Julia Meckling, Sales Manager at CrowdRise


#GivingTuesday will be here before you know it. In 67 days, to be exact. Now is a great time to start preparing for #GivingTuesday and the earlier you start preparing, the better you’ll be able to crush all your holiday goal.

So we’ve come up with a quick list of things you can do to get a jump-start on all things #GivingTuesday. Check ‘em out:

1. Your messaging strategy

There’s so much noise around #GivingTuesday. So, it’s more important than ever to make sure you connect with your supporters via email, social, and content in a way that really resonates with them. Getting ahead on this will will ultimately lead to more donations and shares.

For example, when you can attach something tangible to a donation amount, your supporters are more likely to give. And donors love to know that they’re not just giving to operational funds. Letting them know that their $50 will directly impact your cause is very empowering. Will $25 feed a hungry child? Will $50 create forever homes to 2 pets? Will $100 provide shelter for a family in need? When you can attach donations to tangible impact, your message becomes more powerful.

Choosing when to message around #GivingTuesday is a strategy in its own right. There’s the time leading up to #GivingTuesday, the day before, the day of, and the days following. With so many types of messages, you’ll want to craft everything early and have it all ready to go.

The momentum of the #GivingTuesday is powerful so don’t be surprised if people give multiple times within the 24-hour period. And during that time frame, your job has got to be to remind them to do so. You’ll also want to thank your supporters immediately after #GivingTuesday is over to show the collective impact. Make sure they know how appreciated they are and how they made this #GivingTuesday the best ever.

Additionally, gathering up any photos, videos, and other imagery you’ll want to help boost your campaign can take time. So make sure planning ahead and thinking about the images you want to use beforehand.

2. The time for change

With #GivingTuesday on the horizon, it’s time to reevaluate your organization’s needs and brainstorm how to get the most money to your cause. Make sure your platform helps you raise more on #GivingTuesday, throughout the holiday season, and over the course of a year. You should consider how your solution options handle the following:

Social integration

How deeply integrated are they with the major social media platforms? How easy is it for you and you supporters, donors and fundraisers to share?

Registration and ticketing

Do you need integrated registration or ticketing for you #GivingTuesday plans? If so, do they provide it or have integrations with major registration platforms like Eventbrite?

Branding

Are you able to use your brand colors and is your nonprofit logo front and center? Do their campaign pages set up in a way that your story can be told effectively?

User experience

Is it easy for you to use? How is the experience for donors? What about fundraisers and other that want to retell your story through social media? Don’t underestimate the importance of UX.

Team fundraising

Can you invite your supporters to do more than just donate? Can they join your team and get their own fundraising website under the umbrella of your campaign?

Fees

Are there setup fees? What fees are involved with the donation transaction? Do they offer any ways of subsidizing fees, like asking donor to cover the fees for your organization?

Data

How much donor and supporter data do you get? Do you own the data or do they? Ownership of data couldn’t be more important.

Support and success

What kind of support can they provide to your team? What about when your donors or fundraisers have questions… do you have to answer those or do they take care of it?

If you're thinking of changing platforms, doing it now will give you ample time to learn new features, get your reporting all set up, connect with your account rep, test drive their level of customer service, and get your landing page up and looking beautiful.

3. Offers, prizes and promotions

There are many opportunities for nonprofits on #GivingTuesday to get even more out of the day. For example, some platforms might have offers where they’re giving away money to participating nonprofits. Attaching your campaign to these offers gives you more to message about to your supporters, and gives you more of a chance to raise and win extra funds for your cause.

Here are a couple types of promotions we usually see around this time of year…

Corporate matches 

Companies love to throw out matches on big giving days like #GivingTuesday. Matches are basically free money that can help you double or triple individual donations raised. It’s a great message to tack on for your supporters...everyone wants to help you get more money.

Charity Challenges 

At CrowdRise, each year on #GivingTuesday and throughout the holiday season, we co-host a Charity Challenge. It’s friendly fundraising competition that’s free to join, designed for charities of all sizes, and a huge opportunity to win some really large cash prizes for your cause. You should probably check it out.

There’s really no downside to joining a #GivingTuesday promotion. You’re doing a holiday campaign anyway, so why not take it to the next level. Adding one or, we suggest, more of these promotions to your campaign can only maximize the giving potential on that day.

4. Make sure social fundraising is at the top of your list

In 2016, $1.2M was raised online for #GivingTuesday alone - which is why it’s a perfect example of what social fundraising can do at scale.

Social fundraising, if you're not familiar, is when supporters engage with your cause, make it their own, and show the world how they care and give back. All through their social networks and personal devices.

When your supporters adopt your cause story as their own, the power of that story - and the discussions and sharing it ignites - is amplified.

On #GivingTuesday, you want to make sure you’re set up to take full advantage of all things social fundraising. Does your website or platform have functionality in place to encourage all of your supporters to share at pivotal moments on #GivingTuesday? Does your messaging encourage sharing just as much as donating?

That’s about it...

It’s no secret that #GivingTuesday - and the holiday season in general - is a huge time for nonprofits. So you’ve got to be ready for it. and you can do that by staying ahead of the game and planning your strategy ahead of time. Because, now there are only 66 days, 23 hours, and 47 minutes before #GivingTuesday. So hop to.

About Julia Meckling

Julia Meckling is the Sales Manager of our CrowdRise mid-market sales team. Before joining CrowdRise, Julia headed up a lead development department specializing in scaling teams in order to develop individuals into sales leaders. Her passion is training, coaching and developing. In her free time, Julia loves to scuba dive with her Italian family, regardless of how many of them there are.