An estimated $380 million was raised in the United States during last year’s annual #GivingTuesday event. The total represents a 45-percent increase year over year. With more than four million individual donations being processed during the day – needless to say, the event is an enormous opportunity for any organization that relies on charitable donations. To help your nonprofit capture some of these valuable fundraising dollars, we have compiled a list of 50 content and digital marketing tips.
However, because it’s that time of year where there aren’t enough hours in the day, we broke out each of these actionable ideas into buckets, separating out tasks that would take you less than an hour, an afternoon, and beyond. Let’s raise some money!
Less than an hour:
These activities shouldn’t take you (or your team) more than an hour to complete. Despite the minimal time investment, these quick activities may end up having a HUGE impact on your bottom line.
Get Listed.Register to be listed as a #GivingTuesday organization.
Create a search campaign. Apply for a Google Grant for nonprofits, which gives your organization $10,000 in Google AdWords annually or create a budget line item for search engine marketing (SEM). A Google AdWords campaign can help new donors discover your organization when searching for terms related to #GivingTuesday. Note that Google requires a minimum of 10 business days for application approval.
Profile picture template. Create a branded template with your organization’s logo and hashtag. Donors can show their support by adding it to their profile on social media.
Offer incentives. Have a big fundraising event coming up? Offer a discounted ticket price, website listing or other incentive when supporters purchase on #GivingTuesday.
Film a live appeal. Go live on Facebook or Instagram and challenge your followers to donate in real-time. Watch the donations roll in.
Add a donate button to your Facebook page. This simple call-to-action can go a long way in increasing opportunities for people to donate. Make sure your page’s category is listed as “Non-Profit Organization” before you set this up.
Add a “Donate Now” button to Instagram. Similar to Facebook, your Instagram page must be set up as a business page and categorized as nonprofit.
Take advantage of Instagram Highlights. Add categories to the top of your Instagram profile by leveraging Instagram Highlights. Design branded Highlight covers that relate to your work such as Team, Events, Top Donors or Client Stories.
Add donation copy and link to email signatures. Every email you send can be an opportunity to solicit donations by adding a line of copy and a link to your organization’s donation page or creating a special #GivingTuesday email badge.
Send an automated ‘thank you’ email. If your organization uses an email marketing tool such as MailChimp or Constant Contact, set up an automated email workflow to thank people after they have donated.
Jump on the #GivingTuesday and #MyGivingStory hashtags. When sharing content, be sure to utilize the #GivingTuesday and #MyGivingStory hashtag to jump in on the conversation and put your content in front of an already engaged audience.
Proactively follow #GivingTuesday fans. Go through the users who are following #GivingTuesday on Twitter and Instagram and give them a follow. They are likely to follow you back because they care about cause-related content.
Create a short social video. Creating awesome videos for social media is easy with tools such as Lumen5 that turn your blog into a video slideshow with customizable text and music.
Create branded social media graphics. Highlight the impact of donations from last year by creating branded graphics with text overlay sized for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Profile Employees. Highlight what individuals in your organization are doing for #GivingTuesday or important work they are doing.
Leverage the Black Friday and Cyber Monday Hashtags. Put your content in front of people using #BlackFriday or #CyberMonday by targeting them with Twitter ads.
#GivingJoyTuesday – Create a new hashtag such as #GivingJoyTuesday. Challenge people to donate to your organization each time someone brings them joy.
Update your GuideStar Nonprofit Profile. Check all of your organization’s online profiles, including Guidestar, to ensure they are updated and make a compelling case for giving.
Use Instagram Stories for fundraising. Add an image of a fundraising thermometer to your Instagram story and color it in throughout the day. People will love watching donations climb. Or, add the ‘Donate’ sticker to your stories for direct contributions!
Film short videos for social media. You don’t need a film degree to create engaging content for Facebook and YouTube. Grab a tripod and a lavalier microphone for your mobile phone and shoot a testimonial about how donations impacted someone or a Q&A with your team.
Share stats from last #GivingTuesday. Create a graphic or slideshow for social media and challenge your followers to help you surpass last year’s number.
Encourage sharing. Ask your supporters to share your #GivingTuesday content on their social channels and with friends.
Add a share button post-donation. Allow your supporters to show off their support on social with a share button on your donation check-out page.
Organize a thunderclap. Get your organization trending locally on Twitter by asking all of your supporters to tweet using your hashtag at the same exact time.
Create a photo gallery. Upload inspiring images for #GivingTuesday to a Flickr or Imgur account. Share your gallery across your website and social channels or email it out to your donor list.
Ask for in-kind billboards. Write an appeal to your local billboard company. They often have unused digital or print inventory reserved for nonprofit organizations. Seeing your logo in prominent locations may be within reach.
