ioby Support Center

Things to know about Giving Tuesday and end of year fundraising

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If your campaign happens to land in the fall and winter time, you might want to take advantage of Giving Tuesday and Year End Giving campaign. Think of these events of powerful tools to shape your messages to donors around to help supercharge giving to your campaign.

What is #GivingTuesday?

You’ve likely heard of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” the days following Thanksgiving when businesses urge consumers to make holiday purchases. In 2011, several nonprofits came together to come up with #GivingTuesday–a campaign to remind folks to give generously, alongside their spending sprees. It’s since become known as the global day of giving, which can super helpful for your own ioby campaign.

What is a Year End Giving campaign?

Nearly one third of all charitable gifts in a year occurs in December. 12% of ALL giving occurs during the last 3 days of the year. That makes these days an incredibly important time for your campaign. Many donors give to meet the year end tax deadline, while others might give generously to get into the spirit of the season.

Whatever the reason is, if you want to take part and try and give your campaign a boost, you'll want to plan well in advance. Many nonprofits plan campaigns around the giving season starting in October, with consistent messaging and asks leading up to #GivingTuesday in November, and New Years Eve in December.

So you want to participate in #GivingTuesday and/or Year End Giving. Here's what to expect.

It's an exceptionally charitable time of year, and LOTS of nonprofits know that and what to take advantage of it. Here's what to expect if you choose to run a #GivingTuesday or Year End Giving campaign:

  • High competition. In 2016, more than 40,000 nonprofit organizations raised funds on #GivingTuesday. That's a lot of groups competing for the same limited amount of donor dollars, not to mention the competition you'll face with holiday shopping and travel. 

  • Lack of familiarity. While 93% of consumers are familiar with Black Friday, just 18% are familiar with #GivingTuesday. Keep that in mind when you think of the messages you'll share with your potential donors. 

  • Donor fatigue. As you can probably attest to, most folks will get dozens of emails and their social media feeds will be flooded with asks for donations come years end. Think of creative ways to cut through the noise. Can you make direct, personal asks via phone, text, or email? Can you activate your previous donors to make personal asks on their social media, maybe featuring a video about why they're giving?

If you’re planning to participate in #GivingTuesday or run a Year End Giving campaign, use these steps to set and reach your goals:

  1. Define success. How much money are you trying to fundraise during #GivingTuesday or Year End Giving? Make this goal clear to your entire fundraising team. Maybe it’s a percentage of your campaign’s fundraising goal, maybe it’s a specific dollar amount, or maybe it’s your entire campaign fundraising goal. Just be sure it’s clear and communicated to your team.

  2. Read our fundraising the toolkits and resources. Especially #GivingTuesday’s toolkit. Search “Year End Giving Resources” or “#GivingTuesday Toolkit” on our website to find a trove of tips! 

  3. Plan. The #GivingTuesday organization suggests starting to plan in August. Some organizations begin Year End Giving campaigns even earlier! As soon as you decide to participate, draft a timeline for #GivingTuesday or Year End Giving. This timeline should include one or two communications pushes each week, starting in October. Then, on #GivingTuesday and/or December 31st, plan an hour-by-hour breakdown of phone calls, pre-scheduled personalized emails, and social media posts. Social media will not be enough for a successful #GivingTuesday campaign. You’ll need to plan other direct outreach (phone, in-person or personal emails) in addition to social media and e-blasts. 

  4. Make it look good! To spiff up your social media posts, use an infographic maker like Piktochart or Canva. Or, see a list of other options here. Sharing an eye-catching infographic about the impact donations have on your project will help your social media posts rise above the rest.

  5. Perfect your project story. Remember, lots of people are competing for a limited amount of donor dollars, so your campaign will need to stand out. Emphasize the impact of your project to tug at heart strings and convince your donors to give generously to your campaign. On a regular cycle, it might take four asks spaced out over the course of a few days or weeks to get a potential donor to give. Plan for up to 12 on #GivingTuesday. Take advantage of ioby’s guide to telling your story, with real-life examples of your campaign stories, to write your story and prepare it for your #GivingTuesday and Year-End Giving Campaigns! Another thing suggested by Mobile Cause is to segment your audience with the size of the ask and the communication size. The goal with this plan is to retain and steward your donors for future giving.

  6. Look for new donors. 63% of #GivingTuesday donors only gave on that day and no other time, so try to seek out new donors because they are more likely to stay engaged throughout new projects in the year. Can you tap friends to reach out to their friends that you might not know? Maybe take a leap of faith and ask some folks you haven't spoken to for a year, but who you know are passionate about a similar thing as your project idea?

  7. It’s not just about the money. Ask for volunteers, or for help from people to share your campaign in new and interesting ways like in the un-selfie so they can engage their network to get more donors. 

  8. Follow the plan, but don't forget that you can always tweak it if you need to. New donors that you know will need special attention? Did you plan on emails for a big chunk of dollars, but find that emails don't result in much giving? Stay flexible, and adjust your plan, especially if you find one tactic is yielding you more gifts than another. 

  9. Don't forget to thank your donors. It might seem obvious, but nothing is worse than giving generously and not receiving any thanks for it. It's nearly a guarantee that they won't give again the next time you ask, and you want the list of folks you can tap for donations to grow, not shrink! Thanking your donors is an easy way to make sure that they feel good about giving, and will be ready to give the next time you ask. If possible, thank them publicly–it'll help you engage your community, and just might lead to new donors the next time around! Consider thanking them when you share the results of your campaign, or when you've implemented your campaign. Everyone loves to see what they've contributed to. 


Want to read more? Check out our blog post on crowdfunding during and after the holidays.

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