Going beyond #GivingTuesday to drive success for your nonprofit

This post is contributed by Heather Schichtel a nonprofit director at Epsilon. 

The headlines during this time of year are often around how much consumers are spending or what the hottest gift items will be.  But we often forget that this time of year is also the time to express gratitude, give thanks and give back.  As social responsibility becomes more important to today’s consumers we’re seeing nonprofits reach out through social media to tell their story and promote giving.

Amidst the holiday shopping frenzy Giving Tuesday, which took place on November 30, is in its fourth year.  This online and social campaign, which takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, entices people to give back to their favorite charities.  According to 92Y and the Case Foundation this year  $116.7 million was raised on Giving Tuesday  -- this up from $45.68 million in 2014 and $28.09 million in 2013.

According to the press release announcing the findings, the average gift amount donated by individuals was $107.47 made by nearly 700,000 donors. 

In working with nonprofits we understand that their efforts go well-beyond one-time donors that give at the end of the year.  Nonprofit organizations need to constantly find new donors and engage with ones they haven’t heard from in a while to promote their cause and encourage donations.  As you acquire new customers this holiday season how can you make the most out of your new donor acquisitions for both offline and online donors? Consider these three steps: 

  1. Thank your donors and thank them often! Let them know they have made an impact to your cause

Data will reveal a donor’s channel preferences not only for donating but across other verticals. This information will help you determine where and how a donor would be most receptive to your message. Traditionally, nonprofits have messaged to donors through direct mail but Giving Tuesday is changing this behavior; attracting a younger, online savvy audience. Data can reveal where your new donors are transacting and giving and help you determine where to spend your marketing dollars.

  1. Continue to tell your story. Giving Tuesday is focused around social media. Consistent branding and messaging in several channels will tell your story and drive donations

According to a recent research report “#GivingTuesday 2015: Attracting Millennial Donors” organizations are using donor-centric messaging to emotionally elevate potential donors’ abilities to affect change.  “Based upon the reaction from our research partners, yes [Giving Tuesday inspired Millennials to give]- but at a much higher level when Millennials were involved with the cause offline in addition to online. Strategies that included both digital/social and grassroots efforts proved to be the most successful for engaging this generation on #GivingTuesday2015.”

  1. Segment your audience. Message to your high or medium dollar donors a little differently to entice them to give more

Data can reveal donation and buying behaviors to show whose wallet is open and provide a better picture of total donor wallet share.  For example, a donor who gives $25 to your nonprofit might be giving $50 to another who asked for just a little bit more. Once you determine a donor’s propensity to give, gift arrays and messaging can be modified.  Consider sharing with potential high dollar donors the impact a high dollar donation would have to your cause.

In closing, as we conclude 2015, the one word that keeps popping is Thank You. Thank you for the opportunity to help you find new donors and engage with the ones you haven’t heard from in a while. And thank you for the work you are doing to make this world a better place.

We here in the nonprofit team at Epsilon feel pretty lucky to work with our clients and engage with prospective customers.   And it’s not just because you are doing amazing things but it’s the stories you tell, the relationships you build and the people you help. Nothing makes us more proud of what we do than to see your successes.