12 do’s and don’ts to plan a successful #GivingTuesday campaign
Creating a #GivingTuesday campaign can be an impactful way to attract new donors and engage previous supporters. Since it only happens once a year, and given how important it is, it’s crucial that your organization does everything possible to ensure a smooth, successful day of fundraising.
At the same time, there’s an equally long list of things you should avoid doing on #GivingTuesday. These may slow down your momentum and consume valuable time in your day.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of things to be mindful of when creating, promoting, and wrapping up your campaign this year. Check out our #GivingTuesday dos and don’ts, which were compiled by Classy’s in-house Care and Customer Success Management Teams.
There are a lot of small details that go into creating a well-rounded #GivingTuesday campaign. To help you stay on top of them, and ensure they don’t fall through the cracks, we compiled a list of tasks you should prioritize.
1. Do use impact blocks.
Classy’s impact blocks can help you show supporters the real-world impact of their contribution to your nonprofit. Include a title, a simple image, and a brief description in your copy that tells them what they can expect their donation to accomplish.
You can also include specific gift amounts on each impact block. Then, when someone clicks through on the impact block to your checkout page, it will be populated with that pre-selected amount on the checkout page.
2. Do maintain consistent branding.
It’s important you maintain a consistent brand for your nonprofit across all #GivingTuesday collateral, like marketing materials, emails, and campaign pages. When it comes to building your campaign, make sure to upload your nonprofit or campaign logo first and foremost. Then, put your specific font and colors on other sections of the page.
In this way, you can help build trust between your organization and your audience. It also mitigates any confusion people may have when it comes time to donate: they know precisely who their gift is going to. This is an important best practice any day, but especially on #GivingTuesday as you may engage with first-time donors who aren’t as familiar with your organization as others.
3. Do prepare design assets.
Before you even start to create your campaign page, it can be helpful to have all of your high-resolution images saved on your computer. This will help save time when you’re ready to assemble everything onto the page.
Consider creating a folder titled “#GivingTuesday Assets” on your computer where you save everything. From there, you can upload and plug in these images—like the logos, hero image, and impact block photos—in the campaign designer quickly.
4. Do suggest gift amounts.
Take a minute to find out your average gift size, and then apply that knowledge by creating suggested gift amounts on your donation form that align with the data.
By providing specific amounts, you can nudge donors to contribute larger gifts than they might if you let them choose their own amount. To add in the suggested gift amounts, navigate to “Pages” in the back-end of Classy, select “Donation Page,” and then edit the “Donation Settings.”
5. Do test campaign links.
Once your campaign page is fully built, but before you launch it to the public, double-check all the places you’re linking back to it. This includes marketing messages, social media posts, emails, and pieces of direct mail.
Be sure to update any broken links before you’re unable to change them. This will provide a seamless giving experience for your audience and ensure you don’t lose donations because of an avoidable mistake.
Keep in mind that your campaign will also need to be published first, in order for supporters to access it. The link to your published campaign will also be different than the link that’s seen when it’s unpublished.
6. Do make a test donation.
Before sharing your campaign to the public, make a test donation. You can vet your checkout flow, make sure it’s optimized for different devices, and ensure you’re providing the donor experience you want.
It also puts a few donations in your campaign’s pot, which is a sound tactic to help generate early momentum for your campaign and encourage others to donate. To that end, you can also ask your staff to make an early donation to the campaign as well to further this early momentum.
7. Do use source codes.
Source codes are unique identifiers that you can manually build into your campaign URLs. They capture data about the source from which people are coming to your fundraising page from, like direct appeals, email newsletters, or social media posts.
Include them in your #GivingTuesday outreach this year to track the effectiveness of your marketing across different channels. This can help inform your future marketing strategies like where you can double down on the same effort of pivot away to a new tactic.
Giving Tuesday don’ts
Just as important as what you should do is what you should avoid. As you work towards #GivingTuesday, launch your campaign, and wrap everything up, remember the following don’ts.
8. Don’t forget to thank your donors.
#GivingTuesday provides an opportunity to engage donors well beyond the one day. In order to nurture long-term relationships with your supporters, the first step is to thank them in a timely fashion. To help, Classy provides a few tools to easily thank donors, like the “Thank You” page and “Donation Receipts.”
Write copy for these emails beforehand, and automate them so they get sent the minute someone donates. While these in-the-moment emails are a great first step, don’t overlook the power of a handwritten note to thank donors. Finally, don’t be afraid to steward your #GivingTuesday donors to come back and give again.
9. Don’t clutter your page with logos and text.
You want to make sure your page stays simple with a few text blocks, images, and links. A clean layout allows supporters to easily navigate your page, find the call-to-action button, and understand what your ask is. A cluttered page can potentially disrupt someone’s path to completing a donation or push them to abandon your campaign page entirely.
10. Don’t underestimate a communications plan.
Create a communications plan prior to launching your campaign that clearly outlines all the touchpoints you’ll have with your audience leading up to, during, and after #GivingTuesday. In this plan, you should map out which channels you’ll use, like email or social media, what cadence you’ll send messages with, and what the overall goal of your communications are.
11. Don’t make a broad ask.
When you reach out to your supporters, you can easily overwhelm them with too much information about your organization. For example, you likely don’t need to include your founding story in your #GivingTuesday outreach.
Instead, provide a tight one to two sentence description of your campaign and its goal. Then, transition into a very specific and targeted ask. It doesn’t matter what your goals are, like signing up peer-to-peer fundraisers or simply making a donation: be direct.
12. Don’t forget to use Classy’s Support Center.
For any last-minute, quick questions that might come up on #GivingTuesday, you can turn to Classy’s Support Center. It has step-by-step articles that walk you through various features and subtleties of the Classy platform.
New articles are consistently added and updated as new features are rolled out. Spend some time reading before #GivingTuesday, and bookmark any helpful articles for quick reference.
Most fundraising campaigns have a lot of moving pieces, and #GivingTuesday is no exception. As you keep working, remember to stick to your checklist and refer to Classy’s Support Center. You can also reach out if you have any questions along the way when you prepare your campaign.
If you’d like even more #GivingTuesday insights and best practices, be sure to join Classy’s webinar with Candid on Wednesday, September 22. Register now for the webinar, “Build a #GivingTuesday Campaign That Inspires and Converts.”
This post was written by the Classy team.
Max Harris says:
Lots of good suggestions there. For #8 (thanking donors), sending handwritten cards or notes can be very impactful. To make this process easier you might want to check out Thankster.com. It lets you automate the process by integrating it with your CRM or other software or apps. Or it can help you with one-off projects and custom cards. You can contact us for more info (ask about our non-profits pricing) via the contact form at Thankster.com. Or go to bit.ly/postsamp to get a free sample.
Kate, Digital Communications Manager, Candid says:
Hi Andrew, we just emailed you the course materials. Please let us know if you need further help.
Andrew K. Palmer says:
I was involved with the Secure Project Funding in Six Weeks with a Solid Giving Tuesday Campaign by Holly Rustick. How do I download the workbook form that talk. Thanks. My wife Sharon Palmer paid the registration fee for me.