A Guide for Planning Your #GivingTuesdayNow Campaign in 5 Days

Now, more than ever, organizations need their communities to rally behind them. The potential health and economic repercussions resulting from COVID-19 are worrisome for many, but your mission stands strong and your donors believe in you. #GivingTuesdayNow, on May 5, 2020, was developed by the GivingTuesday organization as an emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While May 5 is less than a month away, there is enough time for you to participate in this global day of giving. Developing your #GivingTuesdayNow campaign doesn’t have to be complicated – and in fact, in times like this, simplicity is best.

Day 1: Toolkit, Theme & Goal

GivingTuesday has created a #GivingTuesdayNow tool kit that includes logos, graphics, banners and other images to help develop your campaign. They also supply documents that can help you build your social media and communication plan, guaranteeing that your donors know you’re participating. Using official graphics will unify the look of your campaign, with others, allowing donors to visually recognize your efforts. Visit givingtuesday.org to download these important materials. Blackbaud has also developed a great tip sheet to help you quickly and easily make the most of the day: 10 Tips for a Low-Stress, High-Success #GivingTuesdayNow.

Develop a theme that will allow you to stand out from other organizations, making your story memorable to the community. It should be creative and unique to your mission, sharing how COVID-19 is affecting your world. Revealing your current challenges will allow the donor to feel as they are truly part of your team, strengthening your connection. Include imagery, since people naturally look at pictures before reading text and they evoke the donors’ emotions. Utilize photos that invoke feelings of empathy and joy, increasing your donors drive of support.  They like to feel connected to causes they believe in and their impact creates a sense of ownership and value, ultimately increasing their giving.

Set a realistic goal and plan to share your success throughout the entire day. These are uncertain times and you most likely don’t have a giving level in mind. Utilize your data and analyze your giving history to better understand how your donors might support you. It’s always better to set a moderate goal versus an unobtainable one. Donors want to feel successful while supporting you and setting a number that’s too high will only slow down the momentum, hurting your campaign.

Learn more: The sgENGAGE Podcast Episode 143: Getting Ready for #GivingTuesdayNow

Day 2: Announce Your #GivingTuesdayNow Campaign

Communicate to your donors and stakeholders that your organization is participating in this movement is imperative. Employing the save-the-date graphic in the toolkit is an effective and easy way to announce that your organization will be seeking support. Embed it in an email and post the save-the-date to your social media pages. Start spreading the word so your community is prepared to support your efforts.

Update your website to reflect your #GivingTuesdayNow campaign. All digital communications should be in sync and reflect your current focus. A donate button should be placed on your home page, making it easy for donors to give. If they must navigate through multiple pages, trying to figure out how to contribute, you could lose those funds. Making it simple for the donor is vital.

Pro Tip: Set giving amounts on your website and engage your donors by showing and telling them how you plan to utilize their money during this difficult time. Dollar amounts connected to a tangible impact guide understanding of what donors can influence. Keep amounts and explanations simple and use examples (e.g. $20 helps provide one mental health telesession for someone in need).

Day 3: Create Spreadable Content

Developing sharable content is a great way to get your donors to collaborate. They want to participate because they share your passion and believe in your staff. Allowing them to establish that sense of ownership will help you reach your goal even faster.

Below are some examples of content that your supporters can easily share.

  • Graphics
  • Icons
  • Links to your story via your website (videos, blogs, etc.)
  • Social media #tags (Twitter, Facebook & Instagram)

Day 4: Day-of Strategy

Develop a timeline to ensure you are adequately communicating on the day. You want to make the most of these 24 hours and creating a plan will guarantee that you are using every minute wisely. Inform your donors through various platforms, ensuring they are well educated. Share your themed stories through all communication outlets by posting on your social media pages, website and via email(s). Transparency and communication throughout the entire day is important if you want to keep the momentum going. Plan your emails and create/schedule your posts in advance so you can just focus on executing the campaign the day of, allowing you to be on the frontlines and visible in the moment.

Create your stewardship plan. Stewarding the donor is one of the most important elements of keeping your relationship alive. It’s defined as the “responsibility of overseeing and protecting something considered worth caring for and preserving,” and your relationship with your donors is worth preserving. Before you develop your plan, take a step back and become donor-centric, understanding their wants/needs. #GivingTuesdayNow will create new traffic on your website and you should prepare accordingly. Don’t waste this opportunity to thank them properly. Segment your plan into donor levels, creating customized levels since no two are alike. Donor tiers will be unique to your organization and to ensure they are stewarded properly; you will need to identify a giving range for your contributors. Sustaining your relationship is your goal, so thanking your donors within 48 hours of their gift is imperative. The letter should be personalized, reference your mission and #GivingTuesdayNow, and reiterate how their financial contribution helped. Do not, however, include a separate appeal or campaign push in this acknowledgement letter. As a best practice, your acknowledgement letters should not include a separate ask.

Below is an example of a stewardship plan for the week of #GivingTuesdayNow. This plan will help you retain those first-time and reoccurring donors.

#GivingTuesday, coronavirus, COVID-19

Day 5: #GivingTuesdayNow

Starting early will allow you to be active longer. Your objective is to stay visible and in the forefront of your donor’s minds as much as possible. Social media is a powerful tool because you can inform your supporters without targeting them directly. They want to know how you are doing, so make sure to include them in your success by updating them often.  Below is an example of a communication timeline for #GivingTuesdayNow.

May 5, 2020

8am: Initial #GivingTuesdayNow post(s) and email

  • State your mission
  • Share your first themed story (how COVID-19 affected your organization)
  • Goal for #GivingTuesdayNow

11am: Second social media post(s)

  • State your mission
  • Share a second themed story (how COVID-19 effected your organization)
  • Update on raised funds for #GivingTuesdayNow

3pm: Third social media posts(s) and email

  • State your mission
  • Share a third themed story (how COVID-19 effected your organization)
  • Update on raised funds for #GivingTuesdayNow

7pm: Fourth social media post(s)

  • State your mission
  • Reminder that #GivingTuesdayNow is almost over
  • Update on raised funds for #GivingTuesdayNow

May 6, 2020

8am-12pm: Social media post(s) and email

  • State your mission
  • Thank your community/donors
  • Announce raised funds for #GivingTuesdayNow
  • Explain how funds will be utilized
  • Thank you, thank you and thank you!

May 7, 2020       

  • Acknowledgement letters mailed

Planning your #GivingTuesdayNow campaign should be simple and smart. Making sure that you are clear and straight forward will help your supporters align with your situation. Remember, everyone is affected and you’re not alone. This global day of giving will unite the world and prove that there is strength in numbers. I wish you all the luck with your #GivingTuesdayNow campaign.