This post comes from the Gravyty Fundraising Academy, a series that examines how fundraisers adapt and strategize to evolve what's possible through philanthropy.
Your guide for the Gravyty Fundraising Academy is Director of Customer Success, Lisa Alvezi. Lisa has worked with countless fundraisers across Higher Education, Health Care, and Nonprofit organizations to transform fundraising. As a former frontline fundraiser herself, her goal is to help you see better results from your fundraising efforts.
Over the past seven years, I've watched GivingTuesday grow into a global movement focused on giving, collaboration, and generosity. According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, over 75% of the donors who gave via the GivingTuesday Facebook page in 2017 had previously never given a charitable gift. And more than one in five of those new donors gave a second gift in the next six months!
We all know that stewardship of GivingTuesday donors is extremely important for donor retention, but what is the best way to steward these donors? Here are some things to keep in mind to keep up the philanthropic momentum:
1. Make sure that each donor receives a thank you communication along with the appropriate tax information. Some organizations only send receipts for gifts over a certain amount, perhaps $50, $100, or even $250. That sends a message to smaller donors that their gift isn’t appreciated or needed. Those small donors may be first-time donors to your organization or existing donors who wish to participate in GivingTuesday, but give larger amounts another time of the year.
2. New donors should be stewarded separately from existing/past donors. The message needs to specifically thank them for their first gift to your organization and let them know how much their support is appreciated. Tell them how their gift will be used and the impact it will have.
3. Follow up with a second stewardship communication to these first-time donors three to four months after their first gift. Reiterate your gratitude for their gift and let them know the effects their GivingTuesday gift had at your organization, who has benefited, and how. Remember that a thank you should be just that - a thank you - and not an appeal for a second gift!
4. Existing and past donors should also receive a thank you acknowledging their past/on-going support to your organization. Again, the basics apply here – tell them how their gift will be used and its impact on your cause. If these donors are already assigned to a gift officer, they should be sending a personalized message to them. This group should also receive a second stewardship communication in three to four months.
So, what is the best way to handle all of this? A great way is to record the source of the gift in your CRM as GivingTuesday 2020. For new donors, someone in your organization should be assigned to steward this all-important group. It could be a development assistant, a stewardship person, or an annual giving team member.
If you code these donors properly in your CRM, segmentation of new and existing donors for this event is easily accomplished. Technology helps make the stewardship process easier. Gravyty’s Stewardship module makes both the immediate and subsequent stewardship messages easier to manage. Information about the donor and a suggested stewardship message will be sent to the assigned team member for follow up. With a few key strokes, you can personalize a stewardship email to a new or existing GivingTuesday donor.
If you’d like to learn more about how artificial intelligence can empower your fundraising staff to act as 2-3x its size, personally reach new donors, and inspire giving at scale, click the button below and let's connect.