Now is the time to start thinking about #GivingTuesday. An important part of the giving season, this particular day warrants your special attention, and taking steps now will be much less stressful than waiting until December.
Since launching in 2012, #GivingTuesday—the charitable counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday—has grown into a national philanthropic movement. The participation of individuals, businesses, and entire communities has made the annual event a prime fundraising opportunity for social impact organizations, no matter their size or budget. Donors are eager to participate, and organizations should ride on this wave of energy to attract support.
In fact, the excitement around #GivingTuesday can be used as a launch pad for your greater fundraising efforts. Below is a breakdown of the opportunity that this national giving day offers, as well as a couple of ways you can build on the excitement to push your larger initiatives.
An Opportunity You Can’t Pass Up
Over the last few years, #GivingTuesday has gained solid momentum and it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. According to estimates by Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the Case Foundation, #GivingTuesday raised $46 million in 2014, topping 2013’s $28 million yield. The number of donations also increased by 53 percent. This jives with a similar finding by Blackbaud, whose transaction volume during the annual event hiked up 50 percent compared to 2013.
These numbers speak directly to the engagement and opportunity surrounding #GivingTuesday. Not only are more and more people paying attention to this dedicated day of giving, but they also tend to be generous with their gifts. According to Blackbaud’s “#GivingTuesday Trends” report, the average online gift that small organizations received jumped from $100 in 2012 to $134 in 2014. On a broader level, nearly all organizations that received online donations during #GivingTuesday 2014 received an average online gift of 100 dollars.
The media attention surrounding #GivingTuesday continues to grow each year, raising awareness around social causes. Trends show that donors are willing to participate. It’s just a matter of what your organization will do with the increased attention and engagement.
Leverage #GivingTuesday as a Stepping Stone for Bigger Initiatives
To take advantage of this national giving day, many organizations plan to launch an isolated campaign just for #GivingTuesday. While this approach will raise some funds, there are other ways to maximize the opportunity. One way, in particular, is to weave it into a bigger year-end fundraising strategy instead. Here are a couple of ways you can leverage the excitement around #GivingTuesday to push your larger initiatives.
1. Integrate it Into Your Holiday Fundraising Campaign
Instead of running separate #GivingTuesday and year-end fundraising campaigns, simply incorporate #GivingTuesday into your existing holiday fundraising efforts.
Many organizations launch their holiday fundraising campaign around Thanksgiving. With a campaign already in motion, use the media exposure that comes with #GivingTuesday to promote your campaign and encourage people to give to your organization. The revenue from the event can give you a big financial push towards your overall campaign goal.
If you haven’t rolled out your year-end fundraising campaign by December 3rd, leverage the buzz around #GivingTuesday to officially launch your planned campaign. The excitement will contribute to a solid kickoff, building initial momentum for your campaign. People are more likely to give when they see your initiative shows progress, so gaining lots of traction on #GivingTuesday can set your campaign up for success in the following weeks.
In fact, you can prep for a successful #GivingTuesday hard launch by planning a soft launch in the weeks prior. This is when you recruit a few dedicated supporters to start raising money before your public kickoff on #GivingTuesday. Build momentum leading up to December 1st, and you can set the stage for a strong fundraising campaign.
Pro Tip: Many sponsors are willing to match gifts on #GivingTuesday, so try to find a corporate partner and host a donation matching period. This will excite donors and create a sense of urgency, which will help draw more donations to your campaign the day-of.
2. Promote Your Recurring Giving Campaign
#GivingTuesday presents a prime opportunity to not only acquire one-time gifts, but grow your number of monthly gifts and your organization’s financial baseline.
Consider leveraging the giving day to push your monthly giving program. Growing your number of recurring donations can do wonders for your organization’s long-term financial health. It can help you increase the amount people give on average each year, improve retention rates, and refine long-term planning and budgeting.
On December 1st, you can launch a recurring giving campaign to acquire new monthly donors. Your ask amount may be lower, but small monthly gifts add up to larger annual contributions and better retention rates. You can also target annual donors and ask them to join your monthly giving program, and ask monthly donors to increase their gift amount.
#GivingTuesday will be here before you know it. Plan now so you can capture the enthusiasm surrounding the event and boost your year-end fundraising initiatives. Capture the momentum of this one day to reap longer lasting benefits.