by: Susan Bottum, Vice President, HUB Philanthropic Solutions
Labor Day is upon us, and with it, we say farewell to the summer. As fall begins, many nonprofits move into high gear, knowing it is a good time of year to raise funds and cultivate donors. And, it is the time to start thinking about your holiday appeal and potential Giving Tuesday strategy.
A few weeks before Giving Tuesday last year, I wrote a blog about some last-minute ways in which your organization could participate in the Giving Tuesday flurry. In this blog, I would like to share with you a few strategies and ways in which you can be strategic about your year-end appeal. As a reminder, Giving Tuesday is November 29, 2016.
Develop a comprehensive holiday appeal strategy
- What overarching message or compelling story do you plan to share? If possible, utilize a consistent theme in the coming months.
- Include a sentence or two about Giving Tuesday in your written appeal.
- Identify a timeline for social media; for example, in the weeks leading up to Giving Tuesday, plan to send a weekly email, which includes a short client success story and photo plus a reminder about Giving Tuesday. On Giving Tuesday, consider one email blast in the morning and again at the end of the day. Also be sure to include information about Giving Tuesday on your Facebook page and utilize Twitter as well.
- If possible, include a challenge grant. Do you have a donor who may be willing to match donations up to a certain amount? This is always compelling, especially for first-time donors.
Share your strategy with your Board and leadership
- This is imperative as a way to get the word out. Encourage Board and staff members, volunteers and other key stakeholders to spread the word about Giving Tuesday. Their awareness and assistance can make all the difference.
- Make sure they like your Facebook page, add the Giving Tuesday information to their Facebook and LinkedIn accounts and forward the emails to friends, family and colleagues.
Don’t forget to follow up
- Be sure to thank all of your donors in a timely manner – and share the results of Giving Tuesday.
- Remind those who did not participate in Giving Tuesday that there is still time to give. Their gift is important!
- Analyze your results and communicate these results to your key stakeholders.
- Identify a plan for 2017, which may include plans to enhance the process.
As you can see, Giving Tuesday should be one part of your overall strategy for the Annual Fund. And, with a little planning, it can be impactful and not too overwhelming!