In 2021, nonprofits raised a record-breaking $2.7 billion on Giving Tuesday, a 9 percent increase from 2020, according to the GivingTuesday Data Commons report. This year, Giving Tuesday is on Nov. 29, and while most predictions indicate we will surpass last year’s amount, there are some major economic factors that may come into play.
Because Giving Tuesday is typically a central part of nonprofits’ end-of-year campaigns, these potential high returns could prove helpful to charities currently facing the headwinds affecting our economy. It is more important than ever for those nonprofits to effectively present their mission, culture, and impact, making clear why they are worthy of support. A strong communications strategy will undoubtedly be integral to any successful end-of-year fundraising push.
Predictions: What is Giving Tuesday going to look like?
During this giving season, in particular, there is a lot of need for charitable contributions. With so many organizations relying on strong end-of-year fundraising, there will be a lot of competing calls to action and potentially less money to go around.
Nathaniel Heller, vice president and managing director of Geneva Global and Global Impact, explains for Fast Company, three seismic shifts will impact philanthropy in 2022: inflation, interest rates, and a disruption of the traditional private foundation model.
“We may ultimately look back at 2020 as the beginning of a truly generational shift in philanthropy that long outlives the pandemic. The need for innovative, brave philanthropy has never been greater,” he writes.
However, a recent survey from Edward Jones, found nearly one-fifth of American adults plan to give more money in 2022 than they did in 2021. And Whole Whale, a digital marketing agency for nonprofits, predicts an 18 percent increase in GivingTuesday revenue over last year.
Best Practices and Recommendations
Put in the time to prepare early on
Set realistic goals upfront. You need to have benchmarks to evaluate your success along the way and at the end of your campaign. Likewise, it is wise to create a strategic communications plan ahead of time to guide your efforts. This plan should be flexible enough to be adjusted in accordance with how well you are doing on the way to achieving your goals. Although you cannot predict potential external disturbances (e.g., from the pandemic, politics, natural disasters, etc.), your plan needs to be agile enough to allow you to maneuver through such crises.
Hone your messaging
Stay consistent with your brand identity and mission. Focus on what your organization does well. If it fits into your overall communications strategy, feel free to talk about what is going on in the country and the communities you serve, and how this has affected your organization and those whom you help.
Give a tangible purpose for your ask. The crowdfunding mindset became a mainstay because people like to rally around specific objectives. Instead of asking supporters to fund general operating costs, try asking supporters to help you reach/grow a certain metric, expand in a particular way, continue to meet these needs, etc.
Be intentional with your communication tactics
Popular tactics like time-limited matching gifts are effective. Personal stories with an emotional appeal that people can connect with are usually well received. Make sure to use these appeals to clearly convey your organizational successes. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel; if there is a tactic you have used in the past that works well for you, try to adapt it for our current times.
Given the growing portion of Giving Tuesday fundraising online, a digital strategy will be particularly important. According to the 2020 Global Trends in Giving Report, the communications tools most likely to inspire donors to give are email, social media, and websites. When utilizing these channels, make sure that you are reaching out to the right targets at a pace that keeps them engaged. When done correctly, your digital presence should establish and grow relationships and loyalty for your cause.
- Giving Tuesday: Guide and Toolkit
- Global Giving: Communications Templates
- Nonprofit Tech for Good: Social Media Tips
- MobileCause: #GivingTuesday2020 Strategies and COVID-19 Communication Strategies
- Sumac: End of Year Appeal Guide and Virtual Fundraising Tips