The Foundations of GivingTuesday
GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
GivingTuesday strives to build a world in which the catalytic power of generosity is at the heart of the society we build together, unlocking dignity, opportunity, and equity around the globe.
This movement is real. The numbers in the United States alone are staggering.
- $511 million raised on Giving Tuesday 2019 in USA alone
- 2019 had a 28% increase over 2018
The movement is gaining traction around the world with organizations in 60 countries as registered participants in 2019. For more information, or inspiration from 2019 you can view the full impact report here.
GivingTuesday 2020 is on December 1st – and time to plan is running out.
Keeping it in context for 2020
What? You already did GivingTuesday? Some did on May 5, 2020 – GivingTuesdayNOW where organizations raised a staggering $503m worldwide. This was a global response to a crisis that unified us all – a catalyst for change – COVID-19. But, if you’re worried about GivingTuesdayNOW and how it will affect your numbers just be informed. Donations are still strong as we close 2020 and hope is on the horizon in so many ways. Hope will propel us into 2021.
If you’re looking for additional information on GivingTuesdayNOW and its projected impacts. Or forecasts for this GivingTuesday on December 1, 2020, here are some options:
- Learnings from 2020’s GivingTuesdayNOW – from Accredited Partner, Firefly Partners
- Giving Tuesday 2020 Stats and Facts – from Whole Whale
Now that you’ve got things in appropriate context – the past, present and future – it’s time to plan. If you’ve already put a plan together, great! But keep reading as you may find a bit of information helpful. If you haven’t planned much yet, we’re here for you with some tips, case studies and checklists.
Planning Your Campaign
Some organizations begin planning for GivingTuesday six months to a year out. Some have good intentions to start early and don’t or just can’t get to it until it’s nearly upon them. Take a look at our Giving Tuesday Checklist for Planners and Procrastinators courtesy of Cornershop Creative. This offers great ideas for planning long term and also for those of us who waited until the last minute.
Giving Tuesday.org provides ample resources for nonprofits. Get tips to plan your campaign, metrics for success and even ideas for how to reach key audiences. Here are a two quick links to help you find what you need:
Ten best practices
1 – Review your data
Analyze donor behavior over the course of 2020, and especially on GivingTuesdayNOW and make clear decisions about segmentation, ask amounts, conversion goals, etc. If you’re able, benchmark it against 2019 data for deeper insights. It’s been a unique year and it’s worth diving into the numbers even if just at the top level.
2 – Optimizations
Have you reviewed your donation pages and emails for mobile readiness? Are your pages accessible? How is your user experience? Did you incorporate digital wallets yet (we offer three integrations)? How about one-click donation forms? Take a moment to review these things and make changes if necessary. Make giving as EASY as possible for donors. Something as simple as page load time can make or break your conversions – did you know that if your page takes more than 3 seconds to load on mobile you’ve already lost over 40% of your opportunities?Pingdom 2018 page load time study.
3 – Testing
Determine if you are willing to test on GivingTuesday. Some recommend this and some don’t but the sheer volume of transactions on GivingTuesday gives you the statistical significance needed to make clear decisions about the remainder of your year-end campaign.
4 – The ask
Come in with a clear message and a clear ask across communications on GivingTuesday. Build a story around your cause with a clear call to action that speaks to organizational impact.
5 – The amount
Set your donation amounts – or test them. In Engaging Networks, you can upsell donors using our Next Suggested Gift tools. Some have tested open-ended asks like ‘enter your amount’. Just don’t underask – your cause has value and your donors are willing to support you.
6 – Secure a match
Giving days are perfect for matches as there is perceived need, a deadline and a goal. Even if your match isn’t enormous it can make donors feel like they’re having a greater impact. Check out GivingTuesday.org’s document on securing a match and don’t forget to add a progress meter to your donation pages so supporters will see their impact.
7 – Homepage impact
Intercept donors immediately when they arrive on your homepage with a lightbox at the very least. For a more aggressive tactic, consider a homepage takeover. This can be done with a full page lightbox or by redirecting the homepage URL to a donation form for the day. Just make sure you give donors a way to get back to the homepage if they don’t want to give.
8 – Number of emails
There’s a lot of noise. Think about it. We’re very digital right now anyway and in the USA at least, we start receiving emails about ‘Black Friday’ before Thanksgiving, then ‘Small Business Saturday’. Thank goodness we get a break on Sunday because then there’s ‘Cyber Monday’ and finally, last in line is ‘Giving Tuesday’. Imagine the email fatigue. Consider sending a lot of email this day to get attention, using impactful subject lines, messages from your CEO or ED and anything else you can do to cut through the clutter. A tactic to try as well is sending an email before the noise starts, maybe the Tuesday before Thanksgiving as a ‘Pre-GivingTuesday’ appeal with the same offer. Creativity is key.
9 – Schedule your emails early
Most email delivery systems will queue your email sends with others. Think of it like getting in line and waiting to ‘go’. To ensure your messages go out on time plan ahead and schedule them, especially if you have precise sending times like a noon email that says ‘It’s noon’ in the subject line.
10 – Thank your donors
Many donors give more than once in a year – and often more than once during year-end. They may give again before midnight on December 31st. Regardless of your hopes of another donation in 2020, thanking your donors is key to building strong relationships and shouldn’t be overlooked or minimized. Read our thoughts on giving thanks.
How else can you bring in donation dollars this year? Don’t plan your strategy around email and donation forms only. Donors need to see you on social media, in advertising and pretty much anywhere you can reach them. Here are a couple other ideas to maximize donation opportunities and reach supporters.
- Are you doing corporate matching? Double the Donation is a tool that helps your supporters with corporate matching and… is currently giving away use of their tool for GivingTuesday 2020!
- Are you using all of your channels and opportunities like eCommerce? Offering donors premiums or symbolic giving is a great way to kick off the giving season. Try testing eCommerce or premiums as a way to convert prospects to donors.
- Do you have an advertising plan? If not, you can get started pretty easily and you may be eligible for a Google Grant.
- Have you tried GIFs or Video? In Engaging Networks, you can embed a GIF into email and even donation forms giving a sense or urgency or place. No production team? I used the tool called Promo to make the video below in 8 minutes – no kidding! They offer stock video and music and at a reasonable rate. And, if you need the versatility of creating video AND GIFs, you can convert your Promo video to a GIF – easy.
Tips, Tricks and Case Studies
Finally, keep reading for some additional resources including tips from our team and peers and some valuable case studies on past GivingTuesdays.
Tips from The Engaging Networks Team
Most of our team have worked for nonprofits in the past so we understand the ins and outs of year-end fundraising. Last year, I asked the team for one tip. See what they said.
Here’s an article from last year as well that provided ample tips for things like page optimization, diversifying revenue and maximizing donor experience. Pick up a few more tips here.
Our friends at Whole Whale have compiled a list of 31+ resources to help nonprofits come up with innovative ideas for Giving Tuesday, check it out.
Mercy Home for Boys and Girls saw an enormous increase in peer-to-peer fundraising on Giving Tuesday 2016 thanks to our easy-to-use tools. Read more.
Accredited Partner, Raise the Roots built a truly unique campaign with Rethink Breast Cancer using live interaction on social media – the results were impressive to say the least. Read more.