In my last post, #Giving Tuesday, Win or Lose Day? You’re in Control I talked about the origins of the day and all the good intentions that went into its creation. Yet I’ve heard from many, many nonprofits that they just don’t have the bandwidth to develop and promote one more fundraising initiative during this very busy time of year. I’ve been there, and I empathize.
Sometimes the newest bells and whistles are simply a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing in the end. But rather than reject the notion of #GivingTuesday out of hand, I began to wonder if there were ways to jump on the bandwagon without cannibalizing other types of year-end fundraising. Or without burning out staff and volunteers. Or without confusing donors who feel like they’re being asked for this, that and every such thing.
I noted that I love the idea of using #GivingTuesday to celebrate and thank our donors. We don’t thank our supporters nearly enough, so why not have a day dedicated to donor love?
I think there’s a way to make #GivingTuesday about both giving and getting. And I promised to share an example with you in my last post.
They sent out an email asking folks to give for a specific project. It’s an add-on to their annual campaign. In other words, a second ask. And it’s targeting a particular community (Russian emigres) who are grateful there is a bilingual adult day health center where their elderly relatives can socialize and get needed care in a culturally relevant setting. Plus it serves as an incentive for this same target audience (who’d been on the fence about whether or not to buy tickets to the upcoming Émigré Gala) to do so on Giving Tuesday and get a glass of champagne! And also an incentive to stretch their dollars (a tried-and-true key to boosting fundraising success) with the triple “mega match.” Who knows if it will work? But it’s a thoughtful experiment and well worth the adventure.
People do like to be a part of something that feels larger than themselves. #Giving Tuesday is international. And Jewish Family and Children’s Services tied into this nicely by using a headline inviting folks to be part of a global movement to make history. They’re thinking about what’s in it for their donor. Which is absolutely correct.
I also like what One Justice is doing.
They too are seizing on the opportunity presented by #GivingTuesday to send an appeal about a specific project. And they found someone willing to put up a challenge grant to make this specific request even more compelling. They aren’t simply asking folks to give because it’s Tuesday, but because on this particular Tuesday the donor’s money will be DOUBLED. Cool! They also showed the donors what specific dollar amounts would accomplish, thereby giving them a clue as to how much they hope people will consider giving.
This is what Julia Wilson, E.D. of One Justice, had to say:
Just three years in and I already have GivingTuesday fatigue! The only way we’ve been able to make this work is to tuck our GivingTuesday work into our total plan for our fall campaign – so we create a GivingTuesday challenge, but focused very specifically on a targeted ask for a very specific project – and then we just use that day for one of the scheduled email blasts we would have done during our fall campaign anyway. We engage leadership donors in advance of GivingTuesday, inviting them to build the challenge amount to encourage the rest of our network to give that day. And Board members do like the very targeted day to reach out to their donors and new contacts. And then we make sure the follow-up and ongoing stewardship is crisp and targeted as well. Thank you for these insights – because the fact that GivingTuesday literally falls smack in the middle of our fall campaign means we have to deal with it – whether we like it or not!
I’ll be interested to learn the results of these campaigns, as I’m interested to know the results of yours. Especially if you’ve figured out a way to make this “holiday” a day to give to your donors, rather than simply a way for them to give to you. So please share what happens if you’re jumping on the #GivingTuesday bandwagon this year. I’d love to discern some trends and report back to you.
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