6 Ways to Start Planning Your #GivingTuesday Campaign Now

The calendar says that spring is near. Here in the Midwest, we have had a brutal winter with record setting low temperatures and record snowfalls. Nearly everyone I know – me included – anxiously awaits the arrival of spring!

The arrival of spring not only means trees budding, flowers blooming, and baseballs flying, but also the time to start planning your #GivingTuesday campaign. Yes, your #GivingTuesday campaign. And I know it falls in November, but a good campaign takes months to plan and execute, so get started now!

Although I come from Iowa, I know that the adage “If you build it, they will come” applies to baseball fields, not fundraising campaigns I recommend you start priming your audience now.

Over the next few months, you should focus your time and attention on these 6 activities to have a more successful #GivingTuesday campaign than last year (even if you hit it out of the park last year).

  1. Build your online audience. Look at the numbers and activity of your online audience, specially on your social media platforms. Successful #GivingTuesday campaigns rely on an active online presence. Start adding contests or content that draw people to your site. Engage them in conversations rather than just putting passive content out there.

  2. Identify and recruit influencers. People give to people. Those people most passionate about your mission can draw others to it. Start to identify those influencers now and ask them to like and share your social media posts and talk to their friends about your organization. Perhaps even give them some content that they can post on their pages about your organization.

  3. Host a micro-campaign or birthday fundraiser. Get your donors used to giving online with a micro-campaign through which you ask for a small dollar amount (usually less than $10) for a specific, persuasive item. Or help an influencer host a birthday fundraiser for you.

  4. Share information about your clients. Let your audience know more about what you do and, more importantly, the differences you make in the lives of your clients and community. The more they know about you, the more likely they will give.

  5. Identify and recruit lead donors and matching funds. Nothing sours a #GivingTuesday campaign effort faster than trying to recruit that first donor. Success breeds success so seed the campaign ahead of time so that you launch it with 50-70% of your goal already raised (like you would in a capital campaign). This greatly increases your chance that others will jump on the bandwagon. Start talking to your major donors, board members or local companies to ask them if you can use their gifts for #GivingTuesday. You can even use these funds to match gifts during a certain timeframe or match certain gifts to encourage more giving. If you have a company sponsor your campaign, ask them to share your material with others in their network.

  6. Develop your theme and start developing materials around that theme. Social media consumers have become increasingly sophisticated. Giving your campaign a look and having well-designed materials will draw them to your page and posts. Using the same look for emails will tie the entire campaign together. But you cannot develop these materials last minute. Start working on them now so you can coast into fall!

If you want to hit it out of the park come November, you need to start working now, during Spring Training. Add these tips to your “to do” list for the next few months, and you will find that your #GivingTuesday campaign raises more money with less stress on your end.

And apparently spring fever – and baseball fever – has struck here as well!

Happy Spring!