On May 5, 2020 for the first time, a global day of giving and unity called Giving Tuesday Now will take place. This new day organized by GivingTuesday (which occurs the Tuesday after Thanksgiving every year) is a chance for people from around the world to come together in response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. Together, we can rise above these difficult circumstances. And, here at Angel Oak Creative, we want to encourage and motivate you, as nonprofits, to make the most of this day of generosity and support.
That’s why we came up with 10 ways you can rock this inaugural Giving Tuesday Now. Like any campaign, it comes down to focusing on the what, the who and the why.
Lay a strong foundation (the WHAT)
1) Identify key goals, objectives and strategies – May 5 will be here before we know it. The time to start planning is now! As with any campaign, you need to lay a strong foundation. Think about what you hope to achieve. What is your goal for #GivingTuesdayNow? How much do you hope to raise? How many donors do you want to engage? If you’ve participated in Giving Tuesday campaigns in the past, take a peek back at some of your tactics. What worked and what didn’t? Identify the best messaging and appropriate channels. Even outlining a few goals and strategies can work wonders to keep your team aligned and make sure everyone is speaking the same language.
2) Get buy-in from your people today – Speaking of staying on the same page, don’t try to tackle this alone. Seek out your key champions and stakeholders (board, committees, volunteers, etc.) to get early buy-in and commitment of participation. Don’t let working remotely keep you from being unified. It’s time to rally together in this worldwide campaign!
3) Ask a donor to provide a dollar-for-dollar match – People want to show generosity during this time – it makes them feel empowered. And given the chance, your supporters will likely hop on board with your cause! So, be bold. Consider asking a major donor to provide a matching gift. Having a match on a set day encourages people to act quickly. It’s a powerful way to create momentum and increase impact.
It takes a village (the WHO)
4) Engage your volunteers – Turn your volunteers into virtual volunteers! In this digital world, social connection and coming together on behalf of our communities can still happen, even while we’re apart. Grab some of your faithful volunteers to create video shorts or share photos with a few sentences about their favorite experience at your nonprofit, why your work matters and what they miss most about working with you. Encourage them to post the content on their personal channels in the days leading up to Giving Tuesday Now to create some noise and encourage their personal networks to give.
5) Engage your donors – Time and time again, we’re finding that the use of short videos on social media posts hits the home run when it comes to engagement. Have donors create short clips about why they give, why they love your nonprofit and why the work truly matters. Consider asking them to not only be a part of this day by sharing on their channels but also by giving above and beyond to help you reach that match or day-of goal. And look for a way to give back to them – maybe for donors who give additionally on Giving Tuesday Now get a surprise t-shirt in the mail!
6) Engage your partners – Throughout the campaign, give a few shout-outs to referral partners, corporate sponsors and collaborative partners. Show your gratitude by thanking and tagging these key players who are involved in making a difference in the world.
7) Engage your social following – People want to be a part of something bigger, especially during these uncertain times. So, encourage them to jump on your bandwagon. Come up with some fun, creative ways your followers can support you and spread the word about you. Have your followers hold up signs with one word that describes your work. Ask them to use your campaign’s hashtag, to tag three their friends in your post or repost your story to their Instagram. Create a mini-movement with your following on this day and the ripple effects will follow.
Get your story straight (the WHY)
8) Identify a theme for the day – Themes can help connect a large movement back to the heart of your mission. Maybe it’s about hope, with a collection of several short stories from participants. Maybe it’s about impact, even during this pandemic. Maybe it’s about the relentlessness of your volunteers. Maybe it’s about engaging in a virtual taco eating contest, because after all, Giving Tuesday Now falls on Cinco de Mayo. Whatever your theme is, make it memorable, timely and inspirational.
9) Make some noise leading up to, during and after Giving Tuesday Now – Promote the day as well as clear calls to action across all digital channels the week prior to #GivingTuesdayNow. Make a ton of noise on Giving Tuesday and plan to stay engaged with followers all day – liking, tagging, commenting and reposting. Add a fresh “donate” button on Instagram to provide a quick way for people to give. Send a follow-up communication after Giving Tuesday Now to share your results! And, you don’t need to recreate the wheel. There are a lot of great resources already out there from Giving Tuesday including graphics, photos and an entire toolkit specifically for nonprofits to utilize. Be sure to use the hashtags, tag Giving Tuesday and ride the momentum of this day!
10) Why now? – Now is the time to be vulnerable. Share how COVID-19 has shaped your work, changed your priorities and presented opportunities for people to support you in new ways. Be relevant and acknowledge that times are tough. Be authentic. Be raw. Tell people why you need their support and why your work depends on them. Present your case. The work must go on.
Now, we have the opportunity to join forces like never before, to make a difference in our community, during one of the most unique time periods of our lives. In such a dark, uncertain time, there still remains a bright hope for the future. Let’s stand together to unleash the power of generosity. If you have any questions, need more information on how to think through your strategy or have bright ideas of your own, please feel free to reach out! And if you’re looking for organizations to give to on Giving Tuesday Now who have been impacted by COVID-19, check out our resources list.
We look forward to seeing your buzz around Giving Tuesday Now!