**This article was written and contributed by our friends at Qgiv, an online fundraising service provider.**
Giving Tuesday is, without a doubt, one of the most influential days of charitable giving around the world. The Tuesday after Thanksgiving each year, nonprofits from all over launch campaigns asking for donations from people who want to make a difference in the causes they care about.
But what happens after Giving Tuesday? How can you continue to inspire and engage those who generously gave to your organization on the big day?
Why The 24 Hours After Giving Tuesday is Important
The hours after your donors make their gifts and the day after Giving Tuesday are incredibly important. They’re when your nonprofit has the most valuable opportunities to cultivate relationships with new donors you acquired on Giving Tuesday.
Retaining donors is actually less expensive for nonprofits than acquiring new ones, so make sure your organization focuses on retention throughout the year-end giving season (and all year round!).
Even if you have a basic plan in place, donor retention is still one of the most daunting issues that fundraisers face at the end of the year. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to guide you through the process this time around.
These tips are:
- Write a stewardship note that doubles as a receipt.
- Send a follow-up email.
- Promote matching gifts.
- Ask for a second gift.
Not all of these ideas should be completed on the immediate day after Giving Tuesday! But, if you follow these steps in the time period following the big day, you’ll set your fundraising up for ongoing success. Let’s get started!
- Give thanks with a stewardship note and a receipt.
This first step should occur before Giving Tuesday. Writing a great Incorporating donor stewardship best practices in your receipts means immediately showing donors your appreciation and offers additional information to keep them engaged.
According to Qgiv’s list of Giving Tuesday ideas, thanking your donors shows that you value them and is a great first step toward retaining them afterward. One valuable place to thank your donors is in the automated receipts you send after someone makes a gift.
By automating your receipts, donors will immediately receive a message from your organization after they’ve donated on Giving Tuesday that shows your appreciation for them. This receipt should:
- Be personalized. Personalization is key. Show your donors that they are not just one of many by using their preferred name in your receipt email and noting the amount they gave. Simple mail merge tools can help make this possible.
- Make the donor feel great about supporting your cause. Be sure to show donors the difference they’re making. Donors want to feel great about giving to your organization, so be sure to explain the impact of their gift in addition to thanking them.
- Tell them what the gift will accomplish. Beyond stating the difference they’ll make, you can actually tell donors what their gift will help accomplish. Who is it going to? What programs will this help fund? Be specific!
Make your donors feel valued by your organization and feel good about giving to you on Giving Tuesday! It will encourage them to give again in the future. Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll be ready to continue engaging them starting the day after Giving Tuesday.
Tip: Don’t forget to include all the necessary tax information if your note is doubling as a tax receipt!2. Send a follow-up email.
This step should occur within a day (or two) after Giving Tuesday, and it’s essential. Send a follow-up email to your donors explicitly stating how they made a difference. In your email, you can include:
- How much money they helped raise in total
- How your organization will use that money
- How these funds will make a difference
- Ways for your donors to stay involved
More nonprofits are looking for donations, but individual contributions overall are decreasing. That’s why it’s important to strategically communicate with your donors and make sure they’re aware of how they impacted your cause and your organization. Keep them involved and updated so that you’re always on their radar when they consider giving next.
A week or two beyond your first follow-up email, you should demonstrate your donors’ impact and send a second email explaining how you used their gift. Incorporate pictures to explain what their gift went toward so you can tangibly demonstrate the impact your donors made.
According to Qgiv’s year-end giving guide, nearly a third of annual giving occurs in December. This means a week or two after Giving Tuesday is a prime time to work on retaining donors and inspiring them to give again. After you’ve sent your second follow-up email, you’ll probably be ready to make your second ask (which we’ll cover in a bit!).
3. Promote matching gifts.
Did you know that billions of fundraising dollars go unmatched every year? This means organizations around the world are missing out on free money that could help propel their causes forward.
Matching gifts are a form of corporate philanthropy wherein companies match the donations their employees make to eligible nonprofits. But many donors are unaware that their gifts are eligible to be matched by their employer, and nonprofits don’t always promote matching gifts, often because they don’t have the time or resources to do so.
However, there’s a simple way to encourage donors to check their eligibility, especially the day after Giving Tuesday. This is through a matching gift database.
Here’s how a matching gift database works:
- The donor submits a donation to a nonprofit.
- Using a database search tool, the donor types in their name of their employer.
- If eligible, the donor will be directed to their employer’s guidelines for submitting a matching gift request.
- The company will review the request and confirm the donation with the nonprofit.
- The company will submit their matching donation.
By embedding such a search tool into your website and reminding donors that they can use it to double their donations, your organization can bring in a lot more donation revenue. Aside from that, you can also arrange for a corporate partner to match donations that come in separately.
Make it easy to bring in matching gifts by leveraging a matching gift database and company name search tool.4. Ask for a second gift.
The ultimate goal following Giving Tuesday is to have your donors give a second gift (also known as the golden donation!). For that reason, it's important to keep the following in mind:
The top reason donors don’t give is because they’re not asked.
You may assume donors want to continue their support if you keep communicating with them, but if you never actually make the second ask, this can lead to donor churn. Donors who give a second time are more likely to continue supporting you in the future. This is a key factor to consider when it comes to donor retention.
As you prepare to ask for your second donation following Giving Tuesday, there are a few strategies you should keep in mind:
- Make your ask within 30 days of the donor’s first gift. In this case, your donor donated on Giving Tuesday, so you’ll want to make your second ask at some point in December or early January. Please note, though, that making a second ask within 30 days is 100% contingent upon thanking donors properly and showing them the impact they made with their first gift! If you haven’t done that part, your second ask will fall flat or, worse, alienate your donor.
- Reference their past gift. Personalize your ask by referencing the first gift they made. This shows that you’re focusing on them as an individual supporter, rather than sending out mass communications.
- Be specific in your ask. Ask for specific amounts (tailored to what you know about the donor) and explain why you need it.
- Reiterate how their gift will make a difference. Be sure to outline the ways the donor’s gift will impact your beneficiaries, mission, or programs. Explicitly state the importance of their donations and how that money will make a difference.
- Thank them for their past support. Round out your ask by showing appreciation for their past gift again. As mentioned before, donors want to feel good about their donation, so be sure to keep this momentum going!
Including these key points will help engage your donors, show appreciation of their past support, and encourage them to stay involved with your organization. Work to retain the supporters you acquired on Giving Tuesday and show them exactly the difference they can make!
Appealing to donors after Giving Tuesday (and through to the end of the year) can be a daunting task. However, if you leverage effective tools and take the right approach to keep your donors engaged, you can retain a lot of supporters in the coming years.
Make sure you show appreciation to your donors and follow up at the appropriate times before you make your second ask. Follow these tips for a successful donor retention plan and you’ll be able to put your focus where it matters most: your mission!
About the Author
Abby Jarvis is a blogger, marketer, and communications coordinator for Qgiv, an online fundraising service provider. When she’s not working at Qgiv, Abby can usually be found writing for local magazines, catching up on her favorite blogs, or binge-watching sci-fi shows on Netflix.