Guest post by Candace Cody from CauseVox.
If you’ve ever run a GivingTuesday campaign before, then you know that there’s a whole lot more involved than merely setting up an online fundraising website for one day.
In most cases, the single day of giving involves weeks of preparation; making calendars, creating fundraising websites, and prepping personal fundraisers, all leading up to the main event. After all, the best way to handle a GivingTuesday campaign is to prepare as you would any other type of fundraiser.
But there’s one big difference between a GivingTuesday fundraiser and the other activities you plan throughout the year: time.
When you only have 24 hours to hit your goal, spreading the word about your campaign well before it’s “go-time” is critical. Therefore, one of the most important things you can do is to focus on promoting your campaign as much as possible before the big day.
There are unlimited ways to promote your campaign, but the six ideas below are customized specifically to help you optimize your #GivingTuesday campaign promotion strategy.
1. Personal Email
Over the course of the day, we receive a lot of emails. So sticking out from the rest is of utmost importance, especially if you’re looking to boost your #GivingTuesday campaign results before it even begins.
It’s important to consider fundraising email best practices when crafting your #GivingTuesday promotional emails. These include everything from creating the perfect subject line to segmenting your email recipients and adding a call to action.
But when push comes to shove, one of the most important things you can do to boost your email’s effectiveness is to make it personal. According to Brady Josephson, VP of NextAfter, “People give to people, not email machines.”
As you promote your #GivingTuesday campaign, think about ways you can use email to connect donors personally to your cause. For example, you can:
- Address it directly to the recipient using their name
- Focus on using a more human, relatable tone and voice
- Use a simple design, so it looks like a personal email
Personally writing emails to your key stakeholders is an excellent idea if you have the time and bandwidth. However, infusing your “fundraising emails” with personal email attributes will also do the trick.
2. Pre-Campaign Personal Asks
Sometimes, the best strategy to promote your campaign is just a simple conversation with a donor or two. Key stakeholders, such as board members and major donors, are probably your natural targets but don’t forget to think beyond your core donor group.
If you run across a donor at a community event, let them know about the exciting #GivingTuesday campaign you have coming up. If you’re sending emails to a volunteer about their role in an upcoming opportunity, put the campaign on their radar. You don’t have to push it, and you don’t have to bombard people. But chances are, they want to know so they can help out in some capacity.
Conversation is especially important if you’re looking to recruit personal fundraisers for a #GivingTuesday peer-to-peer fundraiser. It doesn’t matter if you connect via phone, email, or face-to-face, as long as you put in a genuine, sincere effort.
By getting a round of donations in place before your official campaign launch, you’ll be able to generate momentum through social proof.
3. Social Media Promotions
Social media is an excellent tool for online fundraising campaigns because it’s the perfect medium to use to share the campaign with friends, family, coworkers, ad neighbors. But social media isn’t just for your fundraisers and supporters– your nonprofit can and should use it strategically to promote the campaign in the days, weeks, and months leading up to the campaign.
The best way to go about using social media to promote your campaign is to create a marketing calendar and stick to it. Highlight the days (pre-campaign) that you want to share messages with your online audience, the intended audience, and the message. Assign a staff member or two to lead the social media charge, respond to comments, and encourage social sharing among active audience members.
What should your content say? Go ahead and prepare your online audience well in advance with campaign details, links to blog posts about the campaign’s intended impact (if you have client success stories, use them!), and directs to your e-newsletter. Make your promotions as cohesive, educational, and inspirational as possible. For example, you can post client pictures along with links to their stories on your website or relevant stats along with campaign videos.
4. Retargeting Advertisements
Did you ever do an online search for a product you need, and then all of a sudden, that product is popping up everywhere you go online? You may start to think that your phone is stalking your every move, and in a way, you’re right. It’s called retargeted marketing– and it’s an effective way to convert potential donors who are interested but not ready into active givers.
The whole process is fairly simple and involves using your current marketing media, such as your social media accounts, Google ads, and website. You can customize your advertisement audience so that those who visit your site, for example, are targeted with Facebook and Instagram ads.
Retargeting ads requires an online marketing budget, so it’s ideal for medium-to-large nonprofits. But, if you have some money to spend on digital marketing, retargeting is a great way to get your #GivingTuesday campaign front and center with key prospects.
5. LIVE Video
In my opinion, live video is the single greatest tool nonprofits have at their disposal in 2019. Video is engaging, enriching, and entertaining. It’s also personal and in your face, which is perfect when you’re looking to promote your #GivingTuesday campaign to your online audience and leave them ready to do something with all that great information.
The best places to live stream are Facebook and YouTube, especially because your followers will get alerts when you go live. In your videos, tell your audience about the upcoming campaign, pan over to show your coworkers hard at work, and let them know why they should be excited about the drive.
If it’s your first time “going live,” don’t make the rookie mistake of forgetting to prepare.
Make sure when you go live you have a specific plan, call to action, and story to share.
You may want to ask a donor or board member to join you live and share their story about why they’re invested in your cause, or feature a beneficiary and their story.
When preparing, be sure to make a script so you and your guests stay on topic. You don’t have to follow it word for word, but it’s guaranteed to help organize your thoughts throughout the broadcast.
On a side note, you can use Instagram stories similar to a live video, but keep in mind that it’s not as interactive.
6. Corporate Partnerships
In many cases, your corporate supporters are eager to find specific ways to support your cause while also promoting their own corporate social responsibility initiatives. This makes them a prime partner for #GivingTuesday campaigns.
What’s in it for them? #GivingTuesdays provide businesses with a quick and easy way to get involved and get noticed. It’s good for you and them!
So get your corporate partners on board early. Begin by meeting with your company contact, such as a CSR Manager or employee giving coordinator, and let them know about your plans. Suggest ways they can help, and ask if they have any ideas in mind.
A few kinds of partnerships include:
- Financial: Contribute towards a matching gift
- Communication and Marketing
- Promote the campaign on their social media
- Promote the campaign to their email list
- Employee giving
- Recruit staff for peer-to-peer fundraising
- Fundraising event host
Whether you’re looking to recruit sponsors, volunteers, personal fundraisers through employee engagement, or you just want to get the campaign on their radar, let your corporate partners know first so they can rally the management and employee base accordingly.
When it comes time to promote your #GivingTuesday campaign, less is not more. You need to act fast to reach your fundraising goals in 24-hours, so don’t assume people know about your campaign. Shout it from the rooftops. Talk to all your friends and connections. And use every social media tool out there to ensure word about your #GivingTuesday campaign is spread far and wide.
Learn more about #GivingTuesday tactics and promotion strategies
Raise More With Less Effort on #GivingTuesday
If you’re looking to raise more with less effort for your #GivingTuesday campaign, try CauseVox. Unlike expensive and clunky fundraising tools, CauseVox helps tidy up your fundraising so you have more time to invest in your fundraising strategy.
You can create a #GivingTuesday campaign that you and your donors will love, helping you raise more with less stress and frustration.