As Giving Tuesday fast approaches, here are some BrightDot thoughts and tips for you to consider.
Questions to Ask
First, ask yourself what the goal and purpose of your organization participating in this national day of giving might be. For example:
- Are you trying to attract new donors?
- Are you trying to attract young alumni?
- Is this a visibility and marketing program to get your organization “out there” with all the others?
You should also consider what you hope to accomplish. For example:
- Are you hoping to raise a certain dollar goal?
- Are you hoping to attract a certain number of donors and/or new donors?
- At the end of the day, what milestones are important to you?
Setting goals is important and should guide you as you make plans. Otherwise, you won’t know what you’re trying to achieve–and you won’t have a metric to achieve it.
In making these decisions, keep in mind the amount of staff time versus your ROI. Ask yourself:
- How many staff are engaged in this process?
- Will it be worth the amount of time (and energy) your staff spends.
- Behind the scenes, are your processes in place that will enable a seamless and problem free experience for your donors, as well as your staff?
This also plays into logistical issues, since staff time and ROI directly contribute to your success in dealing with these issues. Such issues as website navigation, giving links on your website, getting to the giving page easily, the ease of making an online gift, automated responses, and security are all measures that should be in place and tested before your day of giving.
Lastly, what about your messaging? What do you want to convey to donors, to the public, to all of those who may visit your website for the first time? Are you able to share the impact of what your organization does? Are you using stories to share your impact? Decide what you want everyone who visits your website to walk away having learned about your organization!
If you’re trying to reach a certain dollar amount, have you lined up a few challenge matches (in all sizes) that you can promote during the day?
Having donors that you’ve identified and recruited in advance, as well as secured their commitment, can help you. Maybe a donor has pledged to match all new donations up to $500 or a donor has committed to giving you $2,500 if you can raise that exact amount in the first two hours.
Be creative and crafty! You can even use videos and personal messages from individuals to challenge others.
Keep in mind, however, that all of this needs to be done in advance and made part of your plan.
When the Day Ends
The day ends and you’re ready to tally up your results, go home and have a glass of wine. No, really. Go home and break out a glass of the good stuff.
First, we want you to celebrate. Celebrate with yourself, your team, your board, your volunteers, etc. Too often development offices forget to celebrate their successes. Take a moment and do this. Don’t dwell on what could have been and the “what ifs”. Just celebrate!
The next day, while everything is still fresh in your mind, sit down and do an after action review. BrightDot recommends using our 4 step after action review process? What is this? Click here to learn more or schedule a time to speak with us about this process!
Now, you have all these donors and all these gifts, what comes next? Segment them. For example, you can segment as:
- Repeat donors
- Loyal donors
- New donors
- First time donors
Who jumps out? Any surprises? Are there some that you don’t know anything about?
Once you have the list, share it with with your board and ask if they know anyone on the list. Can your office begin research on some of these individuals?
Remember, if there are donors you don’t know about, researching them may help you cultivate them into ongoing donors.
One of the most important steps you must have plans in place for is the stewardship process! After all, thanking your donors is the best bet to getting them to renew their support for you year after year, and sometimes more. You’ve worked hard to get these donors, don’t lose them by not showing them the love!
Statistics show that for every donor who makes a first time gift, 23% of them will make a second gift, and for everyone of them who make a second gift, 66% will continue giving for 10 or more years.
All of which is to say: don’t overlook your stewardship process! Donors of any amount want to feel appreciated and to know their gift counts! That’s why it’s important for donors of $25 to feel the same level of appreciation that donors of $1,000 feel.
How does your organization do this? We believe donors need 7 touch points throughout the year, and there are numerous ways for you to engage your board, your volunteers, your staff, your program participants or students, etc. With that in mind, be creative and use any number of methods, including phone calls, zoom calls, emails, impact stories, videos, personal visits, invitations to events, special recognition, and many other means of making the donor feel valued and appreciated.
The Tools for a Successful Giving Tuesday
This piece has many questions, but it demonstrates an important point: you can’t just decide at the last minute to participate in Giving Tuesday and expect to get the results you hope or the carryover of donors and donations from year to year. You need a well thought out plan that is easy to execute.
That’s where we can help connect the dots for your fundraising campaigns. We know that everyone has connections. Creating a successful campaign isn’t magic, it’s intuition–and connecting your dots to change the way you approach fundraising campaigns.