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GivingTuesday: What’s the Best Approach?

GivingTuesday is a global movement for giving and volunteering. The seventh annual GivingTuesday is December 3rd when charities, individuals and companies rally for a cause which “unites communities by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another”.

One of our non-profit clients recently asked their Senior Consultant for counsel on successful strategies around GivingTuesday.  We are a highly collaborative group at Global Philanthropic Canada, so the Consultant polled our Senior Consultants across Canada.  Here’s some of the responses:

“I have been recommending to clients they do no ask for anything on GivingTuesday.  Instead, they can set themselves apart from the thousands of other charities by organizing a thank-a-thon when they call donors just to say thank you. It becomes a great opportunity to ‘give’ to the organization just by making the calls.”
Danielle Boucher
Vice President Atlantic & Senior Consultant

“I agree with Danielle. There isn’t anything special about ‘meeting your target by year end’ or ‘it’s our anniversary; you should give us something’. To differentiate yourselves, give donors a call on Tuesday and let them know what impact their gifts have made. Let them hear a client’s success story. And get your Chair to call, just to say hi.”
Richard Walker
Senior Consultant, Pacific

GivingTuesday as a standalone for a charity does not work out well. And if the organization is just beginning to plan now for the day, it’s too late to be impactful.

GivingTuesday needs to be part of a bigger plan for raising money. It should be a rallying point for a number of solicitations and activities leading up to the day. Charities need to start months ahead of the day itself and use that day as the conclusion to a well thought-out and executed campaign. Securing early gifts in September and October contribute to the GivingTuesday initiative, extends the awareness and increases giving.”
Bob Baker
Vice President Ontario & Senior Consultant

I love the suggestion of using GivingTuesday to thank donors! I would recommend GivingTuesday should not be seen as a single email blast. You need to tell stories in the lead up to it, during and post event to maximize results.

I have also seen teams make significant jumps on GivingTuesday through highly personalized segmentation but as Bob said, as part of a bigger plan.

For example, use the weeks leading up to GivingTuesday to thank donors, share testimonials on how GivingTuesday gifts were used in the past and ensure each donor understands why these gifts are important. Cultivate and steward and informally survey these donors by giving them options on the stories you share them i.e. if given two or three options, will donors self-identify based on their click behaviours? Track this data, label it and use it to re-target and segment GivingTuesday donors.

Rather than a generic GivingTuesday message, leverage the data collected through stewardship to hit those donors with a segmented message based on their specific interests and behaviour i.e. what priority of your mission best aligns with each segment?  Use this data to improve participation.

Donor micro-behaviours can be used to tell better stories.”
Chris Steeves
Senior Consultant, Atlantic

“Boys and Girls Clubs have renamed it Gratitude Tuesday.”
Jane Dafoe
Senior Consultant, Prairies

GivingTuesday can be used as an excellent tool for acquisition, especially for charities just starting out on fundraising.  

A good example is a client who recently received their charitable registration status and is in the process of designing their strategic fund development plan. GivingTuesday will provide them with one element of a much more integrated program, and if done correctly, will deliver an opportunity of outreach and allow them to segment, cultivate and target their current and future donors in a meaningful and strategic way.

This activity can seamlessly be integrated into a charity’s social media strategy to provide clear analytics on donor preference and other key information for segmented marketing as their donor base builds.”
Val Hoey
Senior Consultant, Prairies

Our Senior Consultants are ready to work with you to establish the bigger-picture plan that will help you maximize all giving opportunities. Give us a call and let’s think, build and lead together to create more sustainable organizations.