Learn from this Year's Giving Tuesday to Plan for Next Year's
Like us, you are probably involved with a not-for-profit close to your heart. One way you can support them this Giving Tuesday is to help build their online community.
The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is set aside for generosity, but it’s not the only time of the year that nonprofits need donations. In addition, many organizations find themselves scrambling to get some sort of Giving Tuesday message out at the last minute and then they are disappointed in the results. Today might be better used to start taking the steps that will improve your group’s online presence in general. Consider the following:
Ask for donations
It may already seem like that’s all nonprofits do, but people still need to be reminded. All not-for-profit websites should have a convenient way for folks to donate online. There are many different kinds of cause platforms at all price points and with varying pros and cons. Examples include crowdfunded donations such as GoFundMe or percentage-of-sales donations such as Amazon Smile. But even when using these platforms, groups should always maintain their own website and ask for donations there as well.
“Donate” buttons placed strategically on every page to remind folks what they are being asked to do and make it one-click-easy for them. Because everyone is suspicious of scammers these days, organizations may prefer to use a payment system that is well-known such as PayPal when asking for credit card donations. PayPal takes care of securing online transactions and costs nothing to have the service available on your group’s site. When a donation is made, PayPal charges a percentage plus a fixed fee per transaction. Venmo is another such payment system. Suggest your organizations go online to compare fees and features before choosing.
Remember to ask for other needs
Not-for-profits need more than money, so they shouldn’t forget to ask for volunteers or cars or food or whatever else they need. Crafting a great Call To Action can inspire folks and make them eager to help. Sign-up forms should be simple and short so those eager volunteers don’t get frustrated. By setting up an auto-responder, folks are acknowledged right away, but someone from the organization should also always follow up personally and promptly.
Build community all year long
In working with our own favorite nonprofits, we have learned how important it is to stay in touch with donors. You can’t expect much if you ignore folks for a year and then come back on Giving Tuesday with your hand out. Business marketing says that people buy from those they know, like, and trust, but the same goes for nonprofit organizations.
Your favorite nonprofit can help people know, like, and trust them through consistent contact and effective storytelling. Start with engaging visuals that show the wonderful things that the group does and the great people who do them. Don’t default to bland stock images. Photos of the organization in action are much more engaging.
Nonprofit groups should update their websites regularly with news, even when it seems like there’s nothing “new.” Highlight individual volunteers. Comment on how the group is reacting to current events. Talk about the holidays or seasons. Always illustrate news posts with interesting images so they look good when shared on social media platforms.
These news posts might be monthly, but encourage more activity on social media so that the algorithms don’t kick your group off their audience’s feed. Consistency is important! In addition to posting news, they could comment on odd “Days of the Year” or share appropriate jokes and inspirational messages. Yes, your group should ask for donations, too, but mix it up with fun and interesting content to keep people engaged.
Competing for attention can be rough during the holiday season, but the organization that works on building community throughout the year has a better chance of being noticed than an organization that pops up just once a year. Fortunately, keeping the website and social media updated is a great volunteer opportunity. Divvy up the tasks to be shared by a team of volunteers, if need be.
Giving Tuesday is a perfect day to help your favorite not-for-profit improve its online presence. If this will be your contribution to their cause, call us now to discuss the options. Or send this article to the right person and initiate an introduction. Either way, get started now for a more successful Giving Tuesday 2023!
Photo by RODNAE Productions