Katie Lord, Vice President
It’s officially summer and you know what that means: “special summer deal” ads are bombarding us on TV and reminders that it’s time to start thinking about the year-end holidays are already starting to pop up on social media. As consumers, we either love or loathe these very early reminders of the impending holiday season; for nonprofits, it is a reminder we need to begin thinking about something else associated with the holiday time of year: #GivingTuesday.
Celebrating its 5th anniversary, #GivingTuesday falls on November 28th this year. In 2016, #GivingTuesday raised more than $177 million through $1.64 million gifts in 98 countries around the world. November may seem like a long way away with countless other deadlines in between for you and your organization, but there are three important steps you can take now to get a jumpstart on a successful #GivingTuesday this fall:
- Identify your #GivingTuesday Program Focus
When crafting a #GivingTuesday campaign, it is best to highlight a specific program or immediate need with in your organization to grab donors’ attention. Granted, we all need general operational support, but your annual appeal supports that. Since social media is the main vehicle for #GivingTuesday, your #GivingTuesday campaigns need to be targeted and more specific, enabling the goal of the day to be reached through viral sharing and support of your followers and donors. Examples include a special project in your facility or purchase of technology or supplies.
- Find a Matching Gift
It’s been shown that #GivingTuesday and year-end appeals with matching funds have better results. Now is the time to look through your donor database and current major gift relationships to identify, cultivate and solicit a short list of prospects for matching funds to your #GivingTuesday project and goals.
- Create your #Hashtag
It is not too early to create your unique #hashtag for your #GivingTuesday campaign based on the program or theme you have selected. Be sure to make it short and relevant to your organization and something easy for people to remember. Not only will this allow you to stand out on the actual day by having a unique hashtag, it also provides increased opportunity for your specific campaign to “trend.”
It is not too early to start “pre-sharing” your plans for #GivingTuesday, and building the anticipation and excitement that will keep your organization’s campaign top of mind for donors, volunteers and staff who will be involved in planning and executing a successful #GivingTuesday.
For more tips about creating a solid #GivingTuesday campaign, download your own “JB+A #GivingTuesday Guide.”
And a special thank you to Dave Halpin and Lamar Advertising for donating several billboards promoting #GivingTuesday around greater Kansas City.