Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Giving Tuesday? Here’s what to do to fundraise like a pro in November.
Thanksgiving is almost upon us. And that means it’s almost Black Friday. I mean Cyber Monday. I mean … Giving Tuesday!
Giving Tuesday, November 27, is the biggest online giving day of the year. Here are the steps you should be taking right now to raise serious money for your cause, plus some sample posts. If you don’t know what Giving Tuesday is, here’s a short primer.
November 15-20. Preparations.
1) Develop your social media strategy
Promotions for Giving Tuesday happen, for the most part, via social media. So social media is your primary communications channel for Giving Tuesday.
Consider your needs and your assets. Are you raising funds for a specific program or your overall cause? What stories do you have? Are there photos can you use? Will you develop special graphics? Feature a content theme? Or will there be a visual theme, for example maybe some graphics developed with your brand colors?
Ideally, you have stories about people. Maybe it’s your clients, staff, or volunteers. Maybe you can share stories about the impact of your work on people. If you can, include photos in each post, ideally with people in them. Include the #GivingTuesday hashtag in your text. Do you have videos you can easily shorten and add a clickable Giving Tuesday graphic to at the end? YouTube makes this possible even if you don’t have video editing skills.
You might also consider taking #unselfies of staff, volunteers, members, or clients showing why they support #GivingTuesday (see examples in this social media toolkit). Can you shoot a few very short videos of staff, volunteers, clients, or others? Here are more examples of successful materials and campaigns.
2) Create and schedule your posts
Develop material for six days of social media posts on all of the channels you use. The folks at Giving Tuesday recommend posting 1-2 times per day from Nov 22-26, and 5 times on Nov 27. Consider text that gives thanks on Thanksgiving. That is the first day of the campaign. You will need 10-20 posts total.
You probably already have a way to schedule posts. If so, schedule them out.
3) Line up your social media influencers
Your partner organizations, most loyal members, and frequent volunteers can help amplify your posts on social media. These individuals can share your content with their communities. Contact them early to ask them if they’re willing, and if they are, let them know you’ll be contacting them with posts that you hope they will share. Ask them whether they prefer to be reached via email, text, or on their social media platforms. Also ask them what platforms they are on the most. Make a spreadsheet to keep track of who is willing, what platforms they prefer, and how to contact them.
Additionally, if you tag @GivingTuesday in your posts, and they will often share as well.
November 22-27. Execution.
1) Re-share your posts
Most scheduling services do not allow you to schedule a share. So, each day, re-share a post at least once, maybe twice, to your followers. The first day, Nov 22, it will obviously be that same post again. On Nov 23, maybe you do the one from the 23rd, or maybe one from the 22nd if one was popular. On Twitter, you can often get away with re-tweeting a post twice or even more over a couple of days.
2) Contact your partners
Get that spreadsheet out, and ask the folks who said they would be willing to share to start sharing. Send them links to specific posts to share from the platforms they prefer.
3) Get social
Social media is social. Online, as in life, you have to give love to get love. On social media, you give love by liking and sharing content. So, find your partners, and when it makes sense, like and share their content. This is good practice in every social media strategy. You will be rewarded in the long run.
Other things to consider:
If you have time, consider emailing your email list at least once — perhaps a day or two before Giving Tuesday, or perhaps on the day. It’s your call. But direct your email followers to some of your best Giving Tuesday posts and suggest that they participate by giving or sharing. Ideally, you will write and schedule the emails ahead of time.
You can also draft a blog post about your campaign and share it on your website, and on the Giving Tuesday blog.
Finally, it is never a waste of time to put some attention into your thank-you message. Not only does it make them feel like they matter, but ideally it will include a link offering an easy way for readers to share their activity on social media. This helps donors show others what they care about, and invites them to also get involved via Giving Tuesday.