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Allison Gauss
after #GivingTuesday

How to Capitalize on the #GivingTuesday Buzz, After #GivingTuesday

The social impact sector is flooded by a deluge of attention on #GivingTuesday, 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. #GivingTuesday is a unique event, but it requires the same follow up and re-engagement as any fundraising campaign.

You worked hard to plan and prepare for the global giving day. Don’t let that audience, those donations, just slip away the next day.

Retain the Windfall of Donors

One of the best parts of #GivingTuesday is that it allows organizations to reach and convert new donors. The social media buzz amplifies your normal audience, moving long-time supporters and brand new donors to get involved. Those individual donations are something to celebrate, but they can evolve into lifelong support if you retain these new donors. Unfortunately, about 6 out of 10 new donors to a nonprofit won’t give again.

Although retention requires some effort, it is still the smart financial choice. It costs approximately five times as much to acquire a new donor as it does to retain one. Investing some time in your follow up plan for #GivingTuesday can turn a 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 think about how to communicate with your audience on #GivingTuesday, remember to create awesome thank you messages 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 very 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 from #GivingTuesday 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. What is most important in a welcome series, though, is to inspire supporters and show how you can make an impact, together.

Be sure to include awesome pictures from the field and graphics that show how you advance a worthy cause. Don’t send new supporters a wall of text. You can always link to your website or blog to explain a program of campaign in more detail. Ask donors to click through to watch a video or read a blog post. They will see what you have to offer and become familiar with your website.

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 #GivingTuesday, 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 #GivingTuesday 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 #GivingTuesday 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 #GivingTuesday 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 yous, welcome and update new supporters, and present your audience with new opportunities to make an impact.


Rock #GivingTuesday

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