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Six things you can do now to prepare for Giving Tuesday

By Will Stevens - August 22, 2018

Giving Tuesday will be here before you know it. If you’re a non-profit, there’s no better time than now to start preparing. In fact, the earlier you start preparing, the better you’ll be able to crush your fundraising goals.

If somehow you haven’t yet heard of Giving Tuesday, it’s the annual international day of giving when communities rally in support of the causes they care about most. This makes it a fantastic opportunity for non-profits to get in front of new donors through social media and online fundraising.

Giving Tuesday started back in 2012 and this year, it takes place on November 27th.

Whether you’ve participated in Giving Tuesday before or it’s your first year tackling it, we’ve got you covered with six ideas and best practices that you can start implementing now to get the very most out of this popular day of giving.

1. Find an inspiring story to tell

You know what motivates donors to give? It’s not a flashy website. It’s not even a clever video.

It’s the story you tell.

So if you want to stand out from the crowd this Giving Tuesday you need to tell a story that’s moving and inspiring and makes donors want to give.

Tell people about the work you’re doing and how you’re creating positive impact every day. But rather than going with general stories, choose character-driven stories and show how you’ve made a difference in the lives of the ones you’ve helped.

With so many organisations competing for donors’ hearts and attention on this day, you need to stand out. And the only way to be heard through the noise is with a powerful story. What’s yours?

Take a look at charity:water’s campaigns where they tell the stories of the people they’ve helped. Jean Bosco is one of them, a 15-year-old who used to walk hours each day to collect dirty water, until the charity helped to build a well in his village.

By showing us photos and the details of how his life has changed, the organisation makes it real. It packs an emotional punch.

2. Test your tech

You only have 24 hours to raise money on Giving Tuesday. If you don’t want to lose donations because of a technical glitch, you need to make sure that everything is working seamlessly.

So, test everything from “donate” buttons to links in your email campaigns. Here are a few simple tests you can do right now:

  • Click the donate button on a campaign page and try to make a donation
  • Complete the donation to ensure the payment processing is in working order
  • View your campaign in different browsers, on desktops, tablets and mobile devices to ensure everything looks and works properly
  • Make a test donation on desktop, tablet and mobile device

Testing is crucial to making sure you receive every donation that comes your way, so don’t skip this step.

3. Prepare your content

This includes everything from website content, email campaigns and social media posts.

When you’ve decided on the message and the story you want to tell, start crafting your content. Then, when November comes, you’ll already have everything ready to go.

Don’t assume everyone knows about Giving Tuesday or about your causes. So when you draft your email campaigns make sure to include:

  • A brief explanation of Giving Tuesday along with an invitation for donors to join in the celebration.
  • Your story as well as your fundraising goal. Tell people what you’re hoping to achieve by participating in Giving Tuesday. By sharing your goal with your donors, they’ll feel more motivated to donate to help you achieve that goal and make a positive impact.
  • Different ways to donate and support your cause. Some may want to donate, while other may be happy to help by promoting your cause on social media.

Aside from your email campaigns, you should also start preparing your social media content. Since Giving Tuesday takes place in the social media spotlight, you want to make sure you’re ready.

Create a social media calendar where you include status updates for Facebook, tweets for Twitter, and posts for Instagram or other social networks that you’re using.

To boost your posts’ visibility, pair each of your social posts with powerful visuals and relevant hashtags. Always use #GivingTuesday but be sure to also use hashtags specific to your cause or organisation.

4. Keep your message positive

Giving Tuesday is a celebratory day. It’s about people coming together to help and make a difference in the world. Since you’re encouraging people to do a positive thing, you should do it in a positive way.

While sad stories and shocking stats may get people’s attention, it won’t encourage them to give. In fact, according to a study by Dyck & Coldewin, a positive picture of a child leads to a higher average gift donation than a negative one.

Why? Because donors want to be inspired to donate, not guilt-driven to donate.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t talk about sad stuff. Just make sure you frame your story in a positive way as than can have a huge impact on how many people feel motivated to donate.

5. Try something new

A 24-hour campaign is a fantastic opportunity to try something you’ve never tried before. Maybe try telling your story with video? Go live on Facebook or use Instagram Stories?

How about coming up with a catchy new hashtag that’s relevant to #GivingTuesday and your cause? Or creating an event like a walk-a-thon or giving up a cup of coffee?

Brainstorm some new, exciting ideas and see which one is more likely to inspire and engage your donors.

6. Use #GivingTuesday resources

The GivingTuesday.org website is filled with amazing resources, toolkits and ideas to help non-profits make the most out of this day.

Take a look at those resources and also read the blog where they regularly share examples of successful fundraising campaigns.

If you’re new to Giving Tuesday, this is a great place to find all the information, advice and ideas you need to achieve your fundraising goals.

Wrapping up

Start now by finding that powerful story and positive message that you want everyone to hear. Then craft your email campaign and social media updates so that when November comes you’re ready to celebrate and engage with your community of donors and supporters. Good luck!