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Getting Started with GivingTuesday in 7 Steps

by Sarah-Leah Thompson

It’s that time of year folks. No, I don’t mean Pumpkin Spice Latte season. It’s time to start thinking about GivingTuesday!

What is GivingTuesday you ask? I’ll let them tell it:

“GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good… GivingTuesday is now an independent nonprofit and a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.”

But why should you care about a random Tuesday in November?

In 2020, $2.47 billion in donations were given on GivingTuesday in the U.S. That’s a lot of money for doin’ good, and even a fraction of that amount can go a long way towards supporting organizations like yours.

This year, GivingTuesday is on November 29th, 2022, which means that there is still time to create a game plan and encourage your audience to participate in the day of giving.

Here are 7 steps to get started!

1. Pick a compelling story

The Room

We love asking the question, “What’s your story?” Every person and every business has a story. Pick a specific, personable story to share as the motivating factor for your GivingTuesday campaign.

Do you have specific equipment you need to purchase to help train staff? Or maybe you have a specific community member in need of financial assistance that you’re raising money to support?

The goal is to help potential donors see where their money would actually be going so they can make an informed decision and feel good about their real-world impact.

2. Establish a fundraising goal

Once you have your story in place, establish a fundraising goal, or fundraising tiers that tie directly to your story and organization’s needs.

Transparency is very important here.

If you ask for too lofty a sum, or provide too little information on where the money is going, donors will be able to sniff out the lack of thoughtfulness and sincerity and will probably spend their hard-earned money elsewhere.

Tip: Consider reaching out to previously generous donors to see if they would be willing to match donations, up to a certain amount. Knowing that their $18 donation is making twice the impact is a great incentive for potential donors.

3. Reach people where they are

When planning your campaign, make sure to spread the word across various channels in order to reach your audience. Sending emails, posting on social media, adding an alert bar to your website, or even picking up the phone (gasp!) to call potential donors are all ways to increase the odds that your message will be received.

Tip: You don’t need to reinvent the wheel for each platform. You can, and should, repurpose your content for each channel.

4. Get creative!

Courtesy of GivingTuesday

Every nonprofit and their mom will be asking for donations leading up to and during GivingTuesday, so brainstorm ways to set yourself apart.

Here are some fun ideas …

  • Create a custom logo. GivingTuesday has a great suggestion about creating custom GivingTuesday logos that tie into your branding. If you need help creating a logo, reach out to us!
  • Leverage a fundraising thermometer. We created a super easy to use fundraising thermometer generator for our partners at Bloomerang, which you can use to help visualize the status of your campaign.
  • Ask outside-the-box. Offer other opportunities for your community to support your organization that don’t involve spending money.
    • Ask your social media followers to share stories, experiences, and photos of why they support your organization. Make sure to promote using a unique hashtag to track their posts. Then reshare their responses!
    • Ask for testimonials or reviews that can help spread the word about your organization.
    • Create an event where they can come volunteer their time, like a litter pickup day.

5. Make it personal

Your donors are real people with real busy lives, and on GivingTuesday, you’re going to be asking them for their time and money. Make an effort to show them that you genuinely see them and their support.

Even when you’re mass emailing folks, you can still do it in a way that demonstrates you are aware of their contributions to your community. Including first name merge tags and segmenting based on if someone has previously donated, volunteered, etc., are simple ways to personalize the experience.

Tip: At the end of the email, consider signing off from a real human at your organization, so that the ask is in their voice. If you can get a video of them asking for support, that’s even better!

6. Create a schedule

The weeks leading up to GivingTuesday are crucial for getting the word out about your upcoming campaign and how your community can help.

Start counting down the days on social media and via email to build up anticipation for the day and mentally prepare your audience. Checkout GivingTuesday’s helpful Sample GivingTuesday Campaign Timeline here.

7. Say thank you!

The Office

Make sure donors receive a heartfelt thank you as soon as they make a donation, via a confirmation message or thank you page on your website.

Then after GivingTuesday, follow up with another acknowledgement via email and social. If you want to go the extra mile, consider calling or even sending a physical letter to donors individually to express your heartfelt thanks.

Still not convinced?

If you’ve read this far, and are still feeling hesitant about tackling with a kickass GivingTuesday campaign, then perhaps you’re worried about donor fatigue — that your campaign will be unsuccessful because you’ll be overshadowed by hundreds of other organizations asking for support.

News flash: it never hurts to try!

Remember, your mission is unique and you already have a strong community of current supporters and past donors who want to support your organization. As long as you set realistic goals, ask with authenticity, and express appreciation for support in any form (financial or not), you’ll do great.

Need help putting these steps into action? Worry not, we’re here to help! Just reach out.

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About Sarah-Leah Thompson

Digital Ink tells stories for forward-thinking businesses, mission-driven organizations, and marketing and technology agencies in need of a creative and digital partner.

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