A Nonprofit’s Guide to #GivingTuesday and End of Year Fundraising

November 2, 2017 Kathryn Hall

Are you ready to navigate the busiest giving season of the year?

To help you finalize your route to end of year fundraising success, I’ve broken down steps you can take to drive acquisition, cultivation, and participation, both during the holiday season and as 2018 begins. Specifically, I’ll walk you through how to build a #GivingTuesday strategy that compliments your EOY strategy so that the two efforts work together to make this your most successful (and smoothest) year-end yet!

In this post, I will cover:

  • Advanced social influencer engagement for Giving Tuesday
  • Social Influencer campaign strategy optimization
  • EOY email campaign strategies
  • Best practices for emails and asks

Step 1. Social Influencer Campaign for Giving Tuesday

This campaign is designed to work alongside your current #GivingTuesday fundraising campaign in order to extend the reach of your campaign message. Use this segmentation strategy to evaluate which constituents are passionate about your cause, have a lot of friends on social networks, and can amplify your #GT message.

What are Everyday Influencers?

Your current supporters who are active on one or more social networks with a modest to large following (500-2,000 connections), and can generate buzz around your cause on Giving Tuesday.

Why target Everyday Influencers?

This is by far the largest and most accessible group of influencers. Empowering these supporters to share your message is key to breaking through the noise on Giving Tuesday.

#GivingTuesday Influencer Campaign Framework:

The timing of the campaign’s outreach email is a suggestion. You know your audience and past email performance will inform your decision on what dates your email should launch in order to get the best results.

Giving Tuesday Social Influencer Campaign
 

Example of a #GivingTuesday Influencer Email:

Giving Tuesday email example

5 tips for your #GivingTuesday Campaign:

  1. Identify Your Everyday InfluencersThis will be a small group of your supporters that have a social network of 500+ followers.
  2.  Engage Everyday Influencers Craft the outreach email. The message should acknowledge their value, remind them about your relationship, and make the ask very clear—you want them to ask their followers to support you on Giving Tuesday.
  3. Create Messages for Sharing You will want to provide 2 to 3 Tweets and one Facebook post for your influencers to share. Make sure you include hashtags for #GivingTuesday and one specific to your organization  Tips: You can create your Click to Tweet and Click to Post URLs using this website: http://www.sharelinkgenerator.com/  Also, make sure that the Facebook Post and Tweets are pulling an engaging image from your landing page. This might require a bit of additional code. You want the image to be compelling and to immediately capture interest
  4. Follow-up Emails Follow up with modified versions of the first email, or simply change the subject line, depending on open/click rates for the first email.
  5. Thank Your Social Influencers  Be sure to thank your influencers that shared. Let them know the results of their effort.

Step 2. End-of-Year Campaign

The End-of-Year Campaign asks your constituents for their financial support, stewards existing donor relationships, and generally keeps your organization top-of-mind with your constituents during the holidays.

This email campaign is designed to follow your Giving Tuesday influencer campaign. It includes your social influencers as an audience segment in addition to your key segments that could include donors, major donors, board members, event participants, lapsed donors, etc.

The best email campaigns have a single theme to enhance and support your messages. This theme should be woven through your entire campaign, including subject lines, calls to action, landing page and campaign images. If you already have an offline fundraising campaign planned for year-end, you should consider using the same theme so that your online campaign complements your offline activities.

End-of-Year Campaign Framework:

 

End of Year Campaign Framework

eAppeal Email 1

Tell a story. What problem is your organization addressing? How does your constituent help solve this problem by donating? Why is it important to give right now? Make your donor the hero of the story.

Stewardship eCard

  1. Non-Donor Message: This is an opportunity to offer a warm holiday greeting to your constituents and to thank those that have supported you in the past. For non-donors, the first priority of this email is to engage. The secondary goal is a very subtle call to donate.
  2. Donor Message: Use this message to thank  folks that have donated to your end-of-year campaign.

eAppeal Email 2

Only 3 days left to donate. Describe the impact donors can have. Include three to four impact statements around giving levels.

For example:

  • $XX will pay for [impact statement]
  • $XX allows us to [impact statement]
  • $XX covers the cost of [impact statement]

 eAppeal Email 3

Last chance to give! Let your constituents know this is their last chance to give a gift  in 2017. Include a brief list of accomplishments over the last year and let them know that their gift will help prepare for all the challenging work you face in the New Year. Wish them a happy New Year. 

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I'm sorry to hear that Nancy. What is your organization doing to address the changes?