Last Minute Tips for Giving Tuesday

Enjoy a few tips for last-minute Giving Tuesday planning - for those who are organized and those who still have work to do.

Giving Tuesday is one of my favorite times of the year. In some ways better than a holiday. The gifts of creative nonprofit fundraising abound. Like a kid waking up in the morning dreaming about piles of gifts, I wake earnestly looking forward to seeing what kind of campaigns, pages, emails and more come my way.

Why? Because I love nonprofits and I love nonprofit tech. You’re top of your game on Giving Tuesday. I’ll follow this post the Wednesday after with a portfolio of cool examples like last year.

For now, I wanted to share a few last minute tips for Giving Tuesday prep. Whether you’ve finished out your plan and production or you’re still getting things together, give this a read (or at least a skim) to see if you find any useful ideas. There’s something in here for everyone – Engaging Networks users and otherwise.

Last Minute A/B (or A/B/C/D) Donation Form Testing

Ideally, you’ve tested already and baked the results into your plan. However if you haven’t, one thing is for certain, Giving Tuesday will provide considerable traffic and donations to test your ideas and optimize for the rest of December. While you don’t want to bungle efforts on this critical day, a couple safe tests could prove beneficial to the rest of your year-end campaign. Here are a few thoughts.

It’s just over a week until Giving Tuesday, so don’t overthink your page testing. Focus on one goal-oriented variable you think may boost year-end results. A lot of testing we’ve seen recently is focused on multi-step forms versus one-step forms to boost conversion (the results may surprise you). You may want to test prominence of a recurring donation ask. Or perhaps you want to test the effectiveness of different imagery.

Whatever your goal, setting up a page test is easy.

If you’re just now doing this, stick to 2-3 forms to keep it less complicated on a tight timeline. Many tools (including ours) will also allow you to automatically set the most successful page live and close the others automatically once you’ve reached statistical significance.

A well-known third-party name out there for page testing is Optimizely. However, Engaging Networks has an elegant solution built right into our tools. Build your forms, set up your test, promote your link – check, done. You can read the documentation here. I’ve used the Engaging Networks tool before on the client side and found it far easier to set up and use than others.

Personalization Is My Personal Preference

Too often we focus on production for the sake of production (because there’s a lot). However, it’s almost expected these days to receive some sort of recognition that we are a human interacting with your software – or better yet your cause! When was the last time you downloaded an app that didn’t at some point (if it asked for your name) say something like ‘Good job, Kathy!’ or get an email that addressed you personally? Don’t forget to make it personal.

But, I’m not talking about just adding a Supporter’s name to the beginning of an email. Most eCRMs offer ways to deeply personalize your Supporter’s experience. If yours doesn’t, let us know and we’ll show you some cool tools. Here are a handful of fun ideas for deep customizations that (depending on your eCRM) aren’t too hard to add at the last minute. They increase in complexity as you go down the list.

Add the Supporter’s name multiple times

Throughout email copy, not just in the opening. Especially, add their name in a direct call to action like, ‘Kathy, today is the day I need you to donate $25 to help save sea otters.’ OR ‘Kathy, if you give $25 right now, Morgan Freeman will also give $25 to match your gift.’

Add your Supporter’s name to donation forms and thank you pages

Normally you can only do this for Supporters identified in your eCRM (most likely through email) but those are people already interacting with your cause. Like keeping your branding consistent, think of this as keeping your friendship consistent. I’ve clicked on your email (we’ll say the Morgan Freeman one). When I get to your donation page maybe there’s a picture of Morgan and a note, that says, ‘I’m glad you decided to give today, Kathy.’ You get the idea. The more I feel a part of your experience the more invested I get.

Customize content or images on pages

This is based on what you know about your Supporters. I’ve done this just based on donor profiles where the same individual form would render different content to different donor groups. What I mean is I built one donation form and used Engaging Networks’ conditional content tools to display different ask strings, messages and images to Prospects, Donors, Mid-level Donors and Major Donors. Prospects visiting the page (from our emails) would see a premium offer. Major Donors received a special note from the CEO and a higher ask string. You get it. This ensured that everyone got a unique experience. You can do this by building multiple donation forms for each segment but with a little planning and building, this is far more flexible and saves time later in your campaign. Best bet on learning how to do this in Engaging Networks is by reaching out to our Account Services team if you’re a client. If you want tools that can do this, give us a shout.

