What is Giving Tuesday? GivingTuesday started 7 years ago to kick off the holiday fundraising season. It is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, following the original Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
When Is Giving Tuesday?: November 27, 2018
Can anyone participate? Yes, the movement to acknowledge this day of online giving allows anyone who wants to to join in. It is essentially social media event; leveraging your online presence to raise interest and donations following the wave of spending after Black Friday.
How much preparation do I need? Ideally you ought to have started your planning in the late summer, but it’s not too late. With a little thought and planning, you can have your organization participate. You can do this in 4 weeks, though the more time you give yourself the better. Start as soon as you can, though!
There is still time for you to put together a good #GivingTuesday campaign. With some careful planning you can produce a campaign that will be ready to send out this November 27.
Once you decide to join the Giving Tuesday effort, start with these internal goals:
Goal: what do you want to get out of Giving Tuesday? If it is funds, how much; if it is memberships or sign ups, how many? Be explicit & specific, so you can determine your progress and results.
Project Schedule: The timeline of the work you need to do: the list below will help you build the elements of the day- preparation always takes longer and it is easy to overlook details. Get the calendar and note dates and deadlines. Be sure everyone working on this has access to the project schedule, and who is responsible for what, and when.
What do I need?
- A theme or special message: Yes, you fundraise all year; what can you share or feature for this day that is unique or special? Choose a single message or idea for the day and build your giving day around that. A new program, some great news, a contest? Make this specific and tangible.
- Strong images: human brains process images about 66,000 times faster than text ( its true). Take advantage of this but choosing your images wisely. No stock pictures, those are obvious. Choose pictures that reflect your message: happy, scared, hopeful, successful, transformative? Faces are always good, focus on the eyes. Consider colors and background. Make sure the subject of your image is clear and distinct.
- Call to Action: what do you want them to do? Sign a petition, join as a member, volunteer, donate? Be clear about what action you want. Make it simple and understandable to whomever might be reading your page. And you want to give a sense of urgency, do it now!
- Donate button or click here. Pro tip: make it really easy to do whatever it is: big obvious donate button or sign up page without an obnoxious multi page form, and links directly to whenever you want them to go.
OK, Now I have my cool message and pictures ready. Now what?
The call to action needs to be clear and direct, and the ability to respond immediately on your site is ready to go.
Be clear about what you want your readers to do, then make it easy for them to do so.
You have to get that message out to as many people as you can.
Start with your own email list. Even if you have not sent out advance notice of Giving Tuesday, your own supporters will be the ones most likely to respond. Send a Save-the-Date email in advance to let them know more information will be coming. Prime the pump, as it were, by giving some advance details about what you will be doing that day.
Social media program: What are your social media accounts? This is the real opportunity to get so many more eyeballs on your message. Make a schedule of when you post during the day and keep people engaged with you. Create some message content in advance to save you time; be sure your message is consistent across all your channels. Reinforce your message with the colors, fonts, text, images and language for all your different channels by being consistent and recognizable.
Facebook: for all its problems and vilification, Facebook is still a huge player. Put your images and messages on Facebook and check regularly and respond to posts or comments or questions.
What about the #GivingTuesday hashtag? While you don’t have to add the hashtag #givingtuesday to your messages, it will increase your visibility and show your support for the movement. Its a smart idea to add it and follow it over the course of that day.
Enhance your day with something different or special. Do something that you don’t normally do to create a special reason to connect with you. The goal here is engagement and participation in a new or interesting way-make this day different from the day to day stuff.
- Free download of something they can use, a song or image, list or reference guide.
- Discount on membership or goods you sell for that day.
- Ask for people to post a message or photo online with a certain color or item or message.
- Send out a dedicated survey.
- What would attract you to your program?
Make the Plan:
Now put these pieces together: your goal, how you plan to achieve it, and the specific days you will be doing it. You know your deadline already, but don’t wait until the last minute. Add advance notices – short, sweet and to the point and then schedule them over the next few weeks.
Implement: In Other Words, Do It!
Plan your work, then work your plan. Get your goals, language, text and images together. Create your compelling initiative and ask, create the messages, send them out according to your schedule. For as much as there is to do, it really is this direct.
Pay Attention to What Comes Back:
- Are emails bouncing? Be sure to update your lists.
- Are you tracking opens and clicks on your advance notices? Which ones are getting a good response, which ones are not?
- How about visits to your site after you send out any notices?
- What comes in that Tuesday? From whom, for how much, early in the day, later? Keep track of as much detail as you can. It will be very valuable next year.
- Be sure you have a plan for immediate thank you’s consider creating a special thank for this event, let it stand out.
Assessment and Post Mortem:
- Once it is all over and done with, its time to look back. What worked and what didn’t? Was the plan good, or did it have some weaknesses? How about the timeline, what did you learn from that?
- What made you happy and what didn’t?
- Take the time to clearly evaluate how you did. Was all the effort worth it? Would you do it again next year, and if so, what would you change?
Giving Tuesday is an opportunity-
Thoughtful planning can net you some good returns. With some planning, go ahead and jump on it.
Don’t do a sloppy or half assed job- those really show. If you don’t have the bandwidth this year to put up a nice campaign, it doesn’t have to be huge but it has to be worth it, use this time to watch Giving Tuesday this year and be be planning ahead for 2019.