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Are you sitting? Because I’m about to tell you something pretty shocking. Nearly a third of all donations are given in December. Yes, a whopping 31%. A lot of factors come together to make people and companies more generous, and one of them is Giving Tuesday.

What is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving celebrated predominately online and is considered the start of the giving season. It is on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, following Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Here are some more fun #GivingTuesday facts to blow you away:

  • $511 million was donated online during the 24 hours of Giving Tuesday in 2019
  • 13% of the US adult population participated last year
  • Giving Tuesday had 20.1 billion (with a “b”) social media impressions in 2019

This year, #GivingTuesday is on December 1, making it a shorter season for giving. Since this year has been a weird one (to put it mildly) we should look at how donors have been impacted.

How is donor behavior different this year?

Between COVID-19 and the climate crisis, it could be worrisome that there might be more people in need than there are able to give. But actually, numbers so far are showing that people want to help more in 2020, not less.

And it is not only your past donors that are showing up. The younger generation is ready to make their mark on the world, and as more campaigns are entering the digital realm that they are comfortable in, new donors are giving generously.

This means that you have a couple audiences you need to welcome this #GivingTuesday:

  • Your past donors that will likely donate where they previously have
  • The new younger donors that are searching for a way to make an impact

How should you prep for #GivingTuesday?

Get your website ready.

#GivingTuesday is based online. While a good website is necessary year round, having the right pages and a good user journey are especially important on this day.

Here are a few things to put at the top of your #GivingTuesday To Do List:

Is your site mobile responsive?

81% of Americans own a smartphone, and there is a good chance they are donating with it. A clunky desktop site on a phone will likely scare off potential donors.

How’s your site speed?

If your visitors have to wait around to learn about your cause or for the “donate” button to pop up, they may just move on.

What are you trying to say?

You want to have a succinct brand message that they can digest in just a few seconds. The last thing you want is for your audience to scratch their heads wondering, “Ok, now what is it exactly they do?” Instead, make it crystal clear: Who you help, how you help, and where their donation goes.

Are you participating in #GivingTuesday?

Of course you are. All nonprofits are. But you need to let your visitors know that you are actively engaged in this day of action. Consider a banner on your website, or a dedicated donation page.

Target new audiences…

Alright, now you’ve got a solid website that will work quickly on any smartphone to get your #GivingTuesday message across. You’re done, right? Not quite. Once they land on your site, you want to engage them.

Keep it Fresh

For the younger audience, a design that feels fresh will instill more confidence and trust in the organization. Make sure you are putting a contemporary foot forward without losing touch with your brand.

Be Transparent

The younger generation may be giving more in 2020, but that doesn’t mean they have more disposable income than in years past. Tell them what a $20 donation does for the community. Give them the opportunity to say “I provided new books to 25 kids” rather than saying “I donated $100.”

Have Fun

Show a progress bar to let them see the exact impact they are making that day. Add a countdown timer to ramp up that sense of urgency. Give a social media badge for them to share after donating.

…without forgetting about your existing donors.

It is a good goal to get new donors to your site, especially during Giving Tuesday, but not at the expense of your existing donors. Make sure they feel welcome too.

Invite them to Giving Tuesday.

If you have an email list, send out your #GivingTuesday plans and goals so that they are a part of it. Even better if you can target those who have given online in the past.

Be appreciative.

Let them know that their previous donations have made a difference. Like all donors, they will want to know where their dollars are going this year, but they will also want to know where they went last year and that you appreciated their gift.

What NOT to do

Avoid Crisis Messaging

We can all agree that 2020 hasn’t been the most splendid year, but don’t flood your potential donors with doom and gloom. Keep the message positive and inspiring while still being truthful and urgent.

Don’t Forget to Say Thank You

With all this social distancing, it is more important than ever to stay connected. Have a plan for how you will thank each and every donor. It’s simply good manners.

Don’t Get Stuck

Of course we don’t want to think about anything else awful happening this year, but on the backend, it is best to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Spend some time thinking about what crisis could derail your campaign and how you could be ready for it.

Be Resourceful

Speaking of social distancing, you are not in this alone. There are plenty of resources you can use to make this #GivingTuesday your best yet:

Are you looking for help with your Giving Tuesday campaign this year?

Contact Mittun for a free assessment today.

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