All charities should know the date 27th November, which marks the fourth annual #GivingTuesday campaign in the UK to inspire people to support the causes they care about. #GivingTuesday started in the USA as a charitable alternative to follow the end of more consumer-centric “holidays” like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The campaign website reports that #GivingTuesday now exists in more than 70 countries; in the UK, it’s become one of the single biggest charity fundraising days.
Charities Aid Foundation brought #GivingTuesday to the UK in 2014 with 800 partners in the first year and nearly double that by year two, according to an evaluation report. In 2016, the campaign rebranded to attract a wider audience of people who typically did not donate to charities. Many of you are probably already familiar with the campaign and seizing the moment to drive funds for your cause. If not, or if you’d like to do even more, we share our top five tips to help you maximise your #GivingTuesday campaign this year.
Set a Clear Goal
Our first tip to maximise your #GivingTuesday campaign is all about planning. As with any campaign, it’s important to begin with a clear goal. From here, you can identify objectives to achieve the goal and key milestones to track your progress along the way.
There is no right, wrong or one-size-fits-all goal. In fact, #GivingTuesday recently repackaged its tagline to a simple, powerful and versatile message of “do good stuff”. For example, you might want to use #GivingTuesday to build general awareness of your charity. Is your aim to bring greater understanding to a lesser-known cause or one around which there may be some confusion or misinformation? Is your aim to attract the attention of media outlets? Or perhaps you want to drive more total donations or increase the amount of your average donation.
Bring your staff and decision-makers into a conversation now so that you’re all on the same page as you near 27 November. This will save you time and money down the road and will help you measure the success of your campaign and make improvements for the next one.
Build a Great Team
Our second tip is all about your people. Plan to build a special internal #GivingTuesday team to help you achieve your goal. Enlist a range of talents from all levels of your organisation. You might be able to task existing members of your staff with this special assignment, or, if you have the time and resources to support additional help, you could look to hire temporary or full-time help from people experienced with successful campaigns.
This team will be working hard leading up to and following 27th November. Keep the group motivated and encouraged with special #GivingTuesday gear, such as customised wearables like wristbands and t-shirts that can be gifted to your team or given as rewards to your hardest workers. Another clever gifting idea is a reusable “bag for life” with your charity name and the #GivingTuesday hashtag. These highly functional items will be used time and again by your team, ensuring long-term exposure for your charity even after the end of the campaign.
Capture Donations Online
Tip three is to make it as easy as possible for donors to support your cause on 27th November (and every other day, for that matter). If you have a donation landing page, update it with logos and messaging around #GivingTuesday. If you lack such a page, now is the time to build one! Make it clear, compelling and trustworthy and make sure your brand resonates so that people know they’re in the right place.
Marie Curie is a great example – we like the clear call to action and options to give a single or recurring donation. Another tip is to provide a comparison to help people get a sense of impact. In this case, Marie Curie tells people that a donation of £5 could pay for three hours of vital in-home nursing care for someone with a terminal illness.
The charity also offers diverse, interesting ways for people to get involved, such as making a donation in someone’s name and memory, donating used items like spectacles or clothes and payroll giving, among others. Another idea worth emulating is how the charity encourages people to support Marie Curie on their wedding day through customised items like antique silver pins, place cards, cufflinks and even stationary. In addition to selling special wedding merchandise, the site even offers some helpful wedding tips!
Our next tip on maximising #GivingTuesday is to use social media and hashtags to promote your landing page and encourage others to spread your message and give back. Giving Tuesday, of course, has the recognisable #GivingTuesday hashtag. Create a unique hashtag for your charity and use it in all social media posts leading up to and on 27th November. You can also use social media as a platform for sharing ideas on how to participate and “do good stuff”, like where to buy special items or download recipes and tips for making videos or planning charity runs. Invite people to share their stories and applaud and thank supporters who engage with your campaign.
At the same time, don’t forgot that not everyone is on social media. You might want to promote your #GivingTuesday campaign in local print newspapers or in-person at your charity shop or a retail location, alongside planning a social media campaign to broaden the audience.
Find a Partner
In the UK, the #GivingTuesday campaign was rebranded in 2016 to make it appealing to more people. As part of the strategy, major partners came on board, including corporates like Sainsbury’s, charities like Clic Sargent and other groups like Robert Gordon university.
We’ve helped several charities plan successful Giving Tuesday campaigns, and one thing we’ve seen is that partnering up can really help boost donations. Morrisons was the first supermarket to sign up as a #GivingTuesday partner in the UK, and has raised £4 million to date for the health and social care charity Sue Ryder through its “Raise a Smile” campaign.
One idea is to register your charity as a partner on the campaign website – your charity logo and link will appear on a searchable page. You can provide information on your planned activities for #GivingTuesday, and the campaign offers support if you need help planning. #GivingTuesday reports that it has over 2,000 partners in the UK. Be one of them!
Say Thank You
Our last tip to maximise your #GivingTuesday campaign is to thank your donors! Capture mailing information for all donors, no matter the size of the donation, and send a simple thank you note with a creative, customised gift as a token of your appreciation. At Rocket Charities, button badges are the most popular thank you gift we make because they’re fun, collectable and can be produced quickly and for minimal cost. Buttons raise awareness because they get noticed – many people wear them on coats, hats, backpacks or laptop bags. And who knows, the small but thoughtful gesture might just encourage donors to keep up their support all year, not just on #GivingTuesday.
We hope this post gives you some ideas you can put into practice to maximise your #GivingTuesday campaign this 27 November. All of these tips can be used throughout the year to drive donations over the long-term, too. What other tips do you have? We’d love to hear more!