Are you ready for #GivingTuesday 2015? Are you in the planning stages of this year’s start of the year-end campaigns?
If you work for a small organization, these national campaigns happening on the social web, might seem quite daunting to you and you might be afraid you not be able to pull it off. It’s still a way off – #GivingTuesday 2015 will be Dec. 1 – and the time to prepare is now.
What is Giving Tuesday?
After Thanksgvinging, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, it’s time to reflect on what make people really happy and that is when you give instead of receive.
GivingTuesday was started in 2012 by 92Y and the UN Foundation and has spread tremendously around the nations. A national day of giving. Although most nonprofits, especially big organizations, see GivingTuesday as the start of their Year-End Giving efforts, smaller organizations also take the advantage of rallying their troops and use social media and reach out to friends of friends, followers of followers and find new supporters. Smaller and middle-sized organizations succeed more and more these days in peer-to-peer fundraising where people take on their favorite organization’s cause and ask their friends to help out with time, with attention, with sharing and posting photos, blog posts and links.
GivingDays are a great way to connect with the community online via social media, friends of friends and via photos and pledges.
During #GivingTuesday the initiative #SWFLGives provided resources to participating agencies locally. And we kept track of the online buzz.
We also reconnected with the makers at the organizations. Here are a few learned lessons.
The numbers are quite astonishing for a campaign the was developed between November 4 and December 2nd, 2014. The graphic shows the local initiatives with nominal 11 organizations participating, but factually only six organization followed through with announcement posts and photos.
With donor retention nationally at 30% it takes extra effort to engage with your ambassadors and your supporters to spread the work and keep the interest high and the feedback real. There is an end to the tunnel if you are able to increase donor retention by just 10%, the lifetime value of your donor list doubles.
Despite what many people, leader of organizations, and consultants think, #GivingTuesday is not a day of begging and donor-ask via social media. The numbers of Network for Good over the last two years show that donations via social media are complicated to achieve, when the asked comes from the organization itself, the conversion is really low. But if the ask comes from an organization’s ambassador who asked her audience to help out the organization, the donations coming via social media are very much rising.
Building relationship is hard. Begging, “Give, Give, Give,” – “Donate Now, Donate Now” is easy and so boring.
There is a reason why it’s called social media. It’s supposed to be social. It’s about people.
So what is #GivingTuesday for then? Glad you asked.
What did organizations do on #GivingTuesday and what works and what didn’t?
“With it being our first year participating in #GivingTuesday, we were pleased with our results,” said Trish Leonard, president of the Bonita Wonder Gardens board of directors. “We received numerous online donations as well as checks in the mail for a total of almost $1,000. And, just as importantly, we raised awareness about our organization’s support of the Everglades Wonder Gardens in Bonita Springs. We hope to make an even bigger impact on #GivingTuesday in 2015 with more opportunities for people to get involved.” – Everglades/Bonita Wonder Gardens.
— WonderGardens (@WonderGardensFL) December 2, 2014
Brenda Brooks, executive director CREW Land & Water Trust was very excited about the power of #GivingTuesday. They actually celebrated #GivingTuesday every Tuesday in December and reported unexpected donations outside their usual membership contribution of over $1,100 dollars. “We will definitely start planning a more formal #GivingTuesday campaign for 2015. We will be thinking about on-site events and use social media to have participants & volunteers spread the word of #Unselfishness”, Jessi Drummond, CREW’s Environmental Education Specialist said.
— CREW Trust (@CREWTrust) December 3, 2014
Donna Johnston, of Family Literacy Academy of Immokalee created a photo gallery with student moms, posted them to the website and shared them around the social networks. The academy picked up quite a few more likes and followers on Facebook and Twitter. “Now that the baby steps were made”, Donna says, “we feel much more confident and competent to use social media for community outreach and fundrasing in the future. It’s important for us to reach the next generation for volunteering and giving.”
Our list of local #GivingTuesday has 11 organizations listed, who stated their intend through out the month of November that they’ll participate.
Of those 11 – only 5 had Twitter accounts prior to November 2014. Two of them actually added a #GivingTuesday post on their website and spread it around the social webs to alert their website readers and social media followers that there will be something coming up on #GivingTuesday.
Here are activities that made all the difference. It energized the volunteers as well as their friends on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
- Shooting photos with supporters holding up signs
- Using pictures to tell the story and combine it with a task
- Asked a group of supporter to retweet and share organization post to their streams.
- Review a few #GivingTuesday photos on Instagram
What we heard from all the organizations, was that 1 month is not enough time to prepare oneself. That’s the biggest lesson learned. To make this a smashing success, you need at least 5 to 3 months, to get yourself and the supporters and friends of the organization ready for the day.
How you get started to prepare for #GivingTuesday
- Register your organization for #GivingTuesday
- Browse #GivingTuesday’s Tools section, with ideas & examples, toolkits, case studies, logos & graphis and many more.
- Network for Good has already published a great space for #GivingTuesday – with eGuides, Checklists and Webinars
- Set-up your Social media accounts and start posting information, and listen to the people around your topics.
- Make a plan with activites leading up to December 1st, this year’s #GivingTuesday.
- Slidedeck: Creating a successful Giving Day strategy by Caryn Stein, Network for Good
- Study the Giving Day Playbook published by Knights Foundation
Should you be located in Southwest Florida, Tech4Good SWFL September meeting on September 1st, 2015 evening will be all about #SWFLGives on #GivingTuesday. Sign-up to the email notification on their website.