It’s #Giving Tuesday Not Asking Tuesday

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By now you’ve heard about #GIvingTuesday.This year it’s on November 29 and it’s billed as a global day to give back. Some people think it’s a great way to raise more revenue and find new donors. Others find it a complete waste of time.

Personally, I like the idea of a giving day and make most of my year-end donations on #GivingTuesday. On the other hand, it feels more like Asking Tuesday with a relentless stream of email messages and social media posts begging you to donate now. It forces you to spend too much time focusing on one day. Fundraising and donor relations are a year-round effort

As Fundraising Coach Mark Pittman points out, #GivingTuesday is to going to happen anyway. Is #GivingTuesday worth it?  You can choose to ignore it, but if you do decide to participate, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Focus on relationship building

Never miss an opportunity to build relationships, whether you’re reaching out to new donors or following up with current ones. Keep your appeal donor-centered. Thank current donors and find a way to make a connection with potential donors.

I realize the purpose of a fundraising appeal is to ask for donations, but don’t forget to build relationships, too. Why Does Giving to Your Organization Feel Like a Transaction and Not a Relationship?

Use #GivingTuesday as a way to follow up with your donors

If you don’t want to launch a full #Giving Tuesday campaign (understandable), it can be a great opportunity to follow up with people who haven’t donated to your year-end appeal. You should be doing regular reminders, anyway.

Send email and social media messages before and on #Giving Tuesday encouraging people to donate. You can use the #Giving Tuesday logos, etc. Obviously, you’ll want to keep following up with anyone who didn’t donate on #GivingTuesday.

Show some #donorlove

Be sure to give equal weight to thanking your donors, including sending welcome packets to new donors. You don’t want this to be a one-time thing. And, Say Thank You Like You Mean It

Another idea is to scrap #GivingTuesday all together and make it Giving Thanks Tuesday instead.  Try this fresh twist on Giving Tuesday We ask a lot of our donors, especially at year-end.  Why not take the time to give back to them?

Of course, you could also participate in #GivingTuesday, followed by Giving Thanks Wednesday.

How did you do?  

Be sure to make a plan to measure your results, whether you do a full campaign, a follow-up, or a thank you fest. Was it worth the time and effort?

I think you’ll find that any fundraising campaign will be more successful if you focus on building relationships.

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