27 Apr #GivingTuesday May 15th: Fundraising Tips to Use Now
At a time when it is needed most, the social sector is in crisis finding itself thrust into unprecedented levels of need for housing, food, nurturing, and education in local communities hit with the impacts of Covid-19 shutdowns. In response, an additional #GivingTuesday has been declared this year for May 15 to support nonprofits now, together with the normal #GivingTuesday held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
You are likely already planning to participate, and unfortunately you’ve also had less time to plan, and probably find yourself with less bandwidth to execute right now. But, even if you don’t feel 100% prepared, go forward. The reason for this special day of giving is that donors are looking for ways to help during this crisis.
#GivingTuesday is an opportunity for you to make new people aware of your organization and to attract new donors. Many organizations attract three to five times more new supporters on #GivingTuesday than on other days of the year. And, of course you can also use this time to communicate to existing donors the value of the work you are doing at this very moment and offer a new perspective of what you bring to the dynamics of this crisis.
While this May15th #GivingTuesday might feel like last-minute fundraising, here are some tips to help you get the most from the day.
Leverage the Trends
Emphasize how your organization supports the causes that tend to get the most funds, if you can do so authentically.
Human services, healthcare, and animal welfare historically bring in the largest percentage of overall dollars gifted on #GivingTuesday, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see that trend continue given the community needs during this crisis. Even if your organization isn’t directly known for being on the front lines of these sectors, think broadly about these areas and communicate how you are supporting one or more of them.
Offer to Pre-Schedule Giving
Of course it is energizing when everyone comes together on one single day to show generosity. But, don’t forget not everyone can be tuned in on that day, or it may not be top of mind, as we are all dealing with new routine challenges right now.
By allowing people to schedule a donation ahead of time, when they have the time or you have their mindshare, that then gets applied on the giving day means you don’t have to rely on “real time” giving to maximize your donations (and your donor’s attention).
According to the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, women tend to participate more than men, and account for 60% or more of donations on #GivingTuesday. So even if you only have bandwidth for a few quick social media posts on #GivingTuesday, consider tailoring your impact stories with a women’s perspective in mind.
And, don’t forget that many young people care deeply about giving, but often aren’t yet in a financial position to donate as much as they might like. So, why not use this opportunity to include a volunteer interest response on your donation form? Give donors the opportunity to express an interest in getting involved in other ways, no matter how much they have to give financially.
Prioritize Thank Yous
In the midst of managing the dynamics of #GivingTuesday while also juggling increased demands for services, don’t let your donor thank you’s get short shrift. Most especially, don’t rely on your online donation platform as your only thanks to your donors.
That thank you that typically appears after a donation is submitted online should be treated in your organization as simply a confirmation to your donor that the donation went through successfully, and should not substitute for a proper thank you. Be sure you follow up with an email, or if even better, a card or note. And be sure to tell your donors how the money they gave was used. The timelier and the more specific you can get the more likely the donor will give again. And, if you get a new first-time donor send them some kind of welcome package with information about who you are and the stories behind the dollars. This is the time to start building a relationship.
Ask for a Tip
All online donations carry some (and often significant) transaction cost or administrative cost to process the transaction. Give your donors the opportunity to cover the cost through a “tip jar” or an opt-in to cover the transaction costs. This feature is built into some donation platforms as an option during the donation process, but even if your platform doesn’t have this feature, you can often create a custom element on your donation form that adds a percentage or flat fee to cover the transaction cost.
The good news is many people are open to giving what they can right now, and you are in the position to help them get assistance to a cause they care about. A few small things can make all the difference to you both on this upcoming #GivingTuesday.