Unless you live in a bubble, you’ve probably heard of #GivingTuesday. Otherwise known as the Global Day of Giving, #GivingTuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the United States).

What started out as a social holiday to remedy the commercial shopping of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday has now turned into a day of philanthropy marked by millions of dollars in online charitable giving.

Just how many millions of dollars to be exact? Over $300 million in 2017 alone!

As a fundraiser, you’re probably wondering how your organization can get a slice of that donation pie. Here’s the bad news – with about a week to go, you’re late to the party in order to fully capitalize on #GivingTuesday. On the positive side, there are still ways to get in on the action this year (and ideas to help you better prepare in 2019).

4 Last Minute Tips

  1. Leverage Facebook donations:
    • This year Facebook + Paypal are providing a $7 million match. If your organization is already setup to accept donations through Facebook – great! Create a #GivingTuesday Facebook fundraiser, rally your local businesses/volunteers/team to create fundraisers on your behalf, pledge an additional match if you can, and get in on those donations!
    • If you are not currently approved to accept donations through Facebook, you can begin the approval process with 3 easy steps:
      1. Get your Facebook Page verified
      2. Submit your Page for a Community Standards Review
      3. Create your Donations Account
  2. Expedite your messaging with these toolkits:
  3. Place ad spend behind your content:
    • You’ll hear me say this often, but your organic content is only as good as your paid ad strategy. We’ve found that typically, most organizations will only ever organically reach 1-4% of their Facebook followers. Let me say it again for the cheap seats in the back – ONLY 1-4%! Facebook (and Instagram) are very much pay-to-play landscapes. In order to ensure your messaging is being seen, you’ll need to invest in some paid spend.
    • The good news is with 2 platforms, 200+ targeting categories, 30+ ad types, and 10+ ad placements – there are TONS of different ways to get the right messaging in front of the right audience. Additionally, you can even leverage your organizations website and email data! You might have a large enough marketing team to support these efforts in-house. However, if you’re like most non-profits (stretched thin with employees wearing a dozen hats every day) if might be time to consider investing in an agency or outside expert to leverage these tools for you.
  4. Don’t forget to say thank you:
    • Do you know what’s even better than getting donations? Fostering extended relationships with your donors. A new donor might only support your organization with $20 today, but what is the potential lifetime value of that donor? $100? $1,000? $10,000? Sending out thank you messaging (in the form of emails and social content) can go a long way to keeping your donors engaged.
    • Donors want to feel like they are making an impact. They chose to invest in your cause because they identify with the problems you are working to solve, and more importantly, because they believe your organization is providing solutions. A simple thank you paired with an update of how their donation will help your mission dramatically increases the likelihood of future engagement.

4 Ways to Get Ahead Next Year:

  1. Analyze your data from this year:
    • They say experience is the best teacher, and I couldn’t agree more. Schedule time to review your campaign results. Did you hit your goals? If so – why do you think your campaign was so successful? If not – what could you do better next year? Numbers don’t lie. Breaking down your data will give you some key insights for future campaigns.  
  2. Start Early:
    • #GivingTuesday might take place for 24 hours, but the work you put in 4, 5, even 6 months prior can make the difference between mediocre and outstanding. By starting early you can plan potential collaborations with partners, secure a match from your donor base, think about a goal that makes sense for your organization, strategize getting the word out on local news, and implement messaging before there is too much noise competing for attention (and donor dollars). 
  3. Leverage #GivingTuesday as part of your end-of-year plan
    • Does your organization rely on end-of-year giving? Work #GivingTuesday into your plan as a jumping off point for the holiday giving season. Use the momentum surrounding #GivingTuesday to invigorate your audience and get them excited about your year-end-goals.
  4. Go to the mattresses:
    • As Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) tells the beloved Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) in the 1998 romcom You’ve Got Mail, “You’ve got to go to mattresses”. Fight for your organization. Get creative. Send out those press releases. Rally the local news and radio stations. Secure a match. Collaborate with local businesses and partners. Test and learn new ideas.
    • Don’t replicate what everyone else is doing.  If you share your story effectively to the right audience, your donors will see that your organization is unique and worthy of support.

Visit our resources page to download a copy of our 2015 Giving Tuesday Study.