The social impact sector is flooded by a deluge of attention on Giving Tuesday, but like any downpour, it eventually ends. How your organization fares after that is determined by how you respond to the people who take interest in your cause. Giving Tuesday is a unique event, but it requires the same follow up and reengagement as any other fundraising campaign.
Not to mention that you worked hard to prepare for Giving Tuesday, so don’t let that audience or those donations, just slip away. Instead, maximize the ROI of your Giving Tuesday campaign by turning your first-time donors into dedicated supporters by following these three steps.
1. Retain the Windfall of Donors
On top of the sheer volume of Giving Tuesday’s total online donations (more than $300 million in 2017), Classy platform data also shows that you can’t underestimate the lasting power of Giving Tuesday donors. Not only do nonprofit organizations acquire 3 to 5 more donors on Giving Tuesday than on a typical day, but 15 percent of those new donors give again before the next Giving Tuesday.
One way organizations can reach and convert new donors is by leveraging social media leading up to and on Giving Tuesday. The social media buzz amplifies your reach by expanding your normal audience and encouraging new donors to get involved. And while individual donations are definitely something to celebrate, repeat donors are vital to your financial stability and the first interaction after a donation is a crucial step in retaining donors.
To ensure your new Giving Tuesday donors feel appreciated and understand the impact of their donation, invest some time in creating a follow-up plan for Giving Tuesday. We know from donor surveys that following a gift, nonprofit supporters want a personalized thank you and impact stories.
Remember, a good thank you…
- Addresses the donor by name
- References the campaign
- Explains what the gift will be used for
- Signs off with the name and contact information of a staff member
- Does NOT include another appeal
As your team plans your Giving Tuesday campaign, remember to create assets to thank donors, engage with them in real time, and show them the campaign’s impact on your mission. These are smart follow up guidelines for most fundraising campaigns, but the influx of new supporters and Giving Tuesday donors requires even more specialized communications. To learn how Classy can help you steward donors, manage recurring giving, and make sense of raw data read the following post:
2. Create a Welcome Series for New Supporters
Just because someone donates or follows your organization on social media doesn’t mean they are familiar with your work. They may have donated on a whim or followed you because they want to learn more. This is why nonprofit organizations should create an email welcome series to onboard and engage new supporters. Giving new contacts background information and impact stories will strengthen their bond with your cause.
Start your welcome series by giving some context to your work. For example, the donor may know you’re working to end hunger, but that doesn’t mean they know where you work or what makes your organization different from others. When crafting your welcome series emails, remember that your number one goal is to inspire supporters and show how you can make an impact, together.
The best way to do this is to include powerful pictures from the field and graphics that show how you advance your cause. Instead of sending new supporters a wall of text, ask them to watch a video or read a blog post. You can always link to your website later to explain a program or campaign in more detail, but by sharing photos, videos, and graphics, you are showing what your organization does, rather than just telling them. Not to mention, these visuals inspire that warm fuzzy feeling when donors see the smiling faces of the people they are helping.
Your email welcome series only needs to be two or three emails, but taking the time to get new supporters up to speed will nurture the relationship and prime readers to take action.
3. Re-Engage Donors to Retain Them
Retaining a donor means getting them to give again, so the process of following up eventually includes asking supporters to take action. Most social impact organizations run major year-end fundraising campaigns soon after Giving Tuesday, which is the perfect opportunity to re-engage supporters.
Usually, it is a good idea to wait several months before asking for a second donation, but you may want to make an exception regarding Giving Tuesday and your year-end campaign. Because the giving day is a global celebration and year-end campaigns are so vital, it’s worth it to send a year-end ask to Giving Tuesday donors. Include ways to get involved other than a donation, such as volunteering, fundraising, or sharing the campaign on social media. This shows supporters that you want them to be a part of your community and not just a source of donations.
In the following months, continue to update supporters with campaign results, beneficiary stories, progress updates, and simple messages of gratitude. The softer touchpoints throughout the year are what reminds donors that your nonprofit is always working to further your cause.
How you follow up after Giving Tuesday can make a big difference in your fundraising throughout the year. Don’t let all those new supporters slip away in the weeks afterward. Send donors thoughtful thank you notes, welcome and update new supporters, and present your audience with new opportunities to make an impact.