#GivingTuesday is just 63 days away. And if you happen to be a nonprofit marketer, the looming December 1st deadline is likely stirring up moderate levels of anxiety right about now.
Since its inception, #GivingTuesday has grown to become a global philanthropic movement. According to Blackbaud, there has been double digit year-over-year growth with a 36% increase in online giving for 2014 compared to 2013, resulting in Blackbaud processing over $26 million in online donations to more than 4,300 organizations.
So the good news is that all the months of campaign planning and execution are proving to be well worth the effort. In this post, we’ve provided 10 tips to help ignite your #GivingTuesday campaigns for 2015.
1. Start the conversation early.
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to start planting seeds in your online community to ‘Save the Date’ (December 1, 2015) so your members can prepare to help you reach your fundraising goals. Create a social media and editorial calendar dedicated to your #GivingTuesday campaign. Develop your campaign messaging and create content for your social media platforms, blog, newsletter, email marketing, and any other channels you’ve included in your campaign strategy.
2. Tell a compelling story.
Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools in a marketer’s arsenal. As you develop your campaign messaging and content, incorporate compelling stories—in an authentic voice and tone—to establish a deeper emotional connection with your online community. Talk about real experiences that inspire and drive action. Also take this opportunity to reinforce your brand's mission and provide testimonies that demonstrate the impact donor contributions have had on the lives of those helped by your organization.
3. Use visual content.
As the cliché goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Platitudes aside, visuals really do rival words in their ability to tell stories. Bring more passion and meaning to your campaign with strong images that illustrate your cause and mission. Use a combination of photography, video, infographics, and interactives to help deliver your campaign message. With a growing number of photo and video apps like iPhoto, iMovie, and Vine, as well as free infographic drawing tools like Piktochart and Easel.ly, it’s now possible to create visual content at a low cost.
4. Ask your community to contribute content.
User-generated content is a great way to engage your community and add an interactive element to your campaign. Consider hosting a contest that requires your community to upload comments, share stories, or post pictures related to your cause. If all goes well with your contest and participation is high, you could end up with a collection of quality user-generated content to add depth to your campaign with real faces, voices, and experiences.
5. Create a dedicated landing page.
In today's marketing environment, landing pages are a necessity when it comes to converting visitors into leads. This is a marketing best practice that you'll want to apply to your #GivingTuesday campaign. Include a simple yet impactful headline and message, a form to collect prospect data, and a clear call-to-action (e.g., a donation button) on your landing page. Then promote your landing page across multiple channels including social media, email, pay-per click (PPC) advertising, and other online channels to which you have access for your campaign.
6. Try a crowdsourcing platform.
We've all heard some amazing crowdsourcing success stories in recent years. Crowdsourcing platforms can be used to quickly and effectively spread the word about a particular individual need, generate awareness for a cause, engage new supporters, and raise (sometimes) thousands to millions of dollars. If you haven’t already considered crowdsourcing, it’s something that’s worth exploring to extend your campaign reach beyond your community. Some of the top platforms used for nonprofit fundraising are Fundraise.com, CauseVox, and Fundly.
7. Incorporate mobile messaging.
With nearly two-thirds of Americans owning a smartphone and nearly 9% having used their smartphone to make a charitable donation (according to Pew Research Center), mobile has become a viable channel for nonprofit fundraising. Like other channels, mobile can help drive awareness, advocacy, and website traffic. If you currently have a mobile list, you might consider adding text messaging solutions like mGive or MobileCause to boost your #GivingTuesday campaign.
8. Integrate promoted social media content.
In addition to online tactics that leverage your free channels, you might also consider promoted content to reach a wider audience and to spark engagement from your existing community. For example, promoted tweets and posts can drive a specific message or call-to-action through Twitter and Facebook when prospects click on a link that brings them directly to your #GivingTuesday landing page. Both Twitter and Facebook allow you to select the audience you want to reach, as well as the budget you want to spend.
9. Do some research for inspiration.
It’s no secret that we as marketers sometimes find ourselves in a creative rut. If you’re coming up empty on ideas, scour the Internet for successful #GivingTuesday campaigns that other nonprofits have launched over the last three years. While duplicating an entire campaign is not advisable, you can extract elements to complement your own campaign. Join GivingTuesday.org as a partner to receive information, updates, ideas, and resources. In the meantime, you can start the flow of inspiration with these 15 #GivingTuesday campaigns rounded up by Mashable.
10. Leverage your influencers.
Word of mouth marketing and peer recommendations are among today's most effective forms of promotion. If you've already taken the time to identify and build relationships with thought leaders and advocates who have strong credibility with your community, leverage them to share your content. Whether you tag their usernames in your posts, mention them in a tweet, quote them in blog posts, or simply alert them to new content you think might interest them, get your influencers involved with sharing your #GivingTuesday content.
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