The end of the year is often the most significant and most crucial fundraising period for nonprofits. Kickstarting this fundraising season is the annual, global event called #GivingTuesday. Traditionally held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States, the 2018 edition of #GivingTuesday will be Tuesday, November 27th.

#GivingTuesday generated a record-breaking $274M in donations in 2017, and projects to drive over $300M in donations this year! Is your organization ready to take a slice of that record-breaking donation pie? Check out these best practices to put your organization on the right track.

Set Your Goals & Plan A Strategy

No matter how experienced your organization is running #GivingTuesday campaigns, it's vital to align on a common set of goals and a strategy to achieve them. Obviously, a primary goal will be to drive donations, but consider that your website and social media pages will have increased traffic on this day.

With that in mind, take advantage of this increased attention by promoting other essential programs. Do you anticipate needing more volunteers in 2019, or are you looking for a new board member? Utilizing this extra traffic effectively and you might give yourself a massive head start for other campaigns.

Fine-Tune Your Story

With the growing fundraising figures year-after-year, you can be sure that your donors will be hit up for donations from many organizations. Be sure that you know what you're campaigning for this year, and begin by crafting your message. Putting your message on a well laid out page will also go a long way to being sure your donors see your message and want to continue reading.

A key piece of your story needs to be explaining exactly how their contribution will help. Donors love feeling connected to your mission and knowing they drive an impact will lead to increased giving. Your organization does excellent work, broadcast that to the world! #GivingTuesday is the perfect opportunity to trumpet success stories you've had so far in 2018.

Tell Your Donors How to Give

Whether you communicate with your donors via email, postcard/letter, or both, giving them a defined place to give is vital. As a donor, nothing is more frustrating than wanting to donate, but now knowing how. Here are some tips:

  • If you're sending an email, include a big, bold button close to the top that will lead the donor to an online donation form.
  • If you're mailing a postcard or letter, be sure to include both a return address for checks and a simple URL for online giving.
  • Regards of the channel of communication, be sure that your giving resources are easy to navigate and make it simple to donate.
  • Be sure to customize your donation form to collect the information you need from donors for future use, such as name, phone number and email address.

Encourage Sharing

Social media remains a vital piece of #GivingTuesday. Along with sharing your giving resources on your social media channels, encourage your donors and followers to share your page. Having your donors share your campaign will drive new visitors to your site who will then, hopefully, becoming new donors. Since it traditionally costs ten times more to acquire a new donor than retain an existing one, finding free ways to reach new audiences is vital.

To that end, be sure that if your donors are giving online that there's an option for them to share that they donated. A recent study shows that each share on social media generates an addition $15 in donations. Add that on top of the savings made by this free promotion, and that equals a significant upside for your organization.