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Make Your Giving Tuesday Bigger Than Ever with These 5 Ideas

Associations, Communications Strategy // One of the biggest fundraising days of the year means a lot of competition. Starting early and planning ahead will help you distinguish your campaign and make it a bigger success than ever.

Beth Arritt
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Giving Tuesday is one of the biggest fundraising days of the year. Even though it’s some months away, it’s worth prepping for to distinguish your Giving Tuesday campaign and pave the way for success.

Let’s dive into five ways to make your Giving Tuesday campaign more successful.

1. Make it bigger than the day itself

Giving Tuesday is big for you, but it’s also big for every other charitable organization. That means competition is stiff. So, while Giving Tuesday is important, to maximize your overall fundraising for the year:

  • Don’t rely on just Giving Tuesday. If you can, make a big push for donations at other times of the year which may be more convenient for your donors (for example, people may receive a tax refund in late spring and have extra to give).
  • Make Giving Tuesday a jumping off point. What do we mean? Create your campaign around (rather than on) Giving Tuesday itself. Start early and continue your campaign through the end of the year. This gives you time to maximize your outreach list, then running it until the end of the year gives you time to encourage more tax-deductible donations.

2. Start collecting names early

Deciding who exactly is going to be on your list for fundraising outreach can be a big struggle. You know who has already donated, but you need to go beyond that list. To help you avoid this challenge, we’ve got two pieces of advice.

  • Use content strategically. If you’re starting your fundraising campaign in November, put a downloadable piece of content related to giving on your website in August. For example, if your foundation does academic scholarships, create a piece of content sharing their stories. Put this content behind a form on a landing page and you’ll have new names for your fundraising list.
  • Use web tracking. Web tracking is a special tool found in some marketing automation platforms that allows you to identify known users. You can send out the same piece of content in an email in August that contains a special tracking code called a “cookie.” Once the person clicks on that link, the cookie is attached to them, and you can see when they visit your website, what pages they check out, and use this data to retarget them. Tip: Make sure to send the content from your landing page through email to create more known users when the requestors click on the content in the email.

Planning ahead in this way can expand your donor pool and make your fundraising list much stronger.

3. Create automated email campaigns

An automated email campaign (also known as a “drip campaign” or “marketing automation”) will set you up for Giving Tuesday success. Why? The first big reason is that you’re planning ahead. If you’ve planned out the timing and messaging, you know you’ve covered everything, and you have time to react if things change or something new pops up.

You’ve also had time to determine who goes into your campaign. Rather than sending out blast emails to your entire donor base, which can be off-putting and lacking in relevance, you can segment your list and plan the most topical content for each group. For example, you might want to target a segment of people who’ve received scholarships and want to give back. The messaging you send to that group will be very different from visitors you simply know have been to your website. You can also structure how many emails go into the campaign and when they go out.

Not only will planning ahead save you stress, you’ll also have a more methodical way to see what’s working and what’s not.

Not sure how to set up an automated campaign? Higher Logic’s Advanced Starter Kits in Communications Professional include a pre-built fundraising campaign with suggested copy for each email.

4. Create a multichannel campaign

While email is a great campaign channel, it’s not the only channel. Relying just on email can limit your campaign’s effectiveness. Here are some ways you can branch out:

  • Create a call or voicemail campaign. Adding additional channels helps you increase the number of touches with each donor. Plus, it’s harder to say no to someone via phone than it is to ignore an email, and voicemails put a “voice to the person.”
  • Run ads on your website and on your online community (if you have one) until the end of the year.

Jumping back to tip #3, another big benefit of automated email campaigns is how they can help with a multichannel campaign. Higher Logic’s marketing automation software lets you create notifications within the campaign to start certain elements, like a call blitz. (Again, benefits of planning ahead – you won’t forget!)

For example, you can see everyone who has clicked on an email, send this group into a new campaign section, and send a notification to your fundraising team. They will now have a list of who to call, who not to call (like those who have already donated!), and when to begin. You have all your information in one place and a regular cadence planned in advance.

5. Use stories & emotion

It’s not just the technical that makes a difference in a successful Giving Tuesday campaign. Those warm and fuzzy stories make a huge difference, too. Use emotion to create a strong narrative for why donors’ gifts will make a difference.

One way to increase emotional impact is to find a connected person in the industry (an influencer) to help you ask for donations. Their well-known status or established presence as a donor to your cause can help you influence others who might be on the fence.

Another idea is to show stories of those whom donors’ gifts have impacted. For example, if you can make it part of the winning process, gather pictures, quotes, stories, so that you can show donors what they’re giving to is worthwhile. And thinking ahead for next year, you can use this material as content for your website.

One more tip to note – be sure to use a mute campaign with your fundraising emails. This will allow people who have donated or aren’t interested in donating to mute just the fundraising emails instead of unsubscribing completely.

As part of an overall giving campaign, Giving Tuesday can be very effective if you plan ahead. So get planning!

Beth Arritt

Association Strategist

Beth’s marketing experience encompasses more than twenty-five years of marketing strategy and member/customer engagement in various industries, including puzzles and games, training, education and aviation.

In addition to marketing, Beth has worked in event management and web development, wearing a variety of hats in different positions. She has also been an adjunct professor of marketing at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia.

Beth received a Bachelor of Science degree in Merchandising from James Madison University, a Certificate in Event Management from The George Washington University, and a Masters of Business Administration/Marketing from the University of Phoenix. She has earned numerous awards for her marketing, including two Top Digital Marketer of the Year awards.

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