Getting ready for Giving Tuesday can be overwhelming, here are helpful tips to ease that stress and prepare you for a successful fundraising campaign!
Every year, Giving Tuesday rolls around and it can feel overwhelming … so we want to share the 411 with you and helpful tips to help relieve that stress. I'm co-hosting a Q4 Sprint to Black Friday and Giving Tuesday that I hope you'll join!
I’ve worked for a nonprofit for almost 4 years now and Giving Tuesday has been one of my responsibilities since I began working there.
Here is a progression of how I’ve felt about it over the years …
Year 1 (2018) -- “Okay … we’ve got this … I think!”
Year 2 (2019) -- “Now that I know what to expect, let’s hit social media and newsletters hard!” 🤞🏾
Year 3 (2020) -- “Alright, let’s start moving through our checklist on September 1st so we’re not overwhelmed …” 👩🏾💻
So now that it’s my fourth Giving Tuesday with this org, I feel more prepared than ever.
I had my prep guide loaded and ready to be adjusted to 2021.
We started brainstorming our goals for this Giving Tuesday on September 1, and I’m feeling confident that we will be able to engage our supporters in the international day of giving more than we ever have before.
Because I know that we can improve more and more each year, I know that I don’t have ALL the answers, information, or advice to give on how to have a perfect Giving Tuesday (if that exists), but I did felt excited when Abigail and Adriana asked me to share some of my thoughts, experiences, and tips on how my organization preps for Giving Tuesday every year.
Here are my tips on how to get your org prepped for Giving Tuesday this year … and beyond!
1. Start.👏🏾 Early.👏🏾
Especially if your org is made up of a small team, the stress of getting ready for any big fundraising event can be reduced by getting the ball rolling a few weeks earlier than you think you should. Starting our Giving Tuesday prep in September has given me the capacity to keep up on all of my other tasks, while never reaching that feeling of having too many notes on the to-do list as the Day of Giving approached. Two months of prep can sound like a lot, but trust me when I say it will give you some peace of mind if the combination of work, side-hustles, holiday planning, AND fundraising prep create chaos on your calendar. 🌪 📆 Taking 15-20 minutes a day (or less!) to knock out 1-2 prep tasks can help lighten the load the closer you get to November.
2. Create a Great Checklist (or download ours below) ✅
Maybe you’ve tackled countless Giving Tuesdays and found success every year, and maybe you haven’t. Keeping a systematic flow that you follow every year as you prep for the big day will help each year feel better and better. And if it’s your first year planning your org’s Giving Tuesday fundraiser, or just your first year using a prep guide or checklist, be sure to add in some notes along the way that you can reference for next year. For example, if you sent your third email in your sequence and then realized the design really didn’t match the first two, make a note to write all of the emails in your sequence at one time next year then just schedule them to send when you want them to.
3. Be Bold! 💥
This may just be a top tip for any and all fundraising efforts. I’ve found that being bold about our fundraising goals and (as I learned from Miriam Billinger at the BYI Fundraising Funnel Bootcamp) first being honest with ourselves about our fundraising needs, will set us up for success. Not many funders or supporters are convinced to give if they hear a lack of confidence in the work you do -- “well … if we can reach our $10,000 goal that would be great but if we only make it to $5,000 we’ll make it work.” So be honest with yourself and your team about how much you genuinely need before you make the ask, be confident and bold while you’re making the ask, and be enthusiastic in sharing the outcomes after you’ve made the ask and reached your fundraising goals. This cycle will help your supporters believe in your org’s work and hopefully inspire them to give again!
What is this prep guide I keep mentioning?
Right here, you can register for our Q4 Sprint, a virtual, live training to help you get ready for Giving Tuesday. By registering, you’ll also get a FREE Giving Tuesday prep guide that you can use this year and repurpose every year! This guide is a combination of tips from the Giving Tuesday website as well as tips from my experience planning our org’s Giving Tuesday fundraiser over the last few years. On their website, you’ll find some great resources, including logo graphics, Canva designs, and templates for social media post captions. This prep guide we’ve made for you has a lot of tasks on the first list -- I recommend spreading these out over the days that you’re starting your prep, then deciding when to start your prep next year and setting 3-4 tasks per week to help even out the load.
And lastly, find what works best for you …
Every org is different, and every group of donors and supporters is different. This is a good thing. They say variety is the spice of life, right? 🧂 🌶 Your org is certainly going to operate differently than mine, so use this prep guide as a framework and make edits and notes along the way so that it works best for you and your team.
Here’s to fundraising success on Giving Tuesday 2021, and all the years to come!
Keep on propelling your purpose, you’ve got this!
Sequoi | ImaginePod Community Manager