GivingTuesday is a global day of generosity that happens every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. As people are bombarded with ads, emails and social posts from nearly every organization about this day of giving, what can your nonprofit do to stand out from the noise? These GivingTuesday tips will help you craft communications that inspire more prospects and donors to support your mission now.
1. Make it about them, not you.
Donors don’t give because of your organizational fundraising goals or operational needs; they give because they want to help real people in your community. As you craft your GivingTuesday communications, lead with your audience, not your organization. Elevate the individuals, families and communities that depend on you and the life-changing impact your work will have on their lives and livelihoods. Ask your donors and supporters to help them. Including first-person messages and appeals directly from those who have benefitted from your organization can be particularly helpful to paint a clear picture of your impact. Be transparent and detailed about how you will use the dollars you raise on GivingTuesday to support your community.
2. Approach your donors and supporters as partners.
Rather than begging donors for their support, consider them essential partners in delivering your mission. Show them how their partnership and collaboration can strengthen lives and their community, and make it clear in your communications where they fit in these efforts. By treating your donors as critical collaborators, you will develop a more meaningful relationship with them that inspires continued involvement.
3. Secure a match partner.
A whopping 84% of donors say they are more likely to give to nonprofit organizations if a match is offered, according to Double the Donation, and 1 in 3 donors say they’ve given more because a match is offered. Increase the funds you raise on GivingTuesday by identifying an existing corporate partner or board member to match the donations you raise on this giving day. This offers your audiences an added incentive to give, knowing their contributions will have double or even triple the impact, up to a specific amount.
4. Give them a reason to feel hopeful.
Let’s face it. Everywhere we turn right now, we’re bombarded with grim news stories and heartbreaking accounts of what’s happening in the world around us. Approach GivingTuesday from a place of strength by giving your audiences a reason to feel positive and hopeful. Although the needs are great at this moment and urgency is essential in a strong fundraising appeal, connect your donors’ actions today to how their contributions will make our entire community stronger tomorrow.
5. Offer those struggling financially with a way to support you.
While it may not be possible for everyone to make a donation, everyone can use their influence to support your cause. Encouraging certain segments of your supporters to host a Facebook fundraiser on your behalf is a great way for them to make a difference when so much feels out of our control. Learn more about how to ensure your nonprofit is eligible to have supporters fundraise for you on Facebook here.
6. Don’t just ask.
While GivingTuesday is all about giving, don’t forget to surround every ask you make with authentic cultivation and engagement communications. Sharing stories and reporting back frequently with clarity and accountability is critical to fostering a lasting relationship with your supporters. Just as you wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first or second date, you must consider how you communicate with your donors in the same way you would with a valued friend or family member.
7. Remember your staff.
Finally, on GivingTuesday, consider how you might give back to your staff. As many staff work remotely these days, maintaining team morale is essential. Use this day to give them something — an unexpected day off this month, a hand-written note or some other token of your appreciation. Your employees and team members are your greatest assets. Make sure they know just how much you appreciate them.
Jesica D’Avanza, MPA, APR, is an award-winning communications leader who works at the intersection of brand and business strategy to make our world a better place. As owner and chief strategy officer at Round Square, she applies two decades of experience in brand and communications strategy to help nonprofits and mission-driven organizations transform their communications for greater relevance, resonance and results. Her consultancy supports clients across health care, wellness, education, environmental and nonprofit arenas.
Jesica has served in a variety of national communications and marketing leadership roles for organizations like the American Cancer Society and Muscular Dystrophy Association. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Florida State University and her Accreditation in Public Relations.