The critical holiday fundraising season kicks off with #GivingTuesday, coming up quickly on November 28, 2017. The campaign raised more than $177 million last year, making it a huge opportunity for nonprofits to raise awareness and additional funds for their causes.
While the big day is approaching quickly, it’s not too late to participate. To help, we’re sharing few best practices from our website strategy projects that can help you make the most of this annual fundraising tradition.
1. Set measurable goals
Are you aiming to raise awareness of your cause? Engagement with your social channels? To raise a specific dollar amount? Whatever your goals are, make sure to establish a baseline, specific and measurable metrics and a plan for how each goal will be measured and tracked. This will allow you prove the ROI of your efforts. It will also help you understand how well you were able to achieve your goals so that you can adjust your approach as needed for next year.
2. Identify your audience
Knowing exactly who you want to appeal to is a critical step that can have a big impact on your success. Try to be as specific as possible. Yes, donors can be considered an audience, but that is likely too broad of a category. You want to be able to really target your voice, tone and messaging, so the more you can narrow down your audience, the better. Think in terms of specific groups that would share similar values, motivations, and needs. Some examples might include young mothers of school-aged children, or middle-class, liberal retirees. Consider creating a value statement for your audience to zero in on their needs and motivations. Follow this model as a template:
As a (type of person) I want to (do something) so that (someone) can (experience a benefit).
Spending time getting to know your audience and considering their motivations will help you create messages that will cut through the clutter and speak more effectively to your target audience.
3. Craft your messaging, then test and perfect.
Think about the types of messages that will inspire your audience and speak to their values and priorities. It’s always a good idea to create a few options, then do some testing. Ask people who fit your target audience to review your messages and tell you which ones are most likely to motivate them to act. Feel free to enlist friends, family members, regular volunteers or others who are a part of your network to help out with this. People are typically willing to share their opinions and glad to help a friend or further a cause they are committed to. In addition to your messaging itself, plan ahead for strong visuals to draw people in and clear calls to action to make participation easy for your audience.
4. Develop and plan your tactics
Now that you know what you want to do, who you want to speak to and what you want to say, it’s time to build that plan of attack. #GivingTuesday lends itself particularly well to leveraging your social channels and website as communication platforms. The hashtag gets millions of impressions each year, and social media allows for easy sharing. Think through the timing and number of your social posts, the channels you plan to use, the strategy for each channel, and how you’ll drive traffic back to your website. For example, Facebook lends itself well to storytelling, so you might consider sharing some true stories about your clients, linking to your research, or developing a blog post that demonstrates your cause in action. Twitter is a great place for a series of shorter messages that can be posted more frequently throughout the day. If you can create shareable design assets or compelling photos, consider either Instagram or Pinterest as your platform. Make sure to drive traffic to strong landing pages on your website that will help your users learn more or take your intended action. Write out a plan that includes all of your tactics, including timing and roles, to make sure that nothing gets missed on the big day.
To all of our nonprofit friends and clients, we wish you a successful #GivingTuesday and a happy holiday season!
If you have questions about any of the recommendations in this article or need to update your website to support fundraising efforts, feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a 15-minute solutions session.