Build a donor journey

Making someone a part of your work will boost results. Ideally this would start with some great emails planned and set up in email marketing automation tools but that takes some time and we’re talking last minute tips here. Depending on your eCRM, you can build custom donor journeys right in your donation forms. Imagine this holiday you’re raising funds to support hurricane relief. What if your forms could do the following:

Page 1

Welcome Supporters and ask them where they are from (this feeds the redirect and filter tools you set up in your eCRM to respond by state or region – find ours here).

Page 2

Supporters in affected regions get a sympathetic page geared towards how their support helps their neighbors, pets and friends; OR Supporters in areas surrounding affected regions get a page that speaks to how they’ve probably visited those towns and shops before and how their support can help; OR Supporters outside those two areas get a general plea for support.

Page 3

Thank each Supporter individually with a unique message based on their action.

How’m I Doing? I Mean Progress Meters…

This nifty tool has been around for-ev-er. When I got started in digital fundraising in 2007 Convio had a (albeit pretty unattractive) progress meter tool built into the system. But we used it! This is one thing from the beginning of time that has not tarnished at all. Why? Progress meters visualize impact. You can write all you want about donor impact but you’re relying on someone to read and digest all you write. Images are easily noticed and easily communicate your message.

We are 78% to your goal to save sea otters this Giving Tuesday. 

Image by Wynn Pointaux from Pixabay

If you’re not using progress meters in your campaigns consider adding them if your eCRM offers the option. You can find more information about Engaging Networks’ options here.

Diversify Revenue

I feel like I’m on Wall Street when I tell people this but in reality your nonprofit is a cause driven business. By targeting different donor groups you’re already ‘diversifying revenue’ in one way. What I suggest here is different though – eCommerce. I have yet to work at a nonprofit where I was able to get eCommerce off the ground – mostly due to misconceptions about options. People tend to think you have to sell physical items. You don’t. This is a passion of mine, in fact, you can see my ENCC presentation here on the subject. While eCommerce can mean hats, shirts, stuffies and more – it can also be as simple as a symbolic giving store. This is what most nonprofits implement successfully.

What’s a symbolic giving store? When you offer Donors the opportunity to give a ‘symbol of your cause’ to a friend or family member as a gift. You essentially sell symbols of your cause. An example would be:

  • You have a great sea otter rescue program in California and you know many of your supporters love the program.
  • In your store you offer an item with the most adorable sea otter picture ever called ‘Support Sea Otter Rescue in California’.
  • When they ‘purchase’ this item it is a tax-deductible donation to your cause, they do not receive anything physical but they can send an eCard to a friend or family member.

That’s it. If you’re concerned about restricted giving because you need to raise unrestricted funds, carefully craft your copy to be inclusive of other work. For example:

  • You have a great sea otter rescue program in California that would work in your store but your fundraising is for all programs (unrestricted).
  • In your store, offer an item with the most adorable sea otter picture ever called ‘Support Programs Like Sea Otter Rescue’.
  • When they ‘purchase’ this item it is a tax-deductible donation to your cause, they do not receive anything physical but they can send an eCard to a friend or family member.

The more specific you can be with your items the more it will resonate but be careful about restricted/unrestricted language.

If you’re able to say ‘Remove 100 Plastic Bottles from the Ocean’ – $25 – DO IT! If not, try ‘Help Remove 100 Plastic Bottles from the Ocean’ – $25 (and craft your item description to broadly address the program and other work your organization does).

There are many great examples out there of symbolic giving stores. Two recently built on Engaging Networks’ eCommerce module are Reading is Fundamental and UNHCR Canada – those should give you some great ideas.

Pollution on the beach of tropical sea.

I hope this has given you a few last minute ideas for this year’s Giving Tuesday – or for planning next year. In closing, I’d like to give you a few more great resources:

My personal caveat. These are the thoughts of an ex-online fundraiser of over a decade now turned software marketer. I am not a consultant. Take the ideas if you choose or visit our Partners page to find a solid fundraising partner to help you grow your program. Thanks!

Related Posts

Chloe Green is a copywriter and digital campaigner with almost a decade of experience in the charity and political sectors. She’s delivered campaigns, copy and consultancy for a raft of good eggs including Anthony Nolan, the National Union of Students, St Mungo’s, and Hillary for America. She was Social Media Manager at the Labour Party between 2016–2019 and now she’s Head of Creative with the lovely team at Forward Action. She leads on fundraising emails, UX copy, and all creative facilitation. She’s an expert in email list growth, digital strategy, organic and paid-for social media, and digital mobilisation.

