Wondering how best to prepare for Giving Season? GivingTuesday got you tied up in knots – then look no further, our handy timeline will help you get started planning out your campaign so that you can turbocharge your fundraising income during this important time of year.
What is Giving Season?
Some sources cite as much as 30% of all nonprofit giving happening during the final month of the year. Giving Season is typically seen as running through Q4 (October to December). Giving Tuesday is often referred to via the hashtag #GivingTuesday, first started out in 2012 to encourage people to donate more to charity (donate is used loosely here as it could be time, money or something else that they’re contributing). Giving Tuesday takes place “every Tuesday” throughout the year, however most focus and promotional efforts hone in on the marquee day that takes place in November.
In 2021 Giving Tuesday will take place on 30th November. During 2020 GivingTuesday participants gave $2.47 billion (source: GivingTuesday) so the movement is obviously having a big impact on giving.
How should I prepare for Giving Season?
To maximise your success during Giving Season you should be preparing well ahead of Q4, a good general guide to timings is as follows:
- September – get your campaign assets (images, video, key messaging) ready to go, hopefully you’ve already thought about target audiences and the best ways to reach them, if not do this bit first as your audience should always inform your creative/messaging approach.
- October – consider running some build up activity, perhaps just making people aware of the work your organisation does and engaging them through visual storytelling.
- November – aim to launch your digital activity just before GivingTuesday (you don’t want to leave it until the big day, just in case you hit issues with ad approvals or other hurdles, these things always take time to fix). Launching a week before GivingTuesday with a tightly throttled budget is generally a good approach.
- December – build on the parts of your campaign that are working best, interrogate your data to see which audiences and creative combos are showing signs of potential to scale. In the US most organisations see a serious ramp up in conversion rates towards the end of the month. However, this does vary based on the proposition you’re in market with (for example virtual Christmas Gift based propositions see their biggest ramp up in the 2-3 days before Christmas Day after delivery cut-offs have passed, if your gifting proposition isn’t virtual then you’ll likely see your “peak” just before delivery cut-off.
- January – don’t let all your hard work go to waste, make sure you plan out your donor thank you, retention, conversion and value-maximisation journeys if you don’t have them in place already.
This all feels a bit last minute, is there anything else I should know?
The timeline above is slightly last minute, if you’re starting your digital fundraising campaigning from scratch then you should definitely consider some of the following before you plough all of your efforts into Giving Season:
- Measurement – if your goal is to drive fundraising outcomes either through donations or lead generation then make sure you tackle how you’re going to measure this early. As a minimum you should have eCommerce tracking enabled via your web analytics platform (most charities we work with use Google Analytics). If you’re investing in paid media via platforms like Facebook/Instagram, TikTok etc. then you should be using the platform specific tracking pixel(s) – without these it’ll be difficult to properly track and optimise your media buy.
- Landing page(s) – unless you’re using Facebook fundraisers or something similar you’re going to need a well designed, user-friendly landing page that makes it as EASY as possible for your supporters to donate/sign-up. Don’t under-estimate the time needed to get this stuff right!
- Budget planning – it’s a competitive time of year so you need to invest in paid media throughout to see results. It’s unlikely you’ll see much success with a campaign that only lasts a few days or spends a few thousand dollars (unless you’re lucky). You need to go into the campaign planning to be in market for 8 weeks plus to give you time to optimise and tweak things based on the data that flows in.
If you’d like to talk more about your Giving Season plans then please get in touch with a Ninja today.