Vanessa Chase is an international nonprofit consultant, thought leader, trainer, and speaker. Vanessa founded The Storytelling Non-Profit in 2012 to help not-for-profit organizations articulate their impact to donors in a new way, using narrative techniques to generate greater personal interest and accountability, thereby improving their fundraising success.
What you do after #GivingTuesday to build relationships is just as important as what you did leading up to the day. This marks the start of stewardship and cultivation with those who donated.
Most organizations have a donor retention problem, according to research from Roger Craver, veteran consultant and author of Retention Fundraising) and Penelope Burk (research and author of Donor-Centered Fundraising). In fact, some organizations lose more donors than they keep. The best way to address this problem is to build strong relationships with donors through stewardship.
You might be tired from the marathon day that is #GivingTuesday, but this is the time to maintain momentum and keep donors engaged. One of the best ways to do this is through stories. Here are four ways to tell your #GivingTuesday story that will keep your online audiences interested in and excited about your cause.
#1 Get Out Your Smartphone and Start Filming
#GivingTuesday is all about digital fundraising, so think about using video as a way to report back to your donors. Your video does not have to have a high production value to be meaningful. It could be a simple as having a few staff members say thank you. If you want to get a little more advanced, think about interviewing someone that your organization and donors could help with the money you raised on #GivingTuesday.
#2 Send Impact Email Updates
You probably sent out a few emails on #GivingTuesday, but don’t be afraid to send a follow-up email, too. This update lets supporters know about the impact their donation will have. What will you be able to accomplish as a result of the money that you fundraised? Consider including a few pictures or other multi-media elements to enhance the experience for donors.
#3 Give Them a “Behind the Scenes” Peek
There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes at your organization that donors never see or hear about. Give them a peek of what happened at your office on #GivingTuesday. Maybe some silly pictures of staff who are managing the social media accounts. Maybe people hard at work on gift processing. Perhaps a picture of everyone celebrating. Be light-hearted and have fun telling the behind-the-scenes story.
#4 Tell Your Donors’ Stories
Let’s face it, #GivingTuesday is not about your organization. It’s really about your donors. To celebrate their support, make sure you showcase their stories. To track down these stories, engage with donors on social media during and after #GivingTuesday. Here are a couple ideas for soliciting and distributing stories:
- Post a call for stories on social media. For example, “We are so excited that it’s #GivingTuesday and are grateful for all your support! If you made a gift today, we’d love to hear why you donated on #GivingTuesday. Why is this cause so important to you? Leave a comment below!”
- Use a campaign hashtag to pull together how people are sharing your cause on a platform like Twitter. Ask donors to use the hashtag when they share why they’ve donated, so you can repost them or aggregate them in a recap email after the fact.
The days right after #GivingTuesday are prime time to make your efforts count. Keep the momentum up and engage donors in a way that makes them want to stick around—and that starts your year-end campaign off strong.