Giving Tuesday is a crucial event in charities’ fundraising calendar - especially in 2020 as the sector tackles the fundraising challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic
Each year Giving Tuesday takes place to raise awareness within the public of the importance of charitable donations.
This global event is timed to follow Thanksgiving in the US each year to remind the public of good causes. It marks the start of the holiday season ahead of Christmas, Diwali, Hanukkah, and other religious festivals.
Giving Tuesday started in 2011 and has taken place late November or early December since. However, this year has been different. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an extra day was added, on May 5. This was to help replenish lost revenue from the cancellation of fundraising events and charity shop closures.
The second Giving Tuesday event of the year will take place on 1 December and there are a range of ways charities can plan ahead and maximise fundraising income on the day.
Before even deciding on the content to use, it is important for charities to make sure their fundraising technology is up to speed. Giving Tuesday lasts for 24 hours and charities will not want to lose any of that time due to technical glitches.
Charities are urged to test whether donate buttons work on campaign pages by making a donation and completing the payment process in advance. We also suggest looking at campaign imagery and messaging on different browsers and devices to ensure that anyone who wants to donate can - no matter how they view online content. A top tip is to test donations on desktop, tablet and mobile to ensure it works smoothly.
A social media management platform is also vital at this testing stage. These help to schedule and plan content. This is important to ensuring content is engaging and matches the interests of different audiences: from the personal imagery of Instagram to the professionally focused LinkedIn.
Many management tools offer preview options to see how different images and text look across different platforms. This includes making sure that the hashtag #GivingTuesday is in place.
Successful fundraising promotion is about telling good stories. An engaging story will help boost funds.
Start planning this now by crafting content messaging and gathering analytic insights into the stories that appeal to supporters.
When planning content it is worth noting that not everyone will know what Giving Tuesday is. So be sure to include a brief description of what the annual event is and why it is so important to charities in email marketing and web pages.
Involving supporters is key to this. They can often turnaround a failing fundraising push as their stories of charity support are more authentic.
Start by canvassing volunteers and beneficiaries to see if they would like to take part, either as case studies or to set up their own promotional activity. This could include using their own social media accounts or using online fundraising platforms to set up their own giving pages.
Charity supporters are urged to share their #MyGivingStory on social media.
“By sharing your #MyGivingStory, you will show how easy it is and how many ways there are to support your favourite charity and all the other good causes out there.”
This includes charities ensuring their celebrity and social media influencer posters are backing Giving Tuesday. An example on last year’s day of activity was when Match of the Day host Gary Lineker shared his support for the charity Rescue UK.
Every day @RESCUE_UK gives refugees a sense of home, no matter where they are. Join me in supporting their work this #GivingTuesday and your donation will be matched - making it go twice as far: t.co/QioO6OXacs— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker)
Giving Tuesday is a day of celebration of the work charities do. It is this positivity that engages supporters. Use the day to praise charity workers and volunteers and the charity’s impact in turning lives around. A recent study has shown that positive images lead to a higher average gift donation.
Charity Comms is among sector bodies to promote positivity around fundraising around Giving Tuesday.
There are so many ways to give and we’ve shared some of the ways we get involved in social change. What are all the ways supporters help you with your vital work?— CharityComms (@CharityComms)
cc @ActionAidUK, @AnthonyNolan, @PrideInLondon and @TheFSI t.co/madEDfIGiO #MyGivingStory pic.twitter.com/O6CG7WqCWi
There are so many ways to give and we've shared some of the ways we get involved in social change. What are all the ways supporters help you with your vital work?— CharityComms (@CharityComms) September 11, 2019
cc @ActionAidUK, @AnthonyNolan, @PrideInLondon and @TheFSI https://t.co/madEDfIGiO #MyGivingStory pic.twitter.com/O6CG7WqCWi
Charities should not be afraid to try something new to improve fundraising activity online.
With in-person events restricted by social distancing, this is an opportune time to be innovative with digital fundraising.
Enlisting online gamers is a new strategy for many charities. Consider using them to take part in sponsored gaming marathons on the day. Among charities to turn to gaming is Help for Heroes, which has found the medium particularly powerful in promoting its mental health support services.
If a charity has not used video more regularly in its social media, Giving Tuesday could be a good time to start. This could also include staging a live streaming event to connect and engage with audiences in a more accessible way. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic live streaming could provide an exciting alternative to in-person fundraising events that have had to be cancelled due to social distancing.
Finally, the Giving Tuesday website has a raft of useful resources available for charities, their supporters as well as corporate partners. This includes examples of successful campaigning during previous events and campaign materials.
Available are campaign logos for social media, complete with the relevant hashtags. Giving Tuesday statistics are also available as well as general advice on how charities can take part.