With bellies full and coupon clippings in hand, shoppers of America step it into high gear as soon as Thanksgiving dinner ends. There’s Black Friday, Small-Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, then (our personal favorite) Giving Tuesday.
While the other days may focus on great deals for your Christmas list (while boosting the economy), Giving Tuesday isn’t about Santa or presents or material things. It’s about taking time during the holiday season to help your fellow man. Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to shift focus away from spending and towards giving, particularly to nonprofit organizations. Giving to those who give so much every other day of the year.
Originally launched in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y, Giving Tuesday kicks off the giving season to celebrate and encourage year-end giving. Known for its social presence under the hashtag #GivingTuesday, the day utilizes social media promotion and collaboration to celebrate this global day of giving.
And this movement is growing.
In 2013, there was a reported $19 million given to nonprofits through Giving Tuesday campaigns. By 2015, the movement had already grown to over $117 million in donations. What will supporters give this year—and how can your nonprofit get involved?
You’ve probably already started thinking about what your nonprofit can do to promote year-end giving this holiday season. But do you have the right technology tools to optimize the ultimate day of giving?
Optimize Giving Tuesday with the right technology
Bring out your toolbelt.
The thought of developing a full year-end giving campaign can seem overwhelming. Thankfully, the people at givingtuesday.org have put together a toolkit full of resources nonprofits need to launch a year-end giving campaign for Giving Tuesday. This toolkit includes a sample outreach email, campaign planning timeline, press release template, PR and social media toolkit, and even a mayoral proclamation walkthrough and email templates.
Giving Tuesday started with a hashtag and grew into a movement. Promote #GivingTuesday through your social channels and interact with other nonprofits and companies getting involved on this day of giving.
This is a great opportunity to share stories from your organization that show how you’re championing your cause and how your supporters involvement will make a difference too.
You can also get involved with donate-a-tweet campaigns with local celebrities or other supporters to get more out of every message!
Prepare your website.
Remember, this day of giving originally centered around a social hashtag. This is a predominantly social movement. And the majority of your supporters are probably going to be interacting with you on mobile. Is your site mobile-friendly?
Are your buttons and images large enough and clear enough to be seen on a mobile screen? Can your supporters’ thumbs actually click the button to donate, or will their fingers be too big and send them back to the home screen?
Look for any opportunities to make the donation process easier for your donors and reduce friction they may keep them from following through.
Give clear opportunities for donations.
You’ve gotten your supporters excited about your cause and they’re ready to give! But how? Be sure to have clear information about donations and how to get involved in #GivingTuesday with your organization. Not only should you give clear information, but also provide a lot of opportunities to give. Have a website with landing pages to direct supporters to for giving, forms to collect information, and any commerce/check out carts for online giving.
Try to be as clear as possible about what the supporter needs to do. Do they go to your website and fill out a form? Do they text to send a keyword to a number? Do they need a credit card or can they donate via PayPal? However your organization chooses to do it, make sure it’s a simple process for your supporters.
Your work isn’t over when Giving Tuesday ends. Now that you’ve gotten donations and involvement from supporters, what’s the next step?
There are few things that follow Giving Tuesday. You want to be sure you’re following up donors and thanking them for their generosity. It’s also good to follow up with anyone who may have started along the path to donation but dropped off (sent a text to your organization but never completed the donation form).
It’s never too early to start preparing for next year’s Giving Tuesday! The best way to do that is to survey your supporters on their Giving Tuesday experience. You could set up an automatic email that goes out after someone donates, or send a survey out via email and social to reach people who may not have donated or not been aware of the campaign. You will be able to gather a lot of good information about what worked, what didn’t, and any friction that kept from getting people involved.
Financial Management System
You know there’s nothing cut and dry about multi-fund reporting for nonprofits. You like reports one way, but the board has very specific opinions on how reports should be presented. All while the many government regulations for compliance stay top of mind.
Your nonprofit needs a reporting tool that can help you seamlessly create the right reports for the right entities, no matter the varying requirements.
The best way to do this is with a financial management system that groups application tasks and reports by accounting function, with workflows and checklists to streamline the process. Giving Tuesday is on November 29 this year—that is just one day before the month ends. That means you want a system that can efficiently produce reports to help you reduce your month-end close times.
You also need something with built-in templates that also allows you to customize where you need. After all, you want your nonprofit financial management system to fit your organization’s needs to help your mission—not a tool that makes you fit your organization into their pre-made box.
Think it’s time to switch out your one-size-fits-all software for a financial management system made for nonprofits? If you’re still unsure what’s the best for you, download this ebook: 21 Questions Every Nonprofit CFO Must Ask When Evaluating Financial Management Solutions. You can get your questions answered and understand what to look for. Then, when it’s time to choose, you can be confident you’re making the choice that’s right for your nonprofit and keeps you compliant.
Across the country, JMT employees will be volunteering at local Food Banks in Austin, New York, and Nashville on December 13. We believe in supporting the communities we live and work in as we continue to make your mission really our business.
See you on #GivingTuesday!