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.
Giving Tuesday, or the “opening day of the giving season” is just a few short weeks away. Giving Tuesday began in 2012 to counter the spending, shopping, and other materialistic endeavors associated with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So, to honor the intended spirit of the holidays, Giving Tuesday was born. An International Day of Giving, Giving Tuesday harnesses the power of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring real change to communities and causes across the globe through donations of time, money, and talents.
Giving Tuesday represents a day of global fundraising success, but it can be intimidating to participate alongside so many worthy causes, so planning and having a strategy is necessary for your organization’s successful campaign. GivingTuesday is great for massive attention. But that attention could last just one day. Here’s my advice how to convert a day of giving into long-term support:
1. Every donor receives a thank-you.
Small donors may also be first-time donors. Leave them all with a great impression after GivingTuesday, and it’s likely they’ll give multiple times, and larger amounts, across the year. This note should be timely - waiting too long to send a thank you will come off as impersonal.
2. New donors get special attention.
Thank them for their first gift to your organization and tell them how their gift will be used. Communicate how their gift is helping your mission. That will inform the donor that when they give, their dollars are going towards a cause that they believe in and will open up the possibility of future conversations to give towards other initiatives.
3. Stewardship continues 3-4 months later.
Reiterate you gratitude, tell them where their gift went, and who benefited from it. This is still a thank-you, not an appeal. Coming back to ask for another gift too quickly after an initial gift can come off as opportunistic. Your goal should be informing the donor of how their gift is currently helping and some upcoming programs that may need support in the future. Just make sure you aren't asking for that support now!
4. Stewardship still continues 3-4 months later.
Remind donors of the impact of their support. Personalize your message, and in another (you guessed it!) 3-4 months, begin your appeal! Many donors give below their rated capacity for an initial gift, but that doesn't mean they won't increase their gift eventually. The key is making sure your donors receive a personalized experience through their giving from solicitation to stewardship.
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.