Preparing for #GivingTuesday: December 2

The holiday season used to just entail Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. These days, we are marking up our calendars for even more important dates and it’s causing marketers that much work (but bringing in more revenue for retailers and nonprofits). In its third year is Giving Tuesday, which comes right after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Since it’s launch, the new holiday, which falls on December 2, has exploded and is quickly becoming a staple for nonprofit fundraising.

In its first year, 2012, Giving Tuesday saw 2,500 participating organizations. In just one year, that number increased to 10,000 nonprofits. The holiday grew from 45,108 unique Tweets in 2012 to 145,128 unique Tweets in 2013. This translates into 2,067,036,889 impressions in one day last year–impressive!

Even more impressive is the conversion from Tweets to Donations. In 2012, the UN Foundation reported a 53% increase in donations on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. In 2013, Blackbaud reported a 90% increase over donations from the first Giving Tuesday.

So what exactly is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday is a day of giving–in every way you can imagine. “A Day Tue Give.” The above video advertises suggestions such as “Give A Tweet,” “Give Hope,” “Give a Helping Hand,” “Give Your Time,” “Give Someone A Place To Sit,” “Give Everyone Something To Smile About,” and more. But, the main marketing reason to give on December 2 is to raise funds for nonprofits. Organizations turn to social media with campaigns to their Followers to urge a day of donations after a weekend of holiday shopping. After a day in the malls or browsing Amazon for gifts, it feels good to donate and remember the true spirit of the holidays.


How can @Pay help?

One of @Pay’s main missions is  to generate more fundraising dollars for nonprofits–the very first concept of the technology was born out of a desire to create more money for good causes. @Pay helps nonprofits by giving them a tool to increase repeat donations. Once a donor clicks our Donate button, any future donations require only two clicks. “Donate” and “Confirm.” This is especially helpful with the Millennial generation that prefers to donate online or via mobile, and who often can only afford smaller donations. @Pay removes the many steps of remembering usernames and passwords, filling out your credit card information and billing address, etc. The simplicity and security of @Pay is a great way to create a community of repeat donors who believe in your cause.

Get Prepared:

1. Use the hashtag #GivingTuesday so that potential new donors can discover your account and message. Go ahead and Search that hashtag in advance yourself, too. There’s plenty of great graphics and Tweets that you may want to hold on to or go ahead and Retweet.

2. Follow @GivingTues on Twitter so that you know the updated stats on the campaign. Tweeting about the dollar amount raised or the number of donors engaged is news-worthy information that Followers would like to celebrate with a Retweet.

3. Begin occasional posts about #GivingTuesday so that your Followers are familiar with the campaign when they see the big push on December 2. Also, they may begin Retweeting in advance so that you grow that Following and gain new potential donors.

4. Create your own branded #GivingTuesday social media posters and images. Create a variety so that you don’t bore your Followers with just one graphic. We suggest Canva and PicMonkey if you don’t have a designer on staff.

5. Have a plan for all of your social media channels. Usually, one person handles social media. But on a day as big and active as this one, you may want to divvy up roles for your board members. One person can be active on Instagram, while another is active on Twitter and Facebook, etc.

6. Be sure to use hashtags other than #GivingTuesday. There will be a ton of posts coming through that feed, so throw in an occasional new hashtag to reach new audiences (i.e. #nonprofit, #charity, #donate, #give, #[your city] #[your city’s nickname], etc.). You may even want to create your own hashtag for people who are looking specifically for you (i.e. #OneEaredDogs, #DogsWithOneEar).

7. Make it as easy as possible to donate. You don’t want the donation process to take 7 clicks and 84 keystrokes. (Obviously, we suggest our 2-click donate button). Millennials–who are most likely the ones engaging with a social media-based fundraising campaign–want simple, secure technology that allows them to give on an impulse. (Here is a blog with more information and statistics on Millennial-giving).

8. Use a fundraising thermometer. Display a fundraising thermometer on your website and social media pages to help donors visualize how close they are to reaching your #GivingTuesday goals! They won’t be able to resist donating to your campaign when they see how close they are to completing the challenge. From your mobile giving software, you can generate a thermometer that updates in real-time as donors make their gifts.

9. Prepare your Digital Storytelling. What’s your story? What tugs at the heartstrings? What causes an emotional reaction? …And then, how will you tell that in 140 characters? Perhaps you have a link to a blog post. Perhaps it’s a video. Perhaps it’s a striking photograph. Perhaps it’s an info graphic with appalling statistics. Simply saying “Please donate now” is not going to be enough to cut through the noise.

10. Prepare your Email Marketing Campaign. Send a #GivingTuesday branded newsletter to your email base and, again, make sure you have technology that allows for easy donations (ahem, @Pay). Here is a blog we wrote with tips on sprucing up your holiday email campaign.

11. Suggest to your board and staff to change their Facebook profile pictures to a branded #GivingTuesday logo (and maybe sneak yours in there, too). Have them include a link to your donation page in the photo caption. This is a great way to capture the attention of local friends and neighbors.

12. If you are located in a physical space, include posters (or pamphlets or T-Shirts) with a #GivingTuesday branded QR code that takes them straight to your donation page via their smartphone. (Again, @Pay can help you with creating this).

13. Give and share. Go out and spend the day actually helping the cause you represent. Designate someone to take photos and video and share that on social media in real-time to inspire others to join you in action. (i.e. Build a kennel for the One-Eared Dogs and include your Followers by sharing on social media. They could either give online while they are inspired by your actions, or they may be inspired to come join you and help build it with you.)

@Pay for Nonprofits:

* Source for 2012-13 statistics.

Suggested Further Reading: 5 PR Tips for #GivingTuesday, by Cision

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