#GivingTuesday has gradually picked up steam since its inaugural year in 2012, and is now the official start of the holiday charitable giving season. Last year alone, 700,000 people donated $116,000,000 in 70 countries on #GivingTuesday! Some argue it should be the Tuesday BEFORE Thanksgiving, not the Tuesday AFTER Thanksgiving. Maybe they’re right, but whatever Tuesday it is, it clearly matters.
As you countdown the final days until #GivingTuesday and the big end-of-year fundraising push, make sure your nonprofit isn’t making these killer mistakes.
Mistake 1: Lonely Only Donation Form
While it may work, in the sense that it processes donations and gets those gifts into your bank account, a single all-purpose donation form is not a good idea. With one form, you can’t offer anything near a personalized experience for your donors. In a perfect world, you’d probably have one donation form per solicitation, but at the very least, be sure to create an end-of-year donation form that matches that specific campaign.
Mistake 2: Single Channel Solicitation
In the Donor Loyalty Study, we learned that 44 percent of donors send a check in the mail and 40 percent make donations online. This means, at the very, very least, you should be sending end-of-year solicitations via mail and email. As #GivingTuesday is a very digital experience, I also recommend including gift solicitations on social media.
Mistake 3: The Not-So-Golden Silence
Donors love, love, love hearing, “Thank you” after a gift. According to fundraising guru Penelope Burk, one of the major mistakes fundraisers make year-round is asking for another gift before thanking and showing the impact of a previous gift. Call, email, mail, the channel is up to you (and your donors), but make sure to communicate your appreciation after the gift. For follow-up ideas, read this #GivingTuesday post by my colleague Rich Dietz.
Mistake 4: Assumptions
You know what they say when you assume (you make an “ass of u and me”). Don’t assume your donors know what #GivingTuesday is. As generous and caring as they are, they likely don’t eat, sleep, and breathe fundraising the way you do. Educate your donors about #GivingTuesday, the value your nonprofit brings to the community, and then ASK.
With that, I wish you a November full of – really, really full of – turkey, pumpkin pie, and especially, donations!