The sixth annual #GivingTuesday is today, Nov. 28, 2017. This campaign was created for the Tuesday following Thanksgiving in the United States. It comes after Black Friday shopping at the big box stores, Small Business Saturday to promote shopping at neighborhood stores and Cyber Monday when shoppers make online purchases.
It’s noble for an organization like #GivingTuesday to promote charitable giving during the holiday season and attempt to bolster year-end giving appeals. In general, nonprofit and charitable organizations struggle to raise money to fund their missions while the demand for services continues to increase. Promoting awareness of the need for funds is—and will continue to be—an ongoing challenge.
A successfully coordinated one-day campaign to get donations in the United States and throughout the world must overcome two obstacles: Timing and communication.
Holding this event after the biggest shopping days of the year creates a perception of entitlement—it’s “our turn.” Nonprofit and charitable organizations need to cultivate donors and make appeals throughout the year. And kicking off year-end appeals before Thanksgiving makes sense as organizations should communicate the need for assistance before donors make their shopping lists and start spending.
Research by Network for Good, one of the largest online charitable giving services, revealed more than 30 percent of donations were made in December and 10 percent were made during the last three days of the year.
Hashtags and mentions on social media might increase awareness of your nonprofit. But only a well-crafted story about how your organization helps people will influence a prospective donor to make a contribution. Touch a person’s heart with an emotional story and you will receive financial support along with donations of time and talent. This is an opportunity to build your donor database by peer-to-peer connections and there’s no better way to influence a friend than by sharing a touching story.
Remember The Fundamentals
Fundraisers must execute the fundamentals to have a successful “Give Day” program or any annual appeal. Most campaigns require months of preparation. In addition to preparing great stories on how your organization is serving people, gather statistics to strengthen your solicitation. Your organization must promptly thank donors when they make a gift. Fundraisers must analyze the number of gifts and the average amount donated along with reviewing social media and other statistics.
Most nonprofit and charitable organizations face increasing demands for services. They need strong and dependable fundraising professionals to provide enough financial support to meet or exceed goals and expectations.
A version of this article first appeared in the Strategic Communicator, the e-newsletter from Mueller Communications. Subscribe and receive weekly, curated content on marketing/communications, media relations, crisis communications/management, fundraising, strategy and leadership.