Do you know how you’re going to raise money for #GivingTuesday?
A common mistake that most organizations make when participating in this iconic giving day is not coming up with a concrete strategy. While you might get donations by publishing a couple posts on social media with links to your online donation forms, you won’t truly maximize your potential unless you plan ahead.
With #GivingTuesday just around the corner, there’s no better time to start preparing for this awesome day of fundraising than right now!
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our favorite #GivingTuesday fundraising ideas to help you brainstorm ways to raise money and promote your cause.
In this article, we’ll cover 7 ideas:
- Launch a text-to-give campaign.
- Utilize passwordless login systems.
- Promote matching gifts.
- Create a peer-to-peer fundraising page.
- Host a live fundraising event.
- Sell branded merchandise.
- Recruit social media ambassadors.
Before you check out our most recommended #GivingTuesday fundraising ideas, get even more strategies to make this a day a huge success!
Now, let’s jump right into the first idea.
Text-to-give campaigns have grown in recent years—and with good reason! Mobile fundraising is so effective because your supporters can give whenever and wherever they want. The convenience of mobile giving, also makes text-to-give the perfect fundraising idea for #GivingTuesday.
There are two essential steps to launching a campaign for #GivingTuesday:
- Choosing a text-to-give provider and purchasing the necessary tools to accept mobile donations. It’s important to go with a tool that allows you to not only accept donations via phone but also communicate with your donors. Since 90% of text messages are read in the first 3 minutes, you’ll be able to easily grab your donors’ attention and encourage them to give.
- Promoting your campaign and teaching donors how to give via text message. Use social media, email, and even direct mail to spread the word about your mobile giving methods, and don’t forget to stress how convenient it is to give via text message.
Of course, if you already have text-to-give tools, you’ll just need to come up with a strategy to promote text giving.
Even if your organization is already utilizing text-to-give, it’s important to make sure that your giving process is optimized for the most efficiency.
A few questions to ask when optimizing your giving process include:
- How many steps does it take to make a donation?
- If donors have to access a donation page to complete the text-to-give process, is the form mobile-friendly?
- Is creating an account required to complete the donation?
- Are there any limits to the amount a donor can contribute?
All these factors can play into your organization’s giving experience.
A week before #GivingTuesday, you should start promoting your text-to-give tool, letting donors know that the option is available on the giving day.
Let’s face it: no one enjoys passwords. Creating a string of characters, numbers, and symbols is time-consuming (if done right), and remembering credentials for future use is more of a hassle than a convenience. Alternatively, giving your donors the option to save their payment information under an account means they don’t have to enter their credit card number and billing address every time they contribute.
With passwordless login, donors are able to have the convenience of an account without the hassle of remembering a password.
How does it work?
Well, there are several different types of passwordless login, but we recommend nonprofits use email authentication because it’s the most cost-effect solution and anyone with an email account can use it!
With Snowball, for example, your supporters can use email authentication to make online donations in just three simple steps:
- Once donors land on your organization’s donation form, they can select their desired donation amount.
- When they hit “Donate Now,” donors will be directed to a pre-written email that provides information on the donation amount and the organization that will receive the donation.
- Donors just need to hit send to confirm their gift!
If a donor is contributing for the first time, she’ll have to fill out a form with her contact and payment information.
Passwordless login systems are not only more convenient but also more secure. Without a password, there is less chance of you and your donors’ information becoming compromised.
Interested in learning more about password alternatives? Check out Snowball’s ultimate guide on password security!
You might be surprised to see matching gifts on our list of #GivingTuesday fundraising ideas, but this is a foolproof way to double the amount of money you raise.
As a nonprofit leader, you’re probably aware of corporate matching gifts, where companies will match donations made by employees usually at a 1:1 ratio.
While you should be promoting matching gifts year-round, it’s especially important to amp up your marketing efforts during #GivingTuesday to let donors know their gifts can go further.
