If you’re reading this, you’re likely older than Giving Tuesday. The tradition is just 10 years old. In its 10 years though, the post-Thanksgiving holiday has taken the nonprofit world by storm. It’s largely regarded as the year’s biggest day of giving and even raked in more than $3.1 billion last year.
With any relatively new and widely adopted trend though, we think it’s important to take a step back. What are we actually trying to accomplish on Giving Tuesday?
Of course, there’s fundraising, marketing, and advocacy goals to consider. But how do we truly deepen someone’s engagement with our nonprofit brands on and beyond Giving Tuesday?
This giving season, we’re outlining seven steps you can take to stand out on Giving Tuesday by inviting deeper, lasting brand engagement with your nonprofit. Let’s dive in.
Seven Ways to Invite Deeper Engagement & Stand Out on Giving Tuesday
1. Provide Multiple Avenues for Engagement
If someone is seeing or receiving your Giving Tuesday content, that means they likely have some sort of shared interest with your nonprofit. Of course sharing an interest doesn’t directly translate to a donation. Expanding your Giving Tuesday strategy by inviting your audiences to sign petitions, volunteer, join conversations or phone banks can help deepen engagement with your nonprofit while giving someone an opportunity to feel a sense of stewardship toward your cause. To help create these avenues for engagement, we’ve found this resource on “future-proofing” volunteering and this article on strong petition writing helpful.
2. Draw a Clear Connection to Impact
In all of the noise around Giving Tuesday campaigns, drawing a clear connection between donors’ contributions and real-world impact is crucial. One tactic you could use is an impact calculator. An example we like is The Life You Can Save’s impact calculator. On this calculator, you can instantly see the real world impact your dollar can have on different issues. Of course, this won’t work for every nonprofit, but its virtues can be applied in your messaging and content to connect contributions and impact. You can check out some more ways to connect action to impact here. Making this connection clear can help you stand out on Giving Tuesday and strengthen your audience’s trust in your nonprofit.
3. Give a Face to Your Fundraising
There’s a saying in business that people buy from people. Of course, as nonprofits we’re not selling a product, but we are hoping to rally people around our mission to improve some corner of the world. In humanizing your content, you can connect with your audience on a personal level. Giving Tuesday marks a great time to elevate your staff, and we have resources on empowering them to embody your brand here. Of course, you can also highlight stories from the field, elevating both your audiences and your stakeholders to demonstrate your nonprofit’s community as well as the personal elements of your impact. Creating the space for a personal connection on Giving Tuesday can help you deepen your audience’s ties to your nonprofit.
4. Practice Asset Framing & Ethical Storytelling
If you do decide to elevate some of your stakeholders, it’s important to share stories in a way that respects their dignity (ethical storytelling) and emphasizes their fortitude (asset framing). When it comes to asset framing, which involves emphasizing strengths rather than deficits, we like The Communication Network’s guide on the subject. And for ethical storytelling, we have guides on both verbal and visual ethical storytelling. In the stories we tell, we often get what we give: Respected brands are founded on respectful practices. Asset framing and ethical storytelling keep respect—for subject, storyteller, and listener alike—at the center.
5. Provide Shareable Content
For your nonprofit’s most engaged fans, another avenue for engagement involves resharing content. To stand out on Giving Tuesday, your nonprofit can equip your most enthusiastic supporters with shareable content that articulates your nonprofit’s mission and vision. Cross pollination: linking to social posts in emails and vice versa, is one way you can achieve this. We have resources on building a community of engaged members here that can help—but you don’t have to limit this to your external audiences either. Empower your staff with the same tools (posts, copy and paste templates) and time if they want to elevate your nonprofit’s work on Giving Tuesday. You can even repost or reshare content from audiences and staff. When you do, you fuel a virtuous cycle of elevating and expanding your nonprofit’s important work.
6. Practice Financial Transparency
When someone trusts a nonprofit with their money, nonprofits can honor that trust with transparency. To stand out and deepen long-term engagement with your nonprofit on Giving Tuesday, you can use the day as an opportunity to showcase your nonprofit’s commitment to financial responsibility. Sharing key financial metrics, honest fundraising goals and results, and well as future financial plans can help you build or maintain trust from donors. Your transparency can also reinforce donors’ confidence in your organization and remind them of their alignment with your vision. Check out this resource on improving your nonprofit’s financial transparency.
7. Show Your Thanks
We’re nothing without our audiences. No matter their engagement, Giving Tuesday is a great time to show the people at the heart of your nonprofit—staff, stakeholders, and external audiences—your gratitude for them. This can take place on just about any medium you use to reach your audiences, and of course as the steward of your brand, you know the best way to reach them. If you decide to do letters or not, the principles in this resource on nonprofit thank you notes can help ensure that your audiences feel heard, appreciated, and thanked for their engagement on and beyond Giving Tuesday.
Giving Tuesday, like any big day for your organization, represents a great opportunity to stand out and open the door to deeper, longer-lasting relationships. These seven tips can help, but at the heart of these and all your other communications efforts lies your mission and vision. Keeping who you are, what you do, why it matters at the heart of your work will open the door to authentic relationships between your organization and the people who fuel your impact. So this Giving Tuesday, we hope your nonprofit stands out for its authenticity and the doors you open for meaningful engagement.
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