The end of the year has always been a busy time for nonprofit fundraising professionals. It is the time when the majority of development staff are busy working on their year end appeals. They write, edit, write some more, edit some more, and hopefully for their organization’s sake, they put together an appeal that will inspire those receiving the letters, pamphlets, and packages to give a gift before the end of the calendar year.
However, a couple of years ago, someone came up with a new plan to add to their year-end endeavors. In a response to Black Friday shopping, and Cyber Monday shopping, the idea of Giving Tuesday was born to create an opportunity to give to charities, mostly online. Since this new event started, it has progressively increased giving by cyber donors each year.
These days, most nonprofits have websites for their organizations, and they have created Facebook pages for their organizations. Many have discovered Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media sites. The question is, are they going to use these sites to reach their past, present and potential supporters affectively?
If you plan on participating on Giving Tuesday, hopefully, you already started communicating with your organizations’ followers. Giving Tuesday may be a single day, but you should be working it into your social media conversations several weeks in advance. It’s not just sending out a tweet or two the day of the event. You should be posting on all the sites you use ahead of time to let your followers know what you do, how you help your clients and community, and how you could not do it without the support of your partners, your supporters. If possible, you should be posting something every day or so.
Before the big day, you should be putting together several posts that have a call to action, a call to give. Make them appropriate for each kind of media you use. If you have photos you can use, use them. Don’t make them too long. Remember, Twitter only lets you use 140 characters, and you need to leave enough space for the link to your donation page.
Speaking of links to your donor page, make sure that your link works, and make sure it goes directly to your donor page. Donors don’t want to search your website to find the donor page. If it takes too many clicks to get there, they probably won’t take the time to finish the act of giving.
On Giving Tuesday, start posting those calls to action on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, YouTube, and any other sites you use. Post several times throughout the day, morning, afternoon, and evening. Your efforts will be rewarded.
After Giving Tuesday has passed, you will still have work to do. You will need to record any information that the donor has given you when they donate online. You will need to thank those kind-hearted souls who gave you their support and money. And you will need to evaluate what worked and what didn’t, so you will know what you will need to improve on for next year’s Giving Tuesday.