#GivingTuesday Boosts Year-end Donations for Non-Profits

Move over Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday. There’s a relatively new kid on the block — #GivingTuesday — and its M.O. is charity, not consumerism.

On Tuesday, Dec. 1, the fourth #GivingTuesday (www.givingtuesday.org) will bring focus to organizational fundraising within a 24-hour period. Does it work?

The Network for Good reported that last year 30,000 organizations worldwide participated and raised an estimated $45.7 million in charitable giving, 63 percent more than the previous year.

For most faith-based non-profit organizations, the majority of donations occur in the fourth quarter. A #GivingTuesday campaign could boost your year-end donations. Here are some tips to consider for successfully participating in #GivingTuesday:

Create a team and identify an #GivingTuesday leader.
A one-man band isn’t likely to pull off a successful #GivingTuesday campaign. Form a team with a designated leader to champion the cause across your organization. Make all organizational resources available to the team.

Create an online-giving platform for your organization’s #GivingTuesday campaign.
Donating to your organization should never be a hassle. Create a branded landing page that makes the giving process simple. Include stories about your organization that make your cause tangible to donors. Your page could also include a giving thermometer that measures the progress of donations. If matching funds are available, highlight that benefit.

Don’t overlook the possibility of some donors wanting to make recurring donations, perhaps monthly. This option will likely require the ability to let the donor choose the transaction date each month from a credit card.

When donors respond, they appreciate instant feedback that confirms their donation. You can set up those options via email, text or social media.

Set a challenging, realistic fundraising goal and donor acquisition goal.
Donors want to help organizations that are aggressively and effectively meeting needs. Your goal should reflect the passion your organization has for its cause. Likewise, the goal should be realistic. If your operating budget is $10 million annually, setting $1 million as your #GivingTuesday goal is probably too aggressive.

#GivingTueday will likely create exposure beyond your normal stakeholders and garner new donors. So as you plan and promote, determine a reasonable donor acquisition goal.

Create a social media strategy to publicize your #GivingTuesday campaign and giving Web page.
People don’t give to causes they don’t know about. Your #GivingTuesday team must create a strategy that utilizes all media, but particularly social media, to invite participation. The appeal should include how a person’s donation will make a difference through your organization

Test your platform and donation requests.
December 1 is not the day to discover glitches in your #GivingTuesday platform. Work with your Internet support team long beforehand to not only establish a landing page, but to test it repeatedly. Never frustrate a donor.

Measure your campaign.
#GivingTuesday is an annual event, and your organization will likely participate again in 2016. Measure your 2015 campaign — both successes and failures — to inform your 2016 strategy. And if you meet or exceed your goals, don’t forget to celebrate.

InChrist Communications can help your organization ramp up for #GivingTuesday. It’s not too late, but you need to act now. Click below to arrange a free strategy session.

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Palmer Holt, founder and CEO, is an award-winning communications professional with more than 25 years’ experience in journalism, corporate and agency public relations, marketing and advertising.