#GivingTuesday, nonprofit software and the art of crowdfunding

There is less than one month left until #GivingTuesday. This is a day devoted solely to fundraising amidst the seasonal materialism and spending sprees manifested by days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While some nonprofit organizations see this as an opportunity to garner new donors and raise funds for a good cause, others view it as a distraction from their end-of-year campaigns. Whether or not a nonprofit plans to participate in #GivingTuesday, there are effective lessons to learn about crowdfunding from this increasingly popular event.

Why participate in #GivingTuesday?
The day devoted to donating is an excellent way to boost end-of-year funding, host a specific event or build a brand new group of consistent donors. Beth Kanter also noted that #GivingTuesday is an excellent way for nonprofits to utilize and understand new, more technologically advanced methods of giving. It also opens organizations up to a younger audience, as social media is the perfect platform for #GivingTuesday. Millennials frequently share their experiences and activities through these channels. These tactics will certainly prove helpful in the months following #GivingTuesday and are worth exploring now.

Preparing for #GivingTuesday
Setting a goal should be the first thing a nonprofit does when getting ready for #GivingTuesday. This is the number the organization can refer to in all marketing materials; it helps donors visualize the impact they are making and quantify the good the NPO does for the community. Nonprofit Marketing Guide said that even if a #GivingTuesday goal is small, making it public generates a greater sense of urgency than simply asking for general donations. Plus, if the goal is reached and the day isn’t over, it can always be increased and celebrated.

If nonprofits wish to generate funds for a cause separate from their own end-of-year goal, they must tell a clear and compelling story about the cause. This story must be the primary focus of the NPO leading up to #GivingTuesday. After finances are accrued and the event ends, relate this particular story back to the greater goals of the organization. For example, the UN Foundation’s Girl Up program is using #GivingTuesday to begin their SchoolCycle program that will donate bicycles to girls in Malawi. This particular focus relates back to the organization’s mission of supporting young women in receiving an education, staying healthy and living their lives to the fullest despite residing in poverty-stricken areas.

If a nonprofit decides to incorporate this single day into the end-of-year campaign, reaching out to all donors is a priority. Leading up to the date, email and social media marketing will prove just as essential as if this were a separate event.

Effective #GivingTuesday crowdfunding tactics
Frogloop encouraged using the 24 hours that make up this seasonal giving event to the fullest. Campaigning with that number in mind can peak interest and increase donations. Every hour, a nonprofit can post another story. These stories could be tales of success that feature parties the organization has helped in years past, or they could be appeals that incite empathy for those in need.

It’s also an opportunity to honor donors as the giving begins. Feature the first 24 donors who participate in the nonprofit’s #GivingTuesday campaign in the following month’s newsletter. Be sure to retweet any constituent that posts their giving activity on Twitter. Be sure to regularly update followers and donors on progress and impact.

Razoo found that fundraisers that include video marketing in their campaigns raise twice as much as those who do not. This is likely due to the deeper explanations of where funding goes and why a charity exists at all the videos provide. They also give nonprofits real personalities and faces, something that givers value.

Finally, following up with donors that participate in #GivingTuesday, is crucial. Previously active donors will feel appreciated and brand new givers should be impressed at how well they were remembered and that their contribution was noticed. Nonprofit software is essential to the retention of this active and new donor contact information.