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.
You worked hard to prepare for the global giving day, 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 in the weeks following Giving Tuesday.
Retain the Windfall of Donors
One of the best parts of Giving Tuesday is that it allows organizations to reach and convert new donors. The social media buzz amplifies your normal audience, moving brand new donors to get involved. While those individual donations are definitely something to celebrate, repeat donors are vital to your financial stability and the time following a donor’s first interaction is a crucial step in building strong relationships.
It’s also financially smarter to retain donors than acquire new ones, given that it costs approximately five times as much to acquire a new donor as it does to retain one.
Invest some time in creating a follow-up plan for Giving Tuesday to turn a brief windfall of engagement into lasting support.
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 you plan your Giving Tuesday campaign, remember to create awesome thank you messages, engage with supporters in real time, and plan how you will show donors the campaign’s impact.
These are smart follow up guidelines for most fundraising campaigns, but the influx of new donors and supporters also requires some more specialized communications.
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 some background information and impact stories will strengthen their interest and bond with your cause.
Start your series by giving some context to your work. For example, the donor may know you’re a hunger nonprofit, but that doesn’t mean they know where you work or what makes your organization different from others. When you’re 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 awesome pictures from the field and graphics that show how you advance a worthy 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 photographs, 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.
Re-Engage Donors to Retain Them
Retaining a donor means getting them to give again, so the process of following up ultimately 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 who didn’t give then.
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 donation, such as volunteering, fundraising, or sharing the campaign on social media. In the following months, continue to update supporters with your impact.
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.