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If you work for a non-profit organization, Giving Tuesday is probably somewhere in the back of your mind as you put together your more current fundraising campaigns. Though we’re still a few months out from the worldwide day of donating, it’s critical to begin planning with plenty of time in advance to organize your messaging and prepare your website– especially if this is the first Giving Tuesday for your non-profit.

What is Giving Tuesday? 

What exactly is Giving Tuesday? In short, Giving Tuesday is like Black Friday for non-profit organizations. Giving Tuesday is a global day of donating. The main goal of Giving Tuesday is to encourage people to do good, and to “give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.” Primarily, Giving Tuesday is rooted in digital fundraising; however, the movement also encourages participants to give back to their communities through volunteering and other acts of service. 

Giving Tuesday has occurred annually since 2012, consistently taking place on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year, Giving Tuesday will take place on December 1, 2020. 

Everyone is welcome to participate in Giving Tuesday. There are corporations, non-profits, individuals, and families all over the world who join the movement each year. Though it’s not required, it’s recommended to register your non-profit organization with Giving Tuesday so donors and the media can see your organization listed on the Giving Tuesday website and do their own research before making a donation. It gives your organization the chance to be more visible online. Though your organization will be listed on the official Giving Tuesday website, it’s important to note that your non-profit will not receive donations through the Giving Tuesday website. 

Because Giving Tuesday is so prominent in the non-profit industry, it’s important that your non-profit is prepared. 

Giving Tuesday logo
Giving Tuesday logo. Courtesy of GivingTuesday.org

Set your campaign goals 

This is a standard step that your organization would take with any campaign. Without a solid game plan or set of goals, your participation in Giving Tuesday would be a mess. Pick one or two things your organization would like to improve on. Are you trying to gain more donors? Increase recurring donors? Engage with younger donors, or boost your engagements on social media? Whatever your organization’s goal is, be prepared to showcase it throughout your campaign messaging. 

Analyze your marketing channels 

There are a plethora of marketing channels that your organization uses regularly to carry out your promotional efforts. They range from your official website, social media accounts, email, direct mail, SMS messaging lists, and more. In order to build a Giving Tuesday campaign that engages your target audiences, analyze your marketing channels and decide which avenue of communication will best support your Giving Tuesday marketing efforts. 

Once your marketing channels have been decided, sit with your team and draft your message strategy based on your campaign goals, the needs of your target audiences, and your prioritized marketing channels. Make sure to answer the following questions in your messaging: 

  • Why is our organization participating in Giving Tuesday?
  • What makes our organization and our cause unique?
  • What will donations to our cause accomplish?

Send pre-campaign information to donors 

Though Giving Tuesday isn’t for another few months, it never hurts to put the day on your donors’ mental calendars. Sending pre-campaign emails and newsletters to your donors can prepare them to make a donation they may not have made on the fly. 

Test functionality of your online donation forms 

Giving Tuesday is a very digitally-focused campaign. It’s crucial that your non-profit website is updated and running smoothly to ensure your donors have a smooth experience while donating. Before Giving Tuesday, run user tests on your website and online donation forms to ensure your site is operating at its highest potential, and test your donation processing service. 

Here are some website functionality questions to ask your team before Giving Tuesday:

  • Is it easy to find your online donation form on your website? 
  • Does your donation form offer recurring donations? 
  • Are donations processed through your payment processor? Do you offer donors a fee recovery cost? 
  • Does your team receive notifications when a donation is made? 
  • What communication is sent after someone makes a donation? Are they sent a receipt and a thank you message? 

Make your website mobile responsive

It’s important that you prioritize creating a mobile-friendly website design; nowadays, not all potential donors are working behind a large, horizontal computer screen. People are on the go, and they want things to be as easy as possible. 

Donors will access your website to make donations from their tablets, laptops, and cell phones. Having a website design that isn’t mobile-responsive is a one-way ticket to losing the interest of potential donors. Before launching your Giving Tuesday campaign, check your mobile website design and make sure it’s mobile-friendly, organized, clean, and easy to navigate. 

Feature #GivingTuesday on your website

Not everyone is familiar with Giving Tuesday. You may be promoting the campaign on social media, but your audiences may be confused if they’ve never heard of it before. Including a feature on your homepage (or even better, creating a Giving Tuesday landing page) with information about Giving Tuesday is a great way to keep donors updated on your donation progress. Some cool visual aids to add onto your Giving Tuesday feature are donation progress bars, a donation countdown clock, or a graphic that shows donation statistics. This is a chance to get creative while informing potential donors about Giving Tuesday.

Create graphics and schedule pictures beforehand

It’s important to have strong visuals in any online campaign, and Giving Tuesday is no exception. Have your team brainstorm and map out a plethora of graphic designs and images to post on social media. Perhaps your team plans to shoot a short campaign video, which is always more effective than standard photography. Planning out visual elements beforehand will help your social media strategy fall into place easily. 

Prepare to prioritize social fundraising 

Social fundraising is when supporters of your cause make a donation and share their participation with the world. When supporters of your organization share their support online, your cause is strengthened and encourages others to make a donation too. 

In 2016, Giving Tuesday raised $1.2 million solely through social fundraising. To achieve success through social fundraising, plan out a few hashtags to add on the end of your social media posts. Definitely incorporate the popular #GivingTuesday hashtag, and consider adding one that is specific to your organization. Make sure your campaign content promotes spreading your message as much as it promotes making a donation.

Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity for your non-profit organization to raise awareness and build funds for your cause. To ensure the campaign runs smoothly, it’s important to make sure your website is in tip-top shape, and your campaign messaging is prepared. Does your non-profit organization need help developing your website in time for Giving Day? Contact us today. 

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