Giving Tuesday 2020 Quick Takes
Giving Tuesday was a few weeks ago and reports from the biggest platforms are showing positive results – the biggest Giving Tuesday yet! Here are a few things to look out for and personal observations from this year that could still help you before the even more important last 5 days of the month:
Think about time to send –
- I woke up to a handful of emails before 7am and deleted them all while logging into work. Monday late night emails had the advantage in my inbox.
- What time zone are your donors in? Even though your organization is based in one-time zone, the bulk of your donors are probably in New York and California.
- Emails from industry orgs sent on Monday and Tuesday would have been better received on Wednesday when I wanted to debrief and celebrate in one of those virtual happy hours!
SMS/Texts – On Giving Tuesday, I only received fundraising texts from two orgs, we have an industry wide opportunity to do more with this channel:
Stop 45 PAC sent two messages related to the Georgia election, there was no mention of Giving Tuesday.
UCS (Union of Concerned Scientists) sent a Giving Tuesday message with the donation form highlighting monthly giving.
The Facebook Ban – most of our clients were able to get around the ban making it a nonissue.
Coordinate email efforts within your own organization – Those communications emails should go on hold from Thanksgiving through the day after Giving Tuesday (sorry, comms). Keep the database focused on giving, if they only open one email from your org that day, you want it to be one of the appeals.
Don’t be afraid to pivot – The beauty of digital is that we can be responsive, right? We’ve got a few weeks between Giving Tuesday and the last five days of the year to refine plans, tweak messaging or even overhaul if you have to.
Launching a direct response program on Giving Tuesday during a pandemic recession –
When launching a grassroots direct response program, even under normal circumstances, you have to do the work earlier in the year to see the pay-out. Focus on lead gen and cultivation all year leading up to the big Giving Tuesday/End of Year moment when you’re most likely to convert those leads into donors.
Two of our mid-size organizations who did this well and had great Giving Tuesdays are YWCA USA and Waterkeeper Alliance.
YWCA USA invested in thoughtful lead generation efforts that grew their database by 20,000 emails. Then they cultivated those new leads through an engaging welcome series. When the Giving Tuesday match launched, we helped them raise three times the funds over Giving Tuesday than they raised through their entire end-of-year campaign last year.
Waterkeeper Alliance had their best Giving Tuesday ever thanks to a more strategic digital approach and inclusion of best practice tactics. We started working with them in July to add structure to their digital program and we’re seeing a positive return.
These results are incredible considering there’s been a pandemic going on since March. We all went into Giving Tuesday wondering how the pandemic would impact year-end giving, so far so good.