I am hearing from many organizations that #GivingTuesday did not produce the desired results. For some, lots of time and money were invested but no results or very minimal results were seen. I know for many, the day was a huge disappointment.
As I think about the day, my heart hurts for each of you.
To help you and your organization move forward, I want to offer you some thoughts about why the day did not generate the funds you thought it would AND some next steps for the remainder of the year.
One of the main reasons the day did not generate the funds is that it is very difficult to develop relationships via Facebook and other social media venues. Donations are made through relationships, through a connection with the individual giving. Consistent posting for the past several months would have helped with the relationship building.
Second, I believe there is some internet fatigue going on. Think for a minute how much you have been on the internet since Thanksgiving. People are tired of looking at the screen and shopping. It would have to be something really compelling to get them to get out their credit card AGAIN. And, while you are thinking about your time on the internet, think about your in-box.
Third, most of us had an in-box that was overflowing today with messages to give. Honestly, I think many people went through their emails without looking at them, hitting delete as they went. Today, your email was just one of dozens received that were asking for money.
Finally, one of the big struggles for organizations that did receive a few donations is that those who gave may have given less than if they had been asked outright. And, what’s worse is that in the mind of the donor, they have given, so they may not give again before the end of the year. For this reason alone, I would encourage you to re-think the entire concept of #GivingTuesday going forward.
Now to recover!
Remember, there are about five weeks left in 2017 AND research shows that most of the giving comes in the last three days of the year!
Communicate with your donors. Look at those who have supported you in the past, have you told them how much you appreciate them? A telephone call or a handwritten note will go a long way and ensure your organization stands out. An extra dose of appreciation or thanks can never hurt when it is heartfelt.
It is not too late to send out a giving letter via email to your donors. Use an email system so you can track who opens the email and who doesn’t. Review our series earlier this fall about end of year giving efforts. As you write the letter, focus on your donors as the hero. The hero is NOT your organization, it is the donor—they equip you to fulfill your mission.
Create giving levels that demonstrate how a gift can be used by your organization. For instance, “your gift of XXX will allow us to XXX.”
Plan to follow-up and send emails the last three days of the year. Using your email system, you will be able to target only those who have not opened your previous email. (This will help avoid frustrating your donors).
Continue to use social media to create an awareness of your organization and the work you are doing. This will require consistent posting using a mixture of posts. Know that it may not immediately generate a lot of funds for your organization immediately, but over the course of time, will help.
Above all, keep doing the good work you are doing. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to getting the resources needs for ministry or nonprofit work. As you wrap up this year and prepare to begin next, one of the best things you can do is develop a fundraising plan for the year. Why not get started today?
How can we help? Feel free to send us an email to let us know your frustrations and struggles.