Register your nonprofit with Amazon Smiles. People who are buying gifts online over the Thanksgiving weekend can log into Amazon via https://smile.amazon.com, select the nonprofit of their choice, and 0.5% of the price of their eligible purchases will be donated to that charitable organization. While it’s a small amount, it does add up for nonprofits, and it costs the “donor” nothing.
Remarket to your list. Upload your donor list into Facebook Ads to create an audience of supporters. This is a way to ensure they see your content in their Newsfeed. Once you have done this, you can also create “lookalike” audiences based on users who have interests and online behavior similar to your donor base.
A free afternoon:
Maybe you have one of those days where all of your planned meetings fall off the calendar or a bonus afternoon where you’re the only one in the office. Regardless of the situation, these ideas should take you only a couple of hours – but their impact could substantially improve your organization’s fundraising.
Review your messaging. Make sure that you have a cohesive message for your #GivingTuesday campaign. This is the heart of all other communications activities you will do.
Know your audience. Create audience personas based on the types of people who support your organization and who you WANT to support your organization. This will help you figure out which media channels they are most likely to use and what type of content will resonate with them.
Create a website landing page. Design a unique landing page for #GivingTuesday with a donate button and photos or videos of what your organization was able to accomplish with the funds raised in the past year.
Send an e-blast. Design and send a branded #GivingTuesday email to remind people to donate to their favorite nonprofit after all of their holiday shopping is done.
Review your online giving page. Make sure that your donation page is optimized to handle the influx of donations on #GivingTuesday and that you can track your results.
Develop a content strategy. People will want to learn more about your organization before making a donation. Plan out a few blog and social media posts leading up to #GivingTuesday to increase awareness around the work your organization does.
Share client testimonials. Identify a few clients/service recipients that your organization has supported throughout the year who might be willing to have their story shared. You could take a photo and write a companion post to go with it or create a short video on your iPhone for social media and email marketing.
Utilize Instagram Stories. Tell an impact story through a series of posts throughout the day to keep people engaged and coming back to view every post.
Write a blog. Share what your organization is doing for #GivingTuesday in a blog post. Share it across your social channels and help people discover your organization through SEO. Interest in #GivingTuesday has steadily increased over the last five years according to Google Trends.
Put your publicist hat on. Reach out to your local media (newspapers, radio and TV stations) and ask if they are doing any round-up stories about #GivingTuesday.
Create a fundraiser on Facebook. In a few simple steps you can create a fundraiser, share it with your friends, and allow people to donate without ever leaving Facebook.
Create a campaign. Come up with a creative campaign about having the “best deal” (“for the cost of that new sweater, you can help change a life”) this Black Friday or Cyber Monday to drive people to your donation page.
Get smart on SEO. Add keywords related to “Giving Tuesday” or “#GivingTuesday” to your blog content, the back-end of your website, your page descriptions and image tags to help your organization rank higher in search engines.
Create an infographic. Illustrate how donations help your organization do amazing work with an infographic or a series of mini-infographics for social media.
Write a milestone press release. Has your organization accomplished something newsworthy lately? Leverage #GivingTuesday as a way to reach out to the media and tell them about it.
Design an Instagram Story template. Design a branded template sized for Instagram Stories that your donors can easily download to spread your message.
Collaborate with influencers. Identify influential social media users who are passionate about your cause and ask if they would be interested in creating some content for you. It’s a great way to introduce new people to your organization, and your message is stronger when it’s coming from a trusted third party, much like traditional media coverage.
Write a Letter to the Editor or Op-Ed to run on #GivingTuesday. Offer a leadership perspective about what the day means to your organization.
Run an Instagram contest. Create a post about a donated item that you are giving away — perhaps a gift card, hotel stay, or golf package. Ask users to “comment” on the post and make a donation for a chance to win.
Build a chatbot. Harness the power of artificial intelligence for free using HubSpot’s chatbot builder, no development experience necessary. Start with a list of frequently asked questions about your organization and build-out automated responses to engage visitors on your website and lead them to the donation page.
Publish a video to YouTube. With over 500 million hours of video watched each day on YouTube, creating a channel for your nonprofit is a great way to reach new people. Owned by Google, it is also the world’s largest video search engine. Create a video about how #GivingTuesday support can transform lives through your organization. It will help potential donors discover your page and find inspiration.
See It Through: December is the biggest giving month of the year, so reach out to your donors again at the very end of the year to say thank you and describe an unmet need. They might give again, or recruit a friend.
While these ideas will likely take a bit longer to complete, they could still be an invaluable resource for helping to raise money this holiday season.
To learn how Solomon McCown can help your nonprofit organization accomplish its communication goals, drop us a line!