information and advice to help you make the most of GivingTuesday.
GivingTuesday Plan for Success
Before you begin writing emails or social media posts, you need to start with a plan. In your plan define the purpose and goals of your ministry and align them with your GivingTuesday campaign.
Write goals that will motivate your team and help your ministry. While most ministries want to raise more money, this doesn’t need to be your only focus. You should consider these other goals for your ministry:
- Total donors
- New volunteers
- Event participants
- Monthly donors
Your GivingTuesday goals should align with your overall ministry strategic plan.
With goals in place, decide on the start and end date for your campaign. It is common to begin a GivingTuesday promotion one week before, and you can continue to send messages one week after GivingTuesday. To wrap up your campaign, you will want to send a thank-you message to your supporters.
The next big question is: What should I say?
In your messaging, clearly define how you will utilize funds to make a positive impact. One of the best ways to do this is through storytelling.
Develop a Story-Centered Impact Message
Share stories that demonstrate ministry impact and explain how this type of impact is only possible through generous donors, like them.
Once you have chosen one or more stories, consider sharing them through various communication channels, such as email, social media, and website updates to reach your supporters. For each of your channels, you will want to decide which stories to use and how often to send them.
- Website: Add stories as an article on your website.
- Email: Send the first email a week before GivingTuesday. Then send another one the Monday before and another on GivingTuesday. Follow up between Wednesday and the next Tuesday with updates and a thank you.
- Social Media: Post stories, updates, quizzes, and more every day starting one week before GivingTuesday and ending one week after.
As part of GivingTuesday, plan a pre-GivingTuesday teaser campaign to generate excitement and anticipation among your supporters. This could be as simple as taking a video on your phone or having supporters enjoy a quiz on social media.
These life-changing stories you share add a personal and emotional touch to your messages. They help supporters understand your mission better and their role in making it happen.
To better understand how storytelling can make a difference in your messaging, check out our resource: Every Number Tells a Story.
Get Your Digital Assets Ready
Now that you have your plan, goals, and a story-centered message, it’s time to prepare everything you need to run your campaign. Complete each of these steps to ensure you are ready:
- Utilize online fundraising platforms that provide easy and secure donation options.
- Develop a landing page with a mobile-friendly giving form.
- Link to that landing page from your home page.
- Include that link in emails, text messages, and your social media updates.
- Locate images to use, including ones for your stories.
- Create email templates and write copy for each touchpoint.
- Write text messages and social media posts, and schedule them to send.
- Implement a strong call-to-action on each channel that directs potential donors to take action.
Leverage Social Media and Online Platforms
Social media is an important component of a GivingTuesday campaign. For you to have success though, you should follow these best practices.
- Graphics: Use real images, not stock ones. Create photos that match your message. If you add a picture of a person, make sure it's of them happy and smiling. Donors respond to smiles, not scowls.
- Videos: People love watching videos. Find ways to make them creative while telling a story. Include a call to action in the video.
- Hashtags: Add relevant hashtags and create one of your own specifically for your GivingTuesday campaign. The number of hashtags you include in your post will depend on the social media platform you use. For Facebook and X (formerly Twitter), you only need two or three. For Instagram, add more.
Promote your GivingTuesday campaign across all your social media channels: Facebook, X, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc.
Encourage supporters to share your posts with their audience. You can also post user-generated content from your supporters' social media pages on your ministries. This is a great way to amplify your message to a wider audience.
Offer Matching Opportunities
Matching gift opportunities are common during GivingTuesday because they work so well. If you plan to promote a matching opportunity you will need to secure the initial matching gift offer weeks or months before GivingTuesday so you have time to design your messaging around it.
Reach out to generous donors or corporate partners for the starting match amount. Supporters respond when they know their gift will go further due to a matching offer.
Show Gratitude and Encourage Donor Engagement
It is not enough to ask for donations. To build relationships with donors you should express genuine appreciation for every donation received, regardless of the amount. Many donors will give a smaller gift to see how your ministry responds before giving a larger gift. That’s why this is so important to the fundraising success of ministries.
Send handwritten thank-you notes, emails, or videos to each donor, highlighting the impact their contribution will have. You don’t have to write a long or polished thank-you message. It does, however, need to be personalized and heartfelt. The more authentic the better.
Don’t wait longer than a week to say thank you. If you are handwriting a thank-you note you may also want to send a quicker message via email, social media, or phone call.
Continue to foster ongoing donor engagement by providing updates on the progress made with their support.
You've Got This
An effective GivingTuesday campaign requires planning, creativity, and clear communication. Start the process early so you have everything you need ahead of time. Have your plans, goals, assets, and any gift matches secured in advance. You can even schedule email communication and social media posts to send on GivingTuesday so you don’t have to scramble to do it all at the last minute.
Implement these practical tips to maximize your fundraising potential. They will help you accomplish your goals without the stress. Instead of worrying, you can sit back, watch the donations roll in, and begin to thank your donors. This makes for a more enjoyable GivingTuesday and will have a lasting impact on your ministry.