To do this, you can:
- Create a dedicated matching gift page on your website. Use this as a place where supporters can learn more about guidelines and requirements for submitting a request and how to find their employer’s matching gift program.
- Embed a matching gift search tool on your donation forms. These tools allow donors to easily search for their companies’ matching gift program. The information will let them know if their gifts qualify for a match and might encourage them to give more if they know it will be doubled.
- Post information about matching gifts on social media. Use visuals and videos to grab your donors’ attention and don’t forget to link to your matching gift page where donors can learn more.
Make sure to brush up on the matching gift programs of the companies your supporters work for. That way, you can provide donors with specific information on their matching gift guidelines and how to submit a request before it’s too late.
360MatchPro has a great list of the top matching gift companies to help you get started.
In addition to corporate matching gifts, you can ask a local business or major donor to participate in a challenge grant. After you reach a certain amount of funds, the major donor or business will match the fundraising goal.
Here is an example, of how the Alzheimer’s Society partnered with Deloitte to match all gifts made on #GivingTuesday—not just by Deloitte employees:
While slightly different than the challenge grant, you can ask a local business to match all the donations made for #GivingTuesday. That way, people without a matching gift program can still have their donations doubled. Best of all, no one needs to submit a request!
Not only was this match a great opportunity to encourage people to give, but it also proved to be a great way for Deloitte to widen it’s audience as well.
Knowing that donations will be doubled is a great way to encourage supporters to donate on #GivingTuesday.
While #GivingTuesday is a great opportunity to encourage existing supporters to contribute to your cause, if you want to maximize your fundraising potential, you should use this giving day an opportunity to draw in new donors.
What better way to acquire new supporters than to launch a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign?
In a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, your supporters become fundraisers, soliciting donations on behalf of your organization.
Your fundraisers will create individual fundraising pages, set a fundraising goal, and ask their friends and family members to contribute. Since your fundraisers will be asking for donations from people they already have a close relationship with, their loved ones are more likely to contribute.
Keep in mind: just because your fundraisers are the ones soliciting donations, that doesn’t mean you can sit back and let the funds roll in. Your organization needs to take an active part in assisting your fundraisers and welcoming new donors into your organization’s family.
As such, your organization should
- Recruit your fundraisers by looking for supporters that regularly contribute or attend events.
- Create email and social media templates and resources to help your participants ask for donations.
- Host online or in-person workshops before the campaign launch date to teach fundraisers how to create their peer-to-peer fundraising page.
- Send out thank-you letters to fundraisers and welcome packets to new donors after the campaign is over.
Creating a peer-to-peer campaign for #GivingTuesday can help you find new donors and provide other opportunities for your loyal donors to support your organization without opening their wallets.
Another way to encourage donors to participate in #GivingTuesday is by hosting a live event. This will give your organization the opportunity to gather your supporters together and celebrate your cause.
Moreover, you can use your event to promote your various giving methods and encourage donors to make additional donations.
A few fundraising events that pair well with the excitement of #GivingTuesday include:
- Walkathons and marathons
- Silent charity auctions
- Themed parties
Whichever fundraising event you decide to host, make sure that you include activities that encourage guests to make additional donations. For example, if you’re hosting a themed party, organize a raffle to go with your event. The incentive of winning an awesome prize can motivate donors to participate and give more.
Events can also be a great way to gather information on your donors. Before #GivingTuesday, you can set up an online event registration page that captures your supporters’ contact information and additional fields that can help fill out your donor profiles.
Even if your event is free to attend, it’s in your nonprofit’s best interest to set up a page where guests can RSVP. This way, you can gain a sense for the amount of people attending. The number of guests could affect the type of venue that you need to book as well as the seating arrangements. Recording your RSVPs can also help you anticipate future #GivingTuesday events.
For instance, if your turn out is low, you might consider choosing a different type of event. Alternatively, a large attendance rate, may mean you should consider a larger venue.
