How to Find and Activate Non-Donors on Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday reached unprecedented levels in 2021: Giving in the U.S. totaled $2.7 billion. I’ve seen two truths: People want to help those in need and be part of a movement. Giving Tuesday offers both opportunities in one day — Nov. 29 this year — which is why your organization should start planning a Giving Tuesday appeal now.
Resist the urge to focus only on your loyal donors. Giving Tuesday presents the perfect opportunity to get non-donors — those in your database who have never donated — involved in your cause.
Why You Should Plan a Giving Tuesday Campaign
Giving increases in November and December — nearly a third of annual giving happens in December (opens as infographic). Additionally, 11% of all donations are made on the last three days of the year. Adding a Giving Tuesday campaign can bolster these end-of-year donations.
A Giving Tuesday push can get your organization on your donors’ minds early — an important move as donors grapple with inflation. People will spend about 150% more on holiday meals and gifts than they did last year, so we might expect donors to give to fewer charities this year. You need to be the first to ask for their support.
This is also the one day that literally millions of people around the world will have generosity on the brain. A 2019 survey showed 55% of the population is aware of Giving Tuesday, and 42% planned to make a charitable donation on that day. And, 52% of Giving Tuesday participants said they liked the idea of a lot of people doing good. This societal peer pressure means even those who have never donated will do so just to participate.
Giving Tuesday Is the Perfect Day to Target Non-Donors
Here are several key reasons to reach out to non-donors on Giving Tuesday.
They’re warm leads. These non-donors are on your list because they’ve already interacted with your organization in some way, like participating in an event. Knowing how they got into your database will direct how you communicate with them.
They’re aware of your brand and work. No need to introduce your organization. Simply remind them of how you met and get straight to the ask.
They just need a reason to start giving. The fact that they’ve stayed on your mailing list can signal a sustained interest in your mission. They’re just waiting for you to find the specific “why” that will push them to give.
Everyone else is giving. The prospect most likely knows Giving Tuesday is coming and will be looking for a cause to support. They also know who they’ve connected with in the past, so all you need to do is reach out.
How to Identify Non-Donors With Giving Potential
Identifying non-donors that are likely to give will be the easiest part of your Giving Tuesday appeal, assuming you have the right tools. Can you get these constituents out of your CRM easily? This is where good technology truly earns its value.
For example, Breakthrough, a Chicago-based urban ministry, has participated in Giving Tuesday since 2015, but did not make it a high-priority year-end campaign because of the noise. But in 2021, a corporate partner gave the organization an opportunity: Raise $40,000 on Giving Tuesday, and it would be matched up to that amount. The organization used a data analytics tool to generate a list of 76 individuals who typically gave $1,000 or more via credit card each November. Breakthrough sent them highly personalized emails and raised $46,000.
First, make sure your data is clean. Dedupe your list — you don’t want to treat donors as non-donors. Also, make sure your wealth management screening is up to date.
Understand how the prospect ended up on your file. This one is worth repeating. Know where the prospect encountered your organization and tailor your outreach accordingly.
Look at the right data points. Don’t just pull a list of non-donors. Drill down into your data to generate a targeted list of prospects primed to give. You’ll want to know:
- Which non-donors are giving to other charities?
- How much are they giving?
- What interests do they support?
Proven Tips for a Successful Giving Tuesday
When done right, Giving Tuesday can kickstart your end-of-year appeals and motivate both donors and non-donors to support your cause. Keep these expert tips in mind.
Consider Giving Tuesday the start of a new relationship. Have a good post-gift nurturing strategy in place to keep new donors engaged.
Create buzz with a corporate partner. Matching gifts tend to generate more donations and create a sense of urgency. Work with a corporate partner to advertise a matching challenge.
Be intentional. Don’t try to reach everyone on this single day. Set a goal, such as engaging non-donors, and build a strategy around it.
Track your Giving Tuesday donors. Tag everyone who gives on Giving Tuesday so you can reach out to them next year.
Take advantage of the global Giving Tuesday movement and develop a strategy to activate your non-donors. Use your CRM to thoughtfully and intentionally segment a list of targets who are more likely to donate, then hit them with hyper-personalized messaging. You’ll turn warm leads hot and go into the year-end push with a nice cushion.
Ryan Carpenter is the vice president of client success at GivingDNA. Prior to joining GivingDNA, Ryan spent time both on the agency side at THD, within a nonprofit at Year Up and offering nonprofit software solutions with Causemo.
He has experience and interest in developing innovative strategies that efficiently identify, cultivate, and solicit donors and prospects through effective engagement tactics. He has a keen ability to synthesize large data sets and identify the underlying trends and points of importance. Ryan has a proven track record in creating successful cross-channel donor engagement strategies that will deepen donor relationships with organizations, and upgrade those with the most capacity and inclination to give.