How non-profits can effectively engage holiday heroes

Giving Tuesday debuted in 2012, combining the power of social media and collaboration to bring end-of-year giving to the forefront of holiday conversations. And it’s is working. This year donations on November 29 totaled $168MM, up 44% from last year attracting  1.5MM donors  from 98 countries. Nonprofits also used this time to encourage matching gifts. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matched every single donation up to $1,000. The ACLU matched donations to $500,000. And motivational speaker Tony Robbins pledged to match $3MM to Feeding America. Giving Tuesday was further supported through employers’ corporate matching programs, matching their employees’ charitable donations.

That should make your holidays a little brighter!

A different kind of donor

There were 2.4MM social media posts that leveraged the #GivingTuesday hashtag with donors pledging an average gift $108, it is clear that this one day, ultra-marathon giving event is attracting a different donor; a high dollar donor that perhaps only gives during this holiday period. This donor is more likely to capitalize on matching programs and end of year tax breaks to ensure their donation is going the extra mile.

How should nonprofit organizations engage this donor segment?

We have aptly named this donor the Holiday Hero. This donor will most likely only donate once a year but according to Epsilon statistics:

  • 15% of their dispensable wallet share goes to charitable giving.
  • Their net worth is $750,000 and above with an income of $100K and up.80% of their giving happens between October and December.

What’s next

Most likely you won’t hear from this donor until next year. So don’t automatically appeal to them to become a monthly donor.   Once you thank them for their contribution, you might not need to contact them until the summer months.  Instead of automatically inserting them into a communication segment, test this group for mailing cadences to see what their appetite is for communications and propensity to donate again.

Once the leaves start to turn, remind your Holiday Heroes of the great work they did last year; the programs they contributed to and share successful stories that humanize where their dollars go. Don’t be afraid to ask if they could they give more, or if their company matches donations.   This also presents a good opportunity to encourage them to like you on Facebook or engage with you on another channel.  We can help segment these donors and test different cross-channel strategies to make the most of these very generous Holiday Heroes.

Speaking of heroes, happiest of holidays to our nonprofit heroes, our NFP clients. Your everyday involves trying to make this world a better place. And convincing the rest of us to follow suit. It is working and we are better people when we work with you.

Happy Holidays to our nonprofit clients.

I think a hero is someone who is really intent on making this a better place for all people. - Maya Angelo