How to Leverage Your Giving Tuesday Event as a Springboard for Year-End Fundraising

Giving Tuesday 2017 is scheduled for November 28th. It will be the 6th Giving Tuesday event so far, and will no doubt be the most successful.

Starting in 2012, total giving each year has continued to spike upward.

Giving Tuesday Event Results

More people are giving, and more nonprofits are participating.

If you’ve participated in Giving Tuesday before, you know that to be successful you need a plan:

  1. Audience research – Don’t throw spaghetti against the wall. It wasteful and just makes a big mess. Instead, create messaging that connects with what your donors want.
  2. Super-clear goals – What are you trying to achieve?
  3. Donor-focused strategy – What will motivate your donors to participate? How will you make them the hero of your campaign?
  4. A plan of action – Write it down. Map it out in a content calendar.

It’s also important to consider how your Giving Tuesday event will fit in with your year-end fundraising strategy.

Giving Tuesday versus Year-End Fundraising

Of course this coming Giving Tuesday will be the biggest yet. More nonprofits will participate than ever before, and more money will be raised than ever before.

Clearly, Giving Tuesday is unstoppable.

But there’s another fundraising event that will continuously dwarf Giving Tuesday for the foreseeable future: Year-end fundraising.

Giving Tuesday Event and Year-End Results

According to Network for Good, almost 29% of all giving happens in December. And the last three days account for 11% of annual giving!

So although Giving Tuesday is huge (#1 fan here), it will never replace or exceed year-end giving. Year-end giving is a deeply engrained habit – for you and your donors.

Leverage Your Giving Tuesday Event as a Springboard For Year-End Fundraising

Choosing to skip a Giving Tuesday event in favor year-end fundraising is a mistake:

  • Many donor will give during your Giving Tuesday event and your year-end fundraiser.
  • Among the increasing number of nonprofits who participate in Giving Tuesday, you could be the odd one out.
  • You could be missing a golden opportunity to prime your donors for year-end giving.

Here’s the bottom line: Giving Tuesday is happening with or without your nonprofit. You can view it as an either/or situation, or you can view it as an opportunity.

A winning strategy is one that weaves your Giving Tuesday event into year-end fundraising:

  • Use Giving Tuesday as a way to celebrate and appreciate your donors, setting the stage for greater year-end participation.
  • Focus on donor acquisition during Giving Tuesday, and upgrading those folks to monthly donors at year-end.
  • Promote your monthly giving program during Giving Tuesday, and one-time gifts during year-end.
  • During Giving Tuesday, ask donors to make a year-end pledge (promise to pay) and close these pledges during year-end.
  • Ask donors to support local retailers who are sponsoring your year-end event.
  • Your amazingly creative idea goes here.

Let your donors tell you what they want

Whatever you decide for your Giving Tuesday event, make sure you get feedback and suggestions from your favorite donors. Because ultimately, Giving Tuesday and year-end must be about them (WIIFM) for you to be successful at either.

John Haydon