Planning a Giving Tuesday Fundraising Campaign? Follow these Tips for a Positive Outcome.
There’s snow in October, and Christmas cheer o’ plenty amidst Halloween decor on the store shelves. While it may seem these two holidays don’t mix, there’s a hidden message here: a reminder to plan early for a successful year-end to fundraising.
Especially with COVID-19 upon us, many fundraisers have not gone as planned during 2020. That’s not a reason to cram in last minute appeals or beg and plea for all the donations. Instead, take the time now to focus your campaign goals and message.
It can be a bit obvious when a campaign is put together at the last minute, and confusing when a fundraising message and call to action are not clearly thought out. Use these tips to plan your content and strategy.
Plan Now for An Effective Giving Tuesday Campaign
An effective fundraising campaign has clear and well communicated focus. Your nonprofit does a lot of great work with a variety of stories to showcase that impact, but telling all these stories isn’t the most effective approach.
Instead, you need to work out a theme and choose the specific stories that will help you effectively communicate a certain theme over a dedicated period of time, with a clear and specific fundraising ask.
Let’s pretend your nonprofit provides tutoring services to children struggling to read. There are multiple areas that need funding: tutoring materials, staff time, building costs, a sponsorship program for kids you can’t afford the full tutoring fee.
Instead of generically looking for funding to support the entire organization, a fundraising campaign can be more successfully with focus on one of these particular areas.
For example ….
- A winter campaign to “keep the heat on” and fund building costs for your program
- A back-to-school campaign to fund new text books
- A campaign that highlights student and tutor relationships to highlight staff time.
You can see how narrowing your focus can become helpful as we develop the campaign, a perfect segway into getting more specific campaign goals instead of simply requesting “donations.”
Your nonprofit’s revenue portfolio should come from a mix of sources, known as your development plan. This can include things like:
- One-time donations
- Major donations
- Monthly donors
- Corporate sponsorship
- Event registrations
- Membership or service fees
- And more.
When you are running a fundraising campaign, it’s important to decide which of these buckets you will be filling with your campaign ask.
To go back to our example …
- A winter campaign to “keep the heat on” asks people to give monthly donations to support recurring electricity bills.
- A back-to-school campaign to fund new text books asks for one-time donations that cover the cost of a book.
- A campaign that highlights student and tutor relationships to highlight staff time asks for major donations that support staff time OR the scholarship for students.
Calendar + Timeline
The next important thing to focus is the timeline for the campaign. Choosing start and end dates, with specific communication milestones, is helpful. When you plan in advance, you’re able to work towards completing all the pieces needed for the campaign before it even starts, so that during the campaign you can react to donors, focus on thank yous, and tweak anything as needed to improve performance.
My free Fundraising Toolkit includes a calendar and timeline template to help you plan this part before getting started on implementing your campaign. The calendar helps you decide which platforms you’re using — such as social media, email, print appeals, video and more — and align the messages across these platforms.
Other Things You Need
- Fundraising page: Now that you’ve decided on a specific campaign goal, you need to be sure there is a singular place where you are collecting this type of donation in order to track results. This means having a dedicated landing page for monthly donors, or a specific page where major donors send payment, and so forth.
- Graphic templates: A consistent message will resonate with more power when the visuals also match up. Create graphic templates that give this specific campaign a look and feel that falls within your brand but also sets itself apart from your mainstream content.
- Impact stories: Make sure you’re telling the key stories that align with the campaign theme you decided. If you do not have enough stories to support the theme, its time to determine the people you can reach out to and interview to collect more influential stories to showcase your impact.
While COVID-19 fundraising challenges exist, the truth is plenty of people are still interested in and looking to give – you just need to follow this proper plan to help them make a difference.