December 2019 calendar page with 3 and 31 circled

Because the date for Thanksgiving shifts every year, last year’s Giving Tuesday (always scheduled for the Tuesday after Thanksgiving) took place on the earliest possible date: November 28. This year, it is scheduled for as late as it will ever be: December 3.

This gap between 2019’s two biggest fundraising dates of the year is the narrowest possible timeframe, putting just 28 days between the two. Many nonprofits launch their year-end campaign with Giving Tuesday, but this year, that would mean a shorter campaign and overlapping communications.

With Giving Tuesday only 8 weeks away, now is the time to reevaluate your readiness for both major events.

FOLLOW THE 3-POINT CAMPAIGN SUCCESS “RECIPE”

Even with changes you may need to make this year, it’s still important to structure all your campaigns around these key components:

  • A Goal: Make it clear to your donors what your need is
  • A Deadline:  Both Giving Tuesday and Year-End create natural deadlines. Be sure to leverage the deadlines in your communication
  • A Matching Gift:  It is ideal to have a matching gift for both Giving Tuesday and a larger match for your year-end campaign

As always, your communication should include a good story to show the impact of their gifts. These stories will reinforce your “why” and show the donor the impact they can have with another gift.

You most likely have a standard communication pattern that you follow for year-end campaigns, but this year, you’ll need to reevaluate both the timing and the content.

You may need to position communications in a different order or insert a non-ask communication right after Giving Tuesday, perhaps as part of your Giving Tuesday thank-you messaging. Remember, people don’t give to support your organization, they give to help others. A non-ask communication gives you a chance to remind your donor base of those others, your recipients, who are your “why.” (Don’t worry: People will often still give from a non-ask communication if you provide a donate button or link.)

This year, video might be even more important than ever for conveying your why.

EVALUATE YOUR GIVING “JOURNEY”

One of the most important donations you’ll ever receive is the one you give yourself. Follow your own marketing or email communications (from both a phone and a computer) from the various asks you place on different platforms all the way through the donation to see what it’s like. It can be enlightening.

People expect easy online transactions. Every hurdle they have to clear reduces the chances of them completing their donation.

With iDonate, your donors will enjoy a seamless giving experience from a technology perspective. Unfortunately, it’s easy for nonprofits to unintentionally create friction in their giving journey in other ways. This can happen through:

1. EMBED PLACEMENT

Page design and messaging play a big role in directing your donors’ flow of attention. Your giving page should be very simple!

When visitors arrive at your giving page, do they immediately see the donation button or do they have to search for it, especially if they’re on a mobile device? Once upon a time, a big red donation button in the top right of your giving page was all you needed. Today you may need to consider a pop-up that asks them one last time before they leave the page (without giving) or a sticky bar across the top of the page.

2. CONSISTENT BRANDING

It’s important that donors feel secure as they click their way across multiple channels.

If at any point they feel disoriented, they get nervous about completing forms and giving money. iDonate’s embedded forms mean they’ll never click on your donate button and be taken to a third party page to finalize their gift, which reduces their confidence in the security of their transaction.

But within that secure context, you still need to establish a look that donors can recognize. You do this through consistency of fonts, colors and imagery styles, as well as your logo, in all your communications.

Campaign themes for Giving Tuesday and Year-End can help guide your donors through the giving process, too. iDonate lets you brand your giving embeds to match the look and feel of your organization’s brand and customize your thank you emails.

3. MESSAGING

Imagine that someone clicks on one of your social media links that takes them to your giving page. Understand that they may not have clicked to donate just yet, but to learn more about the specific message in the ad or ask. When they arrive, will they know they’re in the right place and will they know what to do?

  • Does the flow of messaging make sense?

Help those who click on your ad or social media post know that they have arrived where they intended to go by mirroring the ad headline and imagery that attracted them. iDonate landing pages allow you to customize messaging on social media and email that links directly to corresponding giving pages. Have you taken advantage of your unlimited number of giving iDonate embeds and landing pages, which make it easy to customize multiple campaign messages for Giving Tuesday and year-end?

  • Can visitors quickly see what your organization is about without having to read walls of text?

Use headers, bullets, formatting and imagery or icons to help them quickly grasp the content, even if they skim.

  • Is the focus on your organization rather than those you serve or on your donors?

Structure sentences and ideas to begin with your recipients or donors as often as you can. Example: “Veterans receive” or “Your donation provides…” rather than “We…” wherever possible.

  • Can donors quickly see the impact of each donated dollar?

Rather than vague explanations of what donations provide, share the specific impact of specific gifts (i.e. $10 provides 3 meals) and also what your donors have enabled you to provide (i.e. 1,000 families fed in 2019). iDonate embeds allow you to include this information as a donor inputs their gift amount, but it can be impactful on your page, as well.

  • Does your page ask them to do too many things?

Educating donors is important, but there should be only one ask: Give. Don’t distract them with any links or other possible actions.

  • After donating, did you receive a thank you communication?

If so, have the messaging and branding been updated in years? Was it customized in keeping with the campaign? iDonate allows you to customize your gift receipts and thank yous.

  • As a first-time donor, did you immediately receive the first welcome email?

Over the first few weeks after donating, new donors should receive a series of communications (called a Welcome Series) that go deeper into your nonprofit’s story and invite them into a journey toward becoming a regular donor. This includes introducing them to the iDonate donor portal and other giving options, such as noncash.

NextAfter studies show that donors who give a second gift within three months of their first one tend to have a lifetime value 4x greater than other donors. A noncash ask is an easy way to accomplish this, as it is a donation that also helps donors who are looking for an easy way to offload something valuable. iDonate does all the work to process noncash donations.

LEVERAGE MULTIPLE GIVING CHANNELS

Your target audience prefers different paths to learning about and donating to the causes they care about. Some prefer text giving. Others love to fundraise for you! Some organizations will have annual events. This is the time to set up all the giving channels iDonate offers: text giving, peer-to-peer, event ticketing and noncash donations.

SUMMING UP: As you approach this important fundraising season, you can trust that iDonate provides the reliable and simple giving experiences your donors expect. But as you consider your donors’ giving journey for your Giving Tuesday and Year-end campaigns, attention to the short gap between them and to a streamlined look, feel and message can help guide your donors to and through the entire multi-channel journey…from first touch to last.