Scene: #GivingTuesday is just under a month away, and you dragged your feet on creating a plan. You had grandiose plans for your campaign, but haven’t quite gotten around to working out the kinks. This national day of giving offers an outstanding (and brief) opportunity to engage your audience to increase donations towards your cause. In an ideal world, you would already have a strategy to knock #givingtuesday out of the park. But if you haven’t gotten around to making your campaign, we’ll give you a few tips on how to utilize the short time you have left to capitalize on one of the world’s biggest charitable days.
1. Create a Campaign Goal
The first thing any successful #GivingTuesday campaign need is a realistic, achievable goal. Before you decide to ask your loyal donors for more funding you need to have a solid understanding of what you’re trying to fund and how it will impact your mission. Most importantly, you need to make sure you set a goal that you can reach given the amount of time you’ll have to prepare. Don’t set yourself and your stakeholders up for disappointment by setting a large goal that will go unfunded. Additionally, nothing discourages potential donor’s from giving to a cause than seeing a huge campaign goal with little to no progress. If your supporters see a campaign goal that is closer to being successful, they are more likely to give to your cause to see you through the finish line.
TIP: Set a goal based on either a short-term, medium-term, or long-term need. An example of a short-term need could be raising money to provide Christmas dinner for populations in need. An example of a long-term need could be raising money to help sustain an after-school program for at-risk youth. Potential donors are more likely to donate to a cause when they know exactly where their money is going.
2. Choose an Engaging Campaign Theme
The way to make your fundraising campaign stand out is to give it a catchy theme and title. This is what your campaign will be known for and for the time leading up to and during #GivingTuesday, this is a majority of what your stakeholders will see in your marketing. You campaign’s marketing concepts should contain, at least, the following:
- A catchy campaign title
- An elevator pitch of what the campaign is about and why you’re asking for funds
- A compelling story to inform potential donors why your campaign matters to them
Remember, you have a very limited amount of time to pull this together, so don’t spend too much time deciding on the perfect title and don’t reinvent the wheel trying to drum up a tear-jerking story to engage your audience. Use your mission and vision as starting points to draft the story you’ll use in your social media and email marketing communications.
3. Find a Matching Sponsor
A donation-matching campaign is a great way to increase the number of funds raised during your #GivingTuesday campaign. Donation-matching energizes individual donor’s by making their donation, no matter the size, count for double (and sometimes triple).
Reach out to your corporate partners or largest donors and ask would they be willing to sponsor a donation match on such short notice. Make sure the partnership is mutually beneficial, be sure to add information about the matching partner and feature them prominently in your campaign. Don’t focus solely on those partners or donors that can match the entire amount of your campaign and don’t limit your outreach to only one matching partner. Matching campaigns that last for shorter periods of time spark a sense of urgency in donors.
TIP: Consider engaging multiple matching partners in a tiered matching campaign. For example, Matching Partner #1 will match the first $250 raised, Matching Partner #2 will match the next $500 raised, etc. Using this technique, you can engage multiple partners and include partners that might not have the largest resource pool but are still interested in helping your cause.
4. Reach Out to Core Supporters
Fundraising campaigns can be time-consuming and difficult to manage. Throughout the process of designing and developing the campaign, you’re also tasked with trying to find new pockets of donors to engage to help you reach your goals. In all this chaos it’s important that you don’t lose sight of those donors, advocates, and volunteers in the past that have gotten you where you are today. Past donors should be at the top of your list in terms of priority in outreach because they have proven that they are willing to show support for your organization through a charitable donation. You should already have a segmented list for past donors (if not you should really get on that). Tailoring an email specifically to past donors is a great way to re-engage them and help get your campaign off to a fast start.
TIP: In lieu of an email to past donors consider handwritten cards from leadership. They add a personal touch and show the recipient exactly how important a donor’s past contribution has been to the program. This tactic can also be used to engage high value partners or potential sponsors.
5. Create Your #GivingTuesday Landing Page and Collateral
The next step to getting your last minute #GivingTuesday campaign up and running is to create a landing page specifically for the campaign. Your website manager (if you don’t have a website manager, we can help you with that) should be able to get a simple landing page operational in less than a day. The idea is to keep it simple. You don’t need any bells and whistles, you just want a portal for potential donor’s to visit and donate without being bogged down by all the other elements of your main website. You also don’t want the campaign to get lost in links on the website. For the short period of the campaign it should be a priority and creating a dedicated landing page will give donors the opportunity to learn specifically about the campaign.
TIP: As a social impact organization you’ll have many reasons to create landing pages whether it be for events or informational purposes. Make the process of creating these pages simple and fast by having templates created that you can quickly duplicate and edit when the need arises.
6. Campaign Day and Follow-up
It’s finally here! November 27 got here fast. Luckily, you’re prepared because you followed out previous steps for last-minute success. You want to be sure to have plenty of activity on your social media accounts to show the public all your hard work and potentially engage new donors. Before the day of, take time to curate and create collaborative content with partners and corporate sponsors, taking advantage of their audience to further your cause.
You should also have a series of emails scheduled to engage your audience throughout the event, including a kickoff, mid-point and conclusion email. You also want to have follow-up emails prepared for everyone who gives a donation towards your campaign. Follow-up is important in retaining existing donors, but even if someone in your audience doesn’t give, it’s important to follow-up to show them every contribution counts, not just those of the financial nature.
Finally, be sure to capture any relevant data you can. This will help you analyze and improve your efforts for future campaigns. Important data to capture includes:
- Size of email list
- Email open rates
- Email bounce rates
- Social media engagement (likes, shares, comments)
- Number of donations received
- Number of unique donors
- Total number of funds raised
- Size of largest donation
- Average donation size
- Most donor activity (time period)
- Least donor activity (time period)
These are just a few suggestions of relevant data to capture. Feel free to add any other metrics you can think would be important to capture and measure.
Fundraising campaigns are not easy to plan and execute, and it’s especially difficult if you wait until the last minute. By following the steps outlined above, we’re sure you will be able to achieve success with your #GivingTuesday campaign. Although there is only a little under a month before the charitable day of giving, AlvaOdessa is here to help you work out some of the kinks you may have. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can help your last-minute campaign be a success.