Additionally, use your event as an opportunity to share your achievements and thank donors for all the support they’ve given. Have people that your organization serves share their story as this can make more donors sympathetic to your cause.
At your event, make sure to display your fundraising goal in a prominent location so guests know how much they’ve raised.
For more tips on making your #GivingTuesday fundraising event a success, check out Fundly’s event checklist.
Selling branded merchandise is a great way to help your organization boost funds on #GivingTuesday. Donors are much more likely to donate if it means receiving an item in return. Plus, having a t-shirt or mug with your nonprofit’s logo means that your supporters are actively promoting your campaign whenever they use that item.
Here’s how it works:
- Organizations choose a fundraising platform that lets you sell merchandise. There are plenty of options available from crowdfunding websites that let you sell merchandise to platforms that let you sell t-shirts directly to your donors. The important thing is to look for a vendor that will print and distribute your products for you. That way, you can focus on promoting your campaign.
- Organizations design their merchandise. The design of your merchandise is completely up to you, but the items should be branded with your nonprofit’s logo and colors and represent your cause. In other words: when people see your merchandise, they should have an idea of your nonprofit’s mission.
- Organizations set their price and sales goal. This is where your organization will determine a price for your merchandise. Keep in mind that most sites take a percentage of the funds raised to complete printing and distribution, so it’s important to take those fees into account when creating your price.
- Organizations publish their page and start promoting! At this stage, you’ll be able to share your page with donors via email and social media.
Looking for a t-shirt fundraising platform? This list has 8 recommended platforms to help make your search a little easier.
Last, but certainly not least, your nonprofit can recruit social media ambassadors to help promote your cause. The idea behind this #GivingTuesday fundraising idea is similar to hosting a peer-to-peer campaign. By having supporters share their passion for your cause on social media, they can encourage their network of peers to contribute.
Think about it this way: if you saw a friend or family member posting about a nonprofit, it might pique your interest and compel you to learn more about what this nonprofit supports.
Additionally, having social media ambassadors widens your organization’s potential reach on #GivingTuesday.
If you want to recruit social media ambassadors, here are a few things to consider:
- Donors that regularly make contributions, volunteer, or attend events are great candidates because they may be looking for other opportunities to support your cause.
- Ambassadors should have a strong presence on social media and the time to publish multiple posts leading up to and on #GivingTuesday.
When you’ve compiled your list of potential social media ambassadors, send them an email asking them if they’d like to become an ambassador for your cause.
Once you have your ambassadors, you should also provide the necessary materials the help them succeed. Provide them with images, branded marketing materials, and social media templates that they can use to post on their accounts.
If you’re selling merchandise, send them items ahead of time so they can post pictures wearing or using your merchandise. This way, they can generate excitement and get more people interested in purchasing your products.
Host a webinar before #GivingTuesday to help your ambassadors understand your expectations and make sure everyone is ready for the big day.
Now that you’ve read through our #GivingTuesday fundraising ideas, you’re ready to start planning your fundraising strategy! Use one, two, or even three of these ideas and see how fast you’ll be able to reach (or exceed) your fundraising goal.
If you’re looking for more fundraising ideas, check out these additional resources:
- Innovative School Fundraising Ideas. #GivingTuesday is the perfect time for schools to raise money. Keep reading our ultimate list of ideas for over 30 ways to raise more money.
- 101 Church Fundraising Ideas. Churches can also talk advantage of #GivingTuesday to raise a lot of funds in a short period of time. With 101 different ideas, you’re bound to find the perfect fundraiser for #GivingTuesday.
- The Grant Writing Guide: How to Find and Apply for Funding. If you’re looking for additional ways to raise money, why not consider applying for a grant? Our guide on grant writing walks you through the entire process, from the initial research to submitting your proposal.
- Create A Modern Password & Username Login Process. Making a fast and easy donation process is a must when preparing for #GivingTuesday. In this article, you get expert tips to improve your login process so donors can give in a jiffy!
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