2020 has been a year of drastic changes. The COVID-19 pandemic shook the entire world and every industry in the business world had to reboot and realign in order to adapt. Daily routines of many professionals have changed with the work-from-home culture becoming more popular than ever. Nonprofit leaders are gearing up to be masters of change management and doing very well at that. Most campaigns are now inclined toward online fundraising, adapting all sorts of campaigns and digital mediums, as well as using creative strategies.
Significance of #GivingTuesday 2020
#GivingTuesday is a kickoff to your year-end fundraising. It holds more significance this year because it will give your organization a golden opportunity to connect with your donors on a deeper level and promote online giving, text-to-give and mobile giving. Therefore, excellent planning is required to meet your fundraising goals for 2020 amidst the struggles and problems that have come upon your organization. Fundraising events had to be cancelled or moved to an online platform, the digital revolution has only gotten bigger. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the few ways in which nonprofits can prepare for their #GivingTuesday campaigns and promote their campaigns online.
1. Identify Your Goal
Your organization needs to outline its goal(s), and then carry on with creating a plan around it. Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) goals for your #GivingTuesday campaign. Go ahead and pick the right virtual fundraising platform for your nonprofit. It is ideal when your platform is majorly focused on simplifying online giving and building engagement.
2. Know Your Audience
The next step to strategic planning is to know your audience thoroughly, inside out. You need an audience that will understand and empathize with your cause. Start building engagement through social media by asking your supporters as to which causes really pull their attention. You can take polls and even inquire about it over weekly emails. Whichever the cause, provide more information on how your virtual event is going to help aid the problem. This will help you figure out your route to move ahead. You can always read and research on ways to boost donor relations during a pandemic.
3. Hold a Review
Make sure that you review your #GivingTuesday numbers from the past year. This will help you define two major factors:
- Target donation size.
- The number of new donors that you wish to bring in.
A good donor management software will enable tracking of campaign results as well as maintain donor information. Do your research and finalize on one if you haven’t already.
4. Pick Your Event
There are different types of online events and fundraisers that you may want to organize, the best part is that each can be customized to meet your goals and mission:
- Documentary watch party
- Matching gifts
- No-gala Gala
- Online voting contest
While a no-gala gala is about hosting an event that your audience will be able to enjoy online, a documentary watch party livestreams video series that is related to a cause, taking breaks in between for a call-to-action.
5. #GivingTuesday Donation Page
Sending your participants to a dedicated #GivingTuesday page via your online event is a great idea. Firstly, it is beneficial in terms of content as you can use words that are relevant to this day and campaign alone. Secondly, all your donations for #GivingTuesday will be processed through the said page. It will automatically be easier to track the amount that is coming in. An important giving day requires special treatment.
6. Stay Relevant
Relevance is so important to nurture and retain relationships with your audience and donors. Be aware of what is going on around you and pick themes and topics that are relevant to the current situation. In the simplest of terms, your event and the content it delivers must be relevant, and it must be able to speak to your audience. Browse, read, observe, think and act.
7. Dedicated #GivingTuesday Team
We’re talking about a major giving day, and alloting one committee solely to plan, oversee and execute the #GivingTuesday campaign makes a lot of sense. Appoint a team leader who can take the lead and within the team you can have different individuals take care of marketing, tech and other elements respectively. Doing this will bring in more uniformity and chaos of any kind can be avoided.
8. Marketing Calendar
It is advisable to maintain a well organized planner with timelines and promotional activities along with your goals for each activity. Excel sheets are most often used where multiple team members can view their tasks and share updates on their work status. Optimize on your social media content alongside your emailers. Post images and videos that talk about your online fundraising event — get the word out as much as possible.
9. Influencer Outreach
This is the era of influencers, and here’s how you can stick to minimal expenditure and get influencers who don’t have to be necessarily paid. Look within your organization, circle, board members, supporters, donors and volunteers. There is a very high chance that there are individuals with huge following that may be able to help you promote your virtual event. These are people you already have a connection with. Work smart!
10. Test Run on Fundraising Platform
Expect technical glitches to happen; that is how you will be prepared to save the day and execute your event flawlessly. The best practice is to do a run-through test of the event at least twice before the actual online event. Find out the problems that can arise, and find solutions to those possible issues.
All through the planning and execution of your virtual fundraising event, keep in mind that the current focus for your nonprofit right now is not just to survive, but also to succeed and thrive. Make it a priority to have positive thoughts and spread good vibes within the team. Have fun as you host your online event, and do not forget to thank your attendees and donors post the event!
Vish Vass is SVP and managing director of GiveCentral. He believes in helping to perfect the act of giving. In the process of helping nonprofits fulfill their mission through the power of GiveCentral, he has had immense learning that he would love to share with his fellow professionals. Modernizing nonprofit fundraising with the use of technology is my core focus, blending with the trend helps in bringing about the necessary growth.