Rachel founded the specialist charity web agency, Rechord, in 1999. Between 1999 and 2012 they created hundreds of different web applications for organisations in the UK and internationally.
In 2013 she became the 'Donor Whisperer' and focused on helping small to medium-sized non-profits to reach new donors and activists and from there increase their income. She uses a unique process that combines the benefits of consultancy with capacity building.
Her clients include Traidcraft Exchange, the Overseas Development Institute, Jubilee Debt Coalition, the Leprosy Mission of England and Wales, Tax Justice UK, The Canary, Humanity and Inclusion, the Anti-Tribalism Movement, BRACE, New Family Social, Arseh Sevom - and that's just the last year.
She also feels weird writing about herself in the third person.

Ellen is Campaigns Manager overseeing national and local campaigning at the MS Society. She has worked at the MS Society for 2 and a half years, with roles at Scope and Guide Dogs prior to this.

Hannah is Senior Campaigns Officer at the MS Society, working on their local campaigning programme, Local Action for MS and also on social care and carers. She’s worked at the MS Society for a year and a half, and was previously at the MND Association and National Voices.

Executive Director of C6 Digital, London based agency

Emily has worked at Guide Dogs for the Blind Association since 2019, working on a range of campaign areas to empower people with vision impairments to live the life they choose. Prior to this, Emily working in parliament and severed as a borough councillor.

Brani Milosevic ia a digital consultant and coach at https://www.digitalleadership.ltd/
She helps individuals, teams and organisations to learn how to seize the opportunities offered by digital and navigate its challenges.
Brani set up the Digital Leadership Forum, is an NCVO trainer, a CharityComms mentor and a qualified executive coach.

Rhiannan Sullivan is the Vice President of strategy and partnerships of social action network, Care2.com. Over the past 10+ years, she has worked with hundreds of UK and EU charities helping them grow and develop their digital fundraising programmes. Prior to working for Care2, Rhiannan worked at then political campaigning agency Blue State Digital, a global leading digital strategy agency who has helped many organisations build and engage online communities, clients included political and advocacy campaigns, non-­‐profit organisations, cultural institutions and global consumer brands.

Calum manages social, email and some digital campaigns at CPRE, and is CPRE’s expert Engaging Networks user, working on development and helping other teams make the most of the platform. Happiest working on campaigns for change or rambling around in the countryside.

Brandon Fuller is Engaging Networks alumni and owner of Raise the Roots, a digital agency that has supported over two dozen organizations on Engaging Networks - helping them to maximize their digital engagement using this powerful platform. He previously managed global online advocacy campaigns for the Pew Charitable Trusts and has worked in the nonprofit community for nearly two decades.

I joined the Woodland Trust in 2018 and now lead on policy and engagement campaigns working to improve protection, restoration and high quality creation of woods and trees. Prior to campaigning for trees, I worked in Peterborough, tackling fuel poverty in the community. I care deeply about the climate and nature crises and the many, intersectional impacts and solutions. Endlessly inspired and energised by the dedication and passion of our supporters and the public who take action time and time again.

Hannah Mudge is Digital Innovation Manager at The Leprosy Mission England and Wales and has had the privilege of seeing the 147-year-old international development charity evolve over the last decade, from sending out its first online fundraising appeal to achieving record levels of income despite the challenges faced since the start of the pandemic. She is based in Peterborough and enjoys running, cooking and reading in her limited spare time when not parenting two lively boys. During 2020 she added ‘homeschooling’ to her skillset although what Ofsted rating she would achieve is probably best left to the imagination.

I am a campaigner in the Woods Under Threat team at the Woodland Trust. My role is to help protect ancient woods and trees from damaging developments across the UK. Ancient woods and trees are irreplaceable, so we work hard to stop any further loss of these precious habitats and ensure they are protected for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Matt Strong is the Campaigns and Engagement Officer for the Ramblers.

He has recently run campaigns on increasing the number of new green walking routes in some of our biggest cities, including London and Manchester. He has also been leading on the Ramblers’ campaigns work around the Environment Bill. Matt has a background in politics after spending a decade as an elected councillor on Manchester City Council and having previously worked for two Members of Parliament and a political party.

Claire Warner is a former charity Fundraising Director & Senior Leader, turned Culture & Wellbeing consultant.

It was in trying to throw herself back into her beloved Fundraising Director role after 12 months' treatment for aggressive breast cancer, that Claire realised the focus & memory loss and heart condition side effects she'd been left with after her treatment, plus the life-changing experience of the illness itself, meant (guttingly!) a 300% commitment, 50+hours a week Fundraising Director role was no longer an option.

