August 15th, 2023
While the biggest time of year in nonprofit fundraising may seem far away, you should start thinking about your GivingTuesday and Year End campaign strategies now!
Last year, there was an overall decline in revenue on GivingTuesday and Year End. GivingTuesday revenue fell short by 13% compared to 2021 and overall revenue on December 31 was also 13% lower year over year, with a 22% drop in email revenue.
But that doesn’t mean you should give up on these major fundraising campaigns! It just means that you will need to work a bit harder to combat the ever-changing fundraising landscape. And our team is here to help you achieve your goals and finish 2023 off strong. So let’s dive in!
Here’s a checklist to help your organization make the most of this very important fundraising season.
Reminder: GivingTuesday this year is November 28, 2023
DESIGN & COPY:
- Use the #GivingTuesday logo but make it your own.
- Feature a Matching Gift (or Challenge) offer if possible.
- It doesn’t matter how much the match is, just have one.
- Name your campaign if you don’t have a match. You need a strong reason to give.
- For example, “Give the Gift of Health” or “Save a Child” on GivingTuesday/before year end.
- Update your donation page, donation confirmation page, and email autoresponders to specifically acknowledge your GivingTuesday/Year End campaign.
- Use consistent imagery and messaging across all channels to keep your campaigns truly integrated.
- Include a lightbox/pop-up on your website to draw attention to the special offer. Significant revenue can be generated from a lightbox! Start promoting early in the month and through the deadline. If a hospital, see if the offer can be leveraged across other pages beyond just the foundation page.
- Include the GivingTuesday/Year End offer in your image carousel.
- Make sure your donation page is mobile friendly — big boxes for ask amounts, third-party payment options like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal — to encourage easy online donations.
- Around 51% of global iphone users have enabled Apple Pay and 14% of Americans prefer Apple Pay as their payment method.
- Launch your campaign early.
- Deploy at least one email a week before the deadline. Earlier and multiple times is better. There is no reason why you shouldn’t encourage your constituents to give now — they don’t need to wait for GivingTuesday or December 31 to support you.
- Schedule an email (or two) the day before GivingTuesday/Year End to remind your constituents.
- Keep in mind that the last day of the year falls on a Sunday this year, so this would mean that you would be deploying emails over the weekend which is nontraditional, and consider your full calendar.
- Competition for the Inbox (and share of wallet) is fierce, deploy emails throughout the day of the deadline.
- A minimum of one in the morning.
- A minimum of one in the late afternoon or evening.
- Most nonprofits deploy only one email, but we recommend sending more. If you only have one scheduled, reconsider and add one or two more!
- According to Engaging Networks, donations picked up beginning at 8:00 AM EST, building throughout the day and peaking between 7:00 and 10:00 PM EST.
- Rotate the “signer” and/or “from” sender to stand out in the Inbox but keep your domain the same as changing this will impact your deliverability.
- For example, if your emails typically come from your institution, consider changing some of your emails to come from an actual person, but again keep your same domain.
- Grab their attention with a great subject line and if you’re deploying multiple times throughout the day, change the subject line and add an emoji or personalization.
- “Forward” your morning email from another person for the afternoon to make sure they didn’t miss this important opportunity.
- Use a GIF in some of your email templates. Make sure it will render properly.
- If you have a countdown clock banner, check to make sure the countdown clock service you are using does not have any open limitations. Some providers restrict the number of opens allowed and the countdown clock will stop working if your membership level is not high enough.
- Consider deploying an extension email to campaign non-donors.
- Don’t forget to close the loop. After the campaign has ended, thank campaign donors for their contributions and acknowledge how their gifts will be put to work!
PAID ADS & ORGANIC SOCIAL:
- Create a Facebook Ad campaign to acquire new donors by targeting a donor lookalike audience. Don’t forget to also target lapsed and current donors!
- Utilize your organic social channels, but make sure images are slightly different from paid social as your audience may see both (but they should still match the campaign’s overall look and feel).
- Use a square image tile to easily leverage creative across Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Threads.
- Run paid search and display ads, leveraging #GivingTuesday in your ad copy.
- Go ahead and search GivingTuesday and see what nonprofits are at the top.
- If you have a google grant, consider turning it off during your GivingTuesday ad campaign runtime and use your brand and mission terms for your GivingTuesday paid ads.
- Consider enlisting a celebrity or influencer to generate more views and engagement.
- Promote the campaigns in your e-newsletters.
- Utilize QR codes in direct mail and on-site signage.
- Consider asking for a monthly sustainer/recurring gift in two of your emails. But incorporate language around “if you can’t make a monthly commitment at this time, please make a single gift now!”
- If promoting a match offer, consider a 12X match to incentivize monthly signups (“your gift will be matched every month for a year”).
- Don’t put your deliverability at risk by deploying old email addresses.
- Your email list should be clean – run through file hygiene to scrub bad addresses well before GivingTuesday and Year End.
- For newly-acquired donors, consider a special welcome email series for this group specifically acknowledging their GivingTuesday/Year End gift.
- Prior to GivingTuesday and Year End, look into launching a text messaging program to further boost revenue. According to Blackbaud, 90% of text messages are opened within three minutes of receipt and four out of five nonprofits either have a text messaging program or plan to start one soon. So keep up with your competition and continue to evolve with additional targeting tactics!
- Evaluate your results and start planning for next year. Build on techniques that worked and change those that didn’t!
- Take learnings from GivingTuesday and apply them to your Year End strategy.
We hope these tips help your nonprofit as you embark on your 2023 GivingTuesday and Year End journeys. Good luck!