Posted , by Victoria Dietz, Consultant. Topic: #GivingTuesday.

It’s hard to believe, but we are only five weeks away from #GivingTuesday. This year’s national giving day will be celebrated Tuesday, December 1. Each year, the online giving phenomenon grows significantly. On #GivingTuesday 2014, over $26 million was given—and online donations rose 36% from #GivingTuesday 2013.

The Curtis Group is excited to see how this year will measure up. To help get you ready, here are the five steps we recommend for #GivingTuesday success:

1. Create awareness early. Don’t wait until November 30 to start spreading the word about your #GivingTuesday campaign. Previous years’ data shows that the most successful campaigns begin laying the ground work in late October/early November. This can be as simple as sending out eblasts and social media reminders. Bottom line: It takes lead time to get stakeholders excited and engaged.

2. Promote a donor challenge. Without a doubt, the most successful #GivingTuesday efforts include a challenge gift from a board member or lead donor. The rewards are twofold—they get your key stakeholders involved and generate excitement from the broader community, leveraging a percentage of participation. But this tactic means, again, starting early: Talk to your potential challengers now.

3. Target an impact area. Be specific about how #GivingTuesday funds will be used. This means your #GivingTuesday communications should focus on a targeted call to action. The message should be personal for your cause and relevant to your mission, telling your story throughout all communication pieces.

4. Set an attainable goal. Don’t shoot for the moon—especially if this is your first venture into #GivingTuesday. Make sure you can report success back to your donor base. Pull reports on what percentage of your previous December giving came from online donations and make a realistic budget for #GivingTuesday.

5. Take advantage of the free #GivingTuesday tools. #GivingTuesday organizers want this to be easy for you, so don’t forget to tune into their webinars, use their creative images and access their toolkit. The statistics are impressive, and so are the lessons to be learned.

Above all, remember that while #GivingTuesday boasts impressive results each year and is a great way to get your donor base engaged, it should be viewed as a single component of a well-planned year-end appeal.

Remember to use this tool in addition to the traditional year-end direct mail and in-person asks that round out a comprehensive strategy. And don’t forget to properly thank your donors after #GivingTuesday has wrapped up—a successful thank-you letter will report success and show impact

We’d love to know how your organization is maximizing your efforts! {encode=”” title=”Email us”} what you’re doing and how you plan to make 2015 your most successful #GivingTuesday year yet!


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