On looking into what others do in this situation, Claire discovered the field of workplace wellbeing, the research work of Prof Cary Cooper, the Gallup Organisation and Simon Sinek, and hasn't looked back since.

In 2018, Claire created her own piece of research into the wellbeing of fundraisers and when it concluded in 2019, over 700 fundraisers had taken part. The results of the research were used to further inform and refine the work Claire does with organisations and individuals in the charity sector.

In 2020 Claire won the Best Digital Leader Award at the Social CEO Awards and in 2021 curated the first Charity Wellbeing Summit.

Today, Claire works on organisational culture and wellbeing projects with charities and offers coaching and mentoring programmes to sector professionals.

Becky has spent the last decade building people power and people-powered movements to hold the most powerful to account for a fairer, more just, and cleaner future.
She helped build 38 Degrees UK into a movement of over 1 million citizens and led many of the biggest campaigns. As part of OPEN’s senior team, she helped build and sustain a network across 19 different countries, by supporting, coaching, and building fast-growing digitally facilitated organisations.

She's currently Senior Strategist at The Sunrise Project leading the Global Banks Program and building grassroots activism on finance around the world. She’s on the board of Skiftet, Sweden’s biggest online campaign community and Left Foot Forward in the UK.

Andrew Taylor-Dawson is Development Manager at Liberty, where he leads on member and support engagement. He has been in fundraising for around 13 years. In this time he has worked in the human rights, homelessness and social justice sectors as well as having been a freelance consultant.

He has held board positions with Global Justice Now and the adoption support organisation We Are family.

Rebecca is a Digital Project Manager, who recently led the redesign and redevelopment of The Children's Society's website.

Rebecca worked closely with senior stakeholders, subject matter experts, and digital agencies to create a new platform that demonstrates the organisation's refreshed vision, mission and brand. There has already been astounding results in the 6-months since launch.

I have worked as a web developer for about 20 years and for Which? since 2015, primarily on their WordPress sites. This has involved integration with a variety of different APIs, most recently the Engaging Networks API, along with the creation of APIs to allow sites to talk to one another.

Glyn Thomas is a digital strategist and web developer. He built his first website in 1997 and has been working in digital communications since 2002.

For the past 12 years, Glyn has almost exclusively worked with charities and non-profit organisations. Almost all the projects he works on are focused around campaigning, fundraising or supporter recruitment, and often a mixture of all three.

Now based in Berlin, Glyn works with organisations in the UK, Europe and North America.

Rhian is the Strategic Programme Manager for Physical Activity at Versus Arthritis. Alongside Sport England under the Richmond Group ‘Movement for All’ programme, Rhian is co-developing a long-term, sustainable programme to support those living with Musculoskeletal conditions to increase their physical activity levels and improve their quality of life. Rhian has over 15 years’ experience of supporting people with long term health conditions to become more active. She is passionate about prevention, working in partnership and using an effective knowledge base to create impactful change at scale.

Having gotten his start organizing with anti-war veterans and working as Sala Labs, Sales Engineer, and Partner Manager, Bryan now brings his expertise to non-profit and mission-driven clients as 4Site Studios Director of Digital Strategy. Specializing in challenging and complex projects, Bryan works with each client to craft holistic approaches tailored to goals, budget, and outcomes.

Mary Margaret Callahan is the Chief Mission Officer for Pet Partners, where she is responsible for leading mission delivery including the therapy animal program and grassroots advocacy program. She joined Pet Partners in 2013 and has worked to establish the organization as both an influencer and a resource within the animal-assisted intervention (AAI) and human-animal bond (HAB) community. In 2018 she was named one of PetAge Magazine’s Women of Influence. Mary Margaret lives on a small farm outside Seattle with her husband, daughter and menagerie of animals including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, chickens, goats and miniature donkeys.

Joe Derry Hall is a freelancer working on creative digital and communications. His interests include tech innovation, upending power and reimagining different futures. Joe has been the winner of a Mozilla Creative Media Award and the joint winner of a BAFTA digital award. He was previously in-house in campaigning and communications roles at Amnesty International, the Climate Coalition, the Ecocide campaign, Save the Children, Scope and others. He is one of the initiators of Right Way Up, an experiment to create a radical, practical new vision for the social change sector.

Anna Chowcat is the Digital Manager at Refuge and oversees the charity’s digital function and output. Since joining Refuge, Anna has been instrumental in introducing a number of digital engagement programmes including digital campaigns, bespoke email supporter journeys and user friendly donate/campaign pages. Before joining Refuge, she has worked in digital engagement and campaign roles at The Labour Party and Leonard Cheshire Disability.

X
X