5 Ways To Engage Your Supporters Holistically This Giving Tuesday

Taking a holistic approach to donor outreach on Giving Tuesday lets you leverage multiple giving channels to drive momentum toward your goal - here's how.

In 2021, 35 million adults participated in Giving Tuesday. This annual event is held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and is the big kickoff for holiday and year-end donations. It can have a significant impact for nonprofits, as it sets the tone for Year-End and what the next year’s budget will allow them to do. If you’re hoping to have a successful Giving Tuesday, you’ll need to engage your supporters in a holistic way.

Holistic engagement means that you’re meeting your supporters where they are and interacting with them in the ways they prefer. Taking a holistic approach to donor outreach on Giving Tuesday lets you leverage multiple giving channels to drive momentum toward your goal. If you’re looking to create a donor-centered Giving Tuesday plan, here are five ways to engage a wide range of donors.

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1. Create Interactive Social Media Challenges

About 70% of Americans use social media today, making it a key platform for reaching your supporters. Plan to have a robust social media schedule for Giving Tuesday to prompt greater engagement with your campaign.

Interactive social media challenges are a great way to keep your supporters focused on your story and encourage them to share it with their friends and networks. To keep donors’ attention on your Giving Tuesday campaign, consider incorporating a social media game into your outreach. For example, you can:

  • Ask supporters to share posts about why they give and tag you in them. Share their posts in your Instagram Stories to increase engagement even further.

  • Create a hashtag challenge. A hashtag challenge encourages social media users to complete a particular task and add a specific hashtag to it to join the community of other people participating. It’s a great way to drive engagement and create organic user-generated content for your nonprofit. For example, if you’re a nonprofit theater, you could create a Giving Tuesday hashtag challenge that encourages people to donate and then share a video of them re-enacting their favorite scene from a Broadway musical.

  • Ask supporters to tag three friends in your post for a chance to win a prize. This interactive post helps you connect to a wider audience while driving engagement with your current supporters.

2. Encourage Peer-to-Peer Campaigns

Peer-to-peer campaigns let your supporters set up their own fundraising pages on behalf of your nonprofit. Your supporters set a personal fundraising goal and then ask friends, family members, and others in their network to donate to your cause to help them reach it. In taking this approach, your nonprofit not only benefits from the donation of one supporter, but from their entire network as well.

Including peer-to-peer campaigns as an option for supporters during your Giving Tuesday event builds off the season’s spirit of giving. Supporters see how they can have an even bigger impact in helping you reach your Giving Tuesday goal.

3. Host a Virtual Event

If you really want to grab the attention of your supporters on Giving Tuesday, consider planning a virtual event. There are many software options available today that can support livestreaming, breakout rooms, and other video-conferencing services that make for an exciting, interactive event.

Hosting a virtual event on Giving Tuesday highlights the day’s importance and rallies your supporters around your cause. Doing so also allows for multiple forms of giving that can help you reach your fundraising goal, such as online auctions, registration fees, pledges, and more. Through a virtual event, you have access to an engaged audience when it matters most, and you’re able to provide them with a fun experience in gratitude for their support.

4. Incentivize Giving With Branded Swag

Sometimes a small gift can be the extra nudge your supporters need to join your Giving Tuesday campaign. You can incentivize giving by providing giveaways throughout the day. For example, you could give your first 50 donors a baseball cap with your logo on it. If you partner with a local business willing to donate items, you could also offer prizes like gift certificates to local restaurants for anyone who makes a donation of $200 or more.

In addition to giving away branded swag as part of your campaign, you can also consider incorporating an online shop for Giving Tuesday where all proceeds go toward your goal. By doing this, you can encourage supporters to do their holiday gift shopping through your website so that their purchases support a good cause.

5. Lean Into Email Marketing

Some nonprofits may worry that if they email their supporters too much, their unsubscribe rate will go up. However, if you’re not emailing people enough when many other nonprofits and businesses are, you run the risk of having supporters miss your message among the crowd.

Email marketing during Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season is important because it offers a more personal way to connect with your audience. You can target different messages to different cohorts of donors based on their interests, giving capacity, and more. Additionally, since an email goes directly to a recipient, compared to social media posts that go out more broadly, your message lives in that supporter’s inbox until they decide to read it or delete it. So, even if supporters are busy the moment you send your email, there’s a chance they’ll still choose to engage with it later on.

It’s important to focus on these benefits of email marketing rather than worry about overdoing it. At the end of the day, it’s normal for some supporters to unsubscribe, and that unsubscribe rate can teach you a lot, such as:

  • Which message types result in the highest churn rate
  • Subject lines that promote the most engagement
  • What days you’re most likely to have people unsubscribe

Those data are valuable for continuing to refine your email marketing strategy. Also, some supporters may simply unsubscribe because they ended up on your email list from an event or another avenue where they weren’t quite as focused on your mission. If they choose to unsubscribe, your remaining list is an even stronger cohort of supporters truly dedicated to your cause.

Use Holistic Outreach to Ensure a Successful Giving Tuesday

Supporters engage with your nonprofit in a variety of ways. On Giving Tuesday, it’s important to work with that knowledge to meet them where they are. By employing a holistic approach to donor outreach, you can ensure that you hit or exceed your Giving Tuesday fundraising goal.

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