The Best Ways to Plan & Optimize Your GivingTuesday Fundraising
2022 is positioned to be an even stronger year of giving. Here are eight GivingTuesday strategies proven to spark engagement and motivate donors.
What began as a simple idea in 2012 has now blossomed into a global movement with one central theme: inspiring acts of generosity and support that help to build a better world. In 2021, $2.7 billion was given on GivingTuesday throughout the United States — a 9% increase from 2020 and 37% increase from pre-pandemic records. Even more inspiring was how generous people were beyond financial contributions:
- 9.7 million people volunteered
- 10.2 million people donated goods
- 13.5 million people advocated
2022 is positioned to be an even stronger year of giving. Despite the ongoing pandemic and whispers of an economic downturn, giving continues to outpace consumer spending AND overall giving growth within the United States.
How Can You Start Planning for GivingTuesday?
Your GivingTuesday kick-off meeting should cover these four areas (at a minimum!):
- Past campaigns: Examine past GivingTuesday and year-end campaigns to determine what worked, what didn’t, and general areas to improve. Note the number of donations, average donation amount, how supporters made donations, which channels were most effective, what audiences you targeted, and how each audience segment performed.
- Your need: Is there a program or aspect of your mission that requires more support? Pinpoint your most important priorities and what you need to achieve success — look at everything from fundraising to volunteers to engagement to overall awareness.
- This year’s goals: After reviewing your past campaigns and need, set realistic and attainable goals for this year’s GivingTuesday campaign. And don’t stop at total revenue goals — include the average donation, number of donations, new supporters (or leads), audience engagement, and other key metrics that your organization uses to gauge success.
- Budget and resources: As you’re reviewing your past campaigns, need, and this year’s goals, write out everything your campaign will entail to bring it to life from creative assets to website updates to staffing. Once you’ve got that locked down, set your budget, plan out how you’ll secure necessary resources, and establish a realistic timeline for creating and executing your GivingTuesday campaign.
What Can You Do to Optimize Your Fundraising?
After you’ve established your audience, need, goal, and budget, it’s time to develop your campaign strategies. Whether you’re new to the GivingTuesday game or looking for fresh inspiration as you map out your campaign, those that implement a mix of creative and tried-and-true strategies are bound to see huge ROIs both in revenue and supporter engagement.
The following eight strategies are proven to spark engagement and motivate donors.
- Tell a story: Make an immediate impression by sharing a captivating story that showcases your organization’s why. Share examples of how you make an impact, why your nonprofit got started in the first place, and the people that make it all happen.
- Utilize GivingTuesday branding: Your branding — colors, style, voice, etc. — is how your supporters immediately and easily recognize your organization. Make it easy for them to identify you and your participation in GivingTuesday by sprinkling in GivingTuesday graphics and logos consistently throughout your campaign.
- Arrange a match opportunity: Securing a match — whether it be through a major donor, a corporate partner, or otherwise — makes a significant difference in how your supporters respond. In fact, it can increase your revenue per solicitation by 19% and the probability that an individual will donate by 22%. And if this is your first time exploring matching partners, don’t let the outreach psych you out — it’s the same tactics you’d use to write a fundraising letter.
- Create engaging videos: Video is dominating digital marketing and fundraising right now, especially among Millennials and younger generations. Jump in with a series of short and sweet messages from your organization’s leadership and staff, create an animated video delivering your campaign messaging, and ask your audience to submit their own videos about why they give.
- Get social: Social media is a key driver of GivingTuesday traffic — and donations. So make sure you utilize all your platforms to share beneficiary stories, volunteer spotlights, and more… all of which should be consistent with your campaign branding, of course. And don’t stop there! Use different mediums and involve your supporters with polls and media kits to really see your engagement soar.
- Be specific: Ask your supporters for specific gift amounts and tell them exactly how to make their donations (e.g., click here to donate $15). Pepper your ask throughout your copy 3-4 times per solicitation with a clear call-to-action to increase conversions and gift amounts. And test out putting a specific example of how donations will be used next to your call-to-action… you’ll likely see a bump in donations.
- Optimize your donation form: While your donation form should be short and sweet, there are multiple ways you can make the donation process easier to convert your supporters to donors such as setting preset giving levels and enabling multiple payment options — think Apple Pay, PayPal, and Venmo. And implement various settings and features on your form to maximize donations like making donor-covered fees your default and prompting employer matching (1 in 3 donors say they’d give a larger gift if they knew their company would match!).
- Share progress: Who doesn’t love to be part of a success story? Tap into that mentality by including a live fundraising thermometer, progress bar, or other donation tracker in your campaign materials. This is a super fun and effective way to engage with supporters because it shows that every little bit helps, displays social proof that others are contributing, and ignites a little competition.
GivingTuesday celebrates 10 years of generosity this year, making it a great time for your nonprofit to get in on all the fun! By planning ahead and incorporating a variety of strategies, your organization will have plenty of time to connect with supporters, create memorable graphics and videos, and commemorate 10 years of generosity while generating critical revenue.
Looking For More Information?
For more information or assistance with your GivingTuesday strategy, check out The Lukens Company’s 12 Weeks of GivingTuesday resources: 12 weeks of tips, tricks, and resources to help you plan and optimize your GivingTuesday fundraising.
Written by Nicole Misita
Nicole Misita is a Digital Strategist at The Lukens Company (TLC), an award-winning full-service marketing agency that provides expert direct response, donor development, and fundraising services to nonprofits, cultural institutions, advocacy groups, and faith-based organizations. An experienced multichannel marketer, she specializes in developing, executing, and analyzing creative digital fundraising and membership communications for museums and national nonprofits. Outside of work, Nicole can be found baking new recipes and teaching cycling classes. You can connect with her via email or LinkedIn.