Here’s what your nonprofit can expect from Giving Tuesday 2020—and how to maximize giving during turbulent times
Worried about what Giving Tuesday will look like on December 1, 2020? You’re not alone. With a global pandemic, a divisive political climate and an economic recession afoot, many nonprofit leaders are concerned about donor fatigue and people’s willingness to donate this giving season. That’s why we’re sharing some tips to help your organization’s fundraising efforts this Giving Tuesday and beyond.
While the fundraising climate may feel dire and 2020 burnout is real, data suggests that now is the perfect time to double-down on your fundraising efforts. Americans have stepped up their giving since the pandemic hit. The latest Blackbaud Institute Index found a 36% increase in online giving from April through June 2020 compared to the same time period last year. And this surge in generosity shows no sign of slowing down: 25% of donors intend to increase their giving this year.
Why Giving Tuesday 2020 matters
This year, Giving Tuesday presents a major opportunity to raise critical funds for your nonprofit. If your organization is among the 83% of nonprofits that have lost revenue since the start of the pandemic, you’ve likely had to reduce your services and lay off or furlough employees.
According to Classy’s 2020 State of Modern Philanthropy report, almost one-third of an organization’s donations are typically received between Giving Tuesday and the end of the year.
Nonprofits can secure four to six times as many donors on Giving Tuesday than on any other day of the year, and those donors are three to four times more likely to become a fundraiser than donors acquired on other days. If you’re not already sold: Those who become recurring donors do so faster if their first interaction with an organization is on Giving Tuesday.
Don’t let your organization miss out. Here are timely fundraising approaches your nonprofit can take to engage and activate your supporters to give their time, skills and money this Giving Tuesday and beyond.
5 Fundraising Tips for Giving Tuesday 2020
Produce a Virtual Event
Just because large, in-person fundraising events are out of the question right now, doesn’t mean you can’t bring your supporters together digitally. You can produce a successful virtual event at just a fraction of the cost of an in-person gala. Depending on your goals, you may want to go with a simple live stream or a larger interactive fundraising event.
If you’re looking to expand brand awareness on a zero-dollar budget, a live stream can help. With just Facebook or Instagram and a phone or laptop, you can remind donors of the importance of your work. Not only is it completely free to go live on a social media platform—it also comes with free marketing. Facebook and Instagram will send all of your followers notifications the second your organization goes live.
Not sure what sort of live stream event to host on Giving Tuesday? We recommend keeping it simple with a Q&A featuring staff, an “AMA” (“Ask Me Anything”) hosted by one of your nonprofit’s experts or a “Day in the Life” of one of your staff members or someone you serve. Live streaming events are a relatively low-effort, high-reward way to make donors feel like an integral part of your community and reinforce the significance of your work.
If you are already in the midst of planning a large-scale fundraising event with more moving parts—like speakers, performers or an online auction—ensure that your technology is working for you and not against you. Rehearse your full program prior to the event, so that you have time to troubleshoot any platforms that are not behaving properly and smooth out any awkward transitions. For more virtual event inspiration, check out these tips on spicing up virtual events. And don’t forget to avoid these common pitfalls on December 1.
Embrace Alternative Forms of Giving
With the U.S. unemployment rate fluctuating between seven and 15 percent since the pandemic began, many people who gave to your organization last Giving Tuesday may find themselves unable to do so this year. However, these supporters may have more time this year to volunteer or make an in-kind donation, which can be equally valuable contributions. After all, the current estimated national value of each volunteer hour is $27.20. Make your supporters feel valued by acknowledging other ways they can make an impact this year.
If you run a volunteer recruitment campaign, make it social by encouraging supporters to publicly commit to a certain number of volunteer hours on social media. Perhaps you release volunteer shifts for the next six months on Giving Tuesday and shout-out the volunteers who commit to the most time slots.
If yours is not a service-based organization, consider asking for in-kind donations of goods or services. Giving Tuesday could be a great time to call your supporters to action to fulfill your organization’s wishlist. Maybe now is the time to focus on getting those gently-used laptops that students need to get set up for success while they study remotely or collecting essential food and household items for the community members hit hardest by the pandemic.
Another option: You could also focus on soliciting services from supporters with specialized skills. Your donor base represents a vast array of talents, experiences and industries. Leverage that network by asking for pro-bono professional development or other support. Looking for consulting on your next strategic plan or a refreshed logo? Even if your supporters are not in a position to make a financial contribution this year, they want to help you make an impact—invite them to do so.
Promote a Monthly Giving Program
Giving Tuesday is an ideal time to launch or promote your monthly giving program. While many are not in a position to make a large financial commitment on December 1, they may be open to making smaller recurring donations throughout the year. Monthly giving programs have a much higher return on investment to one-time donations. The average recurring donor will give 42% more in one year than those who make one-time donations. Monthly donors also create higher lifetime individual revenue for your organization.
A monthly giving program is an effective way to retain the Giving Tuesday donor support after December 1.
Focus on Donor Retention, Not Donor Recruitment
You can focus your Giving Tuesday 2020 messaging on the impact that your donors have already made this year. Consider hosting a video thank-a-thon where you send short, personalized videos of gratitude to your donors. Video acknowledgements make donors feel appreciated in a very personal way and require just a few moments of staff time and a phone. Check out these five effective donor appreciation videos compiled by Network for Good.
You can also share these thank-you videos on social media, tagging donors and encouraging them to reshare the content on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, so that you can take advantage of the power of their networks.
Build a Dedicated Landing Page
An online fundraising page is critical to fundraising success. This is particularly true with this year’s Giving Tuesday, which will happen exclusively online. First, create a dedicated donation page for your campaign. Then, make sure this page is user-friendly, fast to load and visual.
A donor should be able to find your donation link within a few seconds of the page loading. A best practice is to place the link on the top navigation found in the website’s header. Highlight this button or link with a bright and eye-catching color.
Not every website visitor will arrive on your landing page with the intent to donate; most have to be persuaded. Make sure your fundraising page includes a brief, compelling case for donating and a photo or video of your work in action.
Bonus points if your landing page features real-time fundraising progress. With short-lived campaigns like Giving Tuesday, it’s beneficial to use a fundraising thermometer to track your donations and make progress visible. Not only does a visible fundraising tracker entice people to donate but it’s a way of building social proof.
Check out more ways to optimize your fundraising page before December 1.
Want to make the most of your fundraising efforts? Contact us to find a strategic marketing approach that works for your organization.