#GivingTuesday is one of the most critical days for nonprofit fundraising, and while it feels far away, it’s time for your nonprofit to finalize its strategy, make end-of-year (EOY) plans, and create campaigns now.
In 2022, more than 37 million adults participated in #GivingTuesday in many ways. Giving in the U.S. alone totaled $3.1 billion, a 15% increase compared to 2021. You should take advantage of this special day’s widespread (and growing) awareness and observance.
Together with the fundraising experts from GiveSmart, we’ve compiled the best tips and tricks to make this #GivingTuesday, your organization’s most successful.
End of Year Planning Success
When it comes to year-end giving, the time to start is now. Donors tend to donate generously to nonprofits between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, making it a fundraiser’s high season. Whether it’s a mix of feeling particularly thankful and charitable this time of year, or they’re looking to spend allotted charitable dollars to make up for lost time or to prepare for tax filing, your organization must be poised and ready if you want your nonprofit’s voice to be heard above the proverbial clanking bells of the season.
Here’s a 10-step guide to preparing for #GivingTuesday success:
- Review last year’s EOY campaign(s)
- Pull reports that include dollars raised, number of donors, number of donations, number of new donors, number of repeat donors, and average gift size to drive your goal-setting for the upcoming fiscal year and campaigns.
- Develop your key personas
- Donor personas are central to successful fundraising because they can help you understand who your donors are, what they expect and value, and what ties them to your mission. Once you’ve developed your personas, you can segment your database and target meaningful and relevant appeals.
- Conduct a website audit
- Have your marketing team audit your website, incorporating feedback from volunteers, board members, family members, and others.
- Ask your auditors/testers to evaluate:
- Donation forms
- Email list(s)
- The about you section
- Other actions relevant to your site or campaign
- Build a donor journey based on personas
- Each donor’s experience should feel personal, depending on their persona. For example, the giving process for a major donor to a zoo who has a passion for red-eyed tree frogs should look and feel different than the process for your $50 donor who likes polar bears.
- Create campaign-specific donation forms
- You’ll want to continue the campaign theme through the giving process, including your forms. This keeps the conversation going in the donor’s head, which is a much better scenario than sending them to a generic donation form right after reading a unique, relevant story.
- Write emails, direct appeals and EOY thank you letters
- Make sure your thank you messages match your personas and continue your stories. After all, your meaningful, relevant stories piqued donors’ interests, so keep it going through the thank you and even the follow-up next year.
- Final campaign approvals and finalize campaign assets
- It’s almost go-time, so campaign approvals should be signed, sealed, and delivered!
- Test, test, test
- Get your staff and volunteers involved in campaign testing. Use as many variables as you can.
- Send pre-#GivingTuesday email notices
- #GivingTuesday is always the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, so consider sending out a note the week before and the week of Thanksgiving.
- Send #GivingTuesday email solicitation on #GivingTuesday, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, and post on social media.
- #GivingTuesday is a major EOY fundraising campaign for your organization. Use all the tools at your disposal to get your name, mission, and ask on the donor map.
- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or whatever other social media channels you use should come alive on #GivingTuesday. Be sure to include the #GivingTuesday hashtag and a link to your donation page in posts and your profile description.
TIP: #GivingTuesday is just one part of an EOY campaign. Use this guide for a full four-month EOY giving calendar and make your next year-end giving a success.
Accounting for #GivingTuesday
With #GivingTuesday behind you, it’s time to use MIP to account for your funds and gain complete visibility into your organization’s finances and GiveSmart to gain valuable insights into your new donors.
- Start with MIP
- Easily import your individual donor and fundraising transactions to MIP.
- MIP’s unique, flexible Chart of Accounts tracks an unlimited number of donations, funds, grants, services, projects, locations, and more enabling you to create reports that are meaningful for you, your board, and your stakeholders, while staying compliant with state, county, and federal audit reporting standards.
- Review actionable insights from fundraising campaigns and events to steer your strategy and better support your mission
- With at-a-glance dashboards and comprehensive reports, you gain full visibility into your organization’s financial health, and can easily plan for what-if or what-could-be scenarios.
- MIP’s drag-and-drop report editor and generate your reports directly within MIP without relying on third-party solutions. Use any of the 340-plus robust, dynamic report templates to get the information you’re looking for quickly.
- Move to GiveSmart
- Bring the numbers to life with Donor Scoring that guides segmentation and stewardship
- Tracking all of your supporters’ activities in one source of truth in GiveSmart Donor CRM allows you to see the full picture of their involvement, as well as their affinity and capacity for deeper involvement.
- Use these collective insights to identify untapped potential, drive stewardship strategies and target your donors and supporters based on their specific interests and potential.
- Being able to view giving potential through true data on your donors ultimately allows you to align your financial and fund accounting goals with confidence through easy connection from GiveSmart to MIP.
- Learn more about the people behind the numbers so you can effectively grow your mission
- Donors appreciate, and expect, to be able to experience personalized giving experiences that meet their preferences. Using GIveSmart and MIP for more insightful, collective reporting means you’ll learn how to steward your donors in the ways that are best for them, ultimately deepening their level of support for your mission.
- GiveSmart offers customizable forms, text-to-donate, peer-to-peer giving, auctions, voting contests and more to enable you to meet your donors wherever they are.
- Offering alternative giving options with all GiveSmart activities, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, make it easier than ever for donors to give in ways that are convenient for them.
- Increase your donor retention rate
- GiveSmart’s automated thank you letter wizard prompts you to acknowledge donors right away when gifts are entered. Donors who are thanked within 48 hours of their gift being received have nearly a 20% higher retention rate. GiveSmart makes it easy and impactful to show your donors appreciation quickly.
The combination of MIP Fund Accounting with a fundraising software like GiveSmart presents a compelling advantage that seamlessly tracks and manages finances, optimizes fundraising efforts, empowers donor stewardship, and ensures long-term sustainability.
Whether it’s for #GivingTuesday or year-round fundraising, MIP and GiveSmart help organizations grow and sustain their missions. Ready to start your journey? Reach out today for information on MIP and GiveSmart.