Giving Tuesday 2018 is just around the corner! Nonprofits around the world will be joining in on this online kickoff to the fundraising season. According to givingtuesday.org, over $300 million was raised in 2017 across 2.5 million separate gifts originating in over 150 countries. And that’s all expected to increase this year.
Those numbers are powerful, right? All those compelling proof points originate from data. You should be using data to tell your story too. If you want to make the most of Giving Tuesday 2018, you need to leverage the data you already have.
For marketing, storytelling, and beyond, here are 8 ways you can use data to make the most of Giving Tuesday:
1. Set Giving Tuesday Goals, and Share Them
The primary focus of Giving Tuesday is to leverage online platforms to raise funds for social impact. What will your specific fundraising goal be this year?
Don’t just pull a number out of thin air, though. Using the SMART goal framework can help you set goals that are clear and reachable. You can get the full breakdown on setting SMART goals here, but what you need to know when setting goals is:
Here’s an example: let’s say that our nonprofit provides afterschool care to children. To keep kids interested in our program, we want a new playground at one of our aftercare sites, forming our specific Giving Tuesday goal. This playground will cost us $5,000, which is a measurable goal that we can monitor progress throughout the day. Last year’s Giving Tuesday campaign raised about $4,000, so we know this goal is achievable. The new playground will help retain and attract clients to the afterschool program, so it is highly relevant to our mission. And Giving Tuesday makes time-bound easy, but don’t forget to think about program delivery dates as you plan!
2. Don’t Forget Non-Financial Goals
While financial goals establish a baseline for your Giving Tuesday campaigns, setting additional, non-financial objectives can help point your team towards success. These goals could include:
- Targets for new donors – “60% of Giving Tuesday donations come from first-time donors”
- Marketing reach and awareness goals – “We want to reach 2,000 new people on Giving Tuesday”
- Marketing engagement goals – “We will target 5% higher open rates with Giving Tuesday email outreach, over standard fundraising emails”
- Social media goals – “We want 500 retweets, shares, or engagements on Facebook and Twitter on Giving Tuesday”
- Long-term recurring revenue goals – “We want 20% of first-time donors on Giving Tuesday to give again at least once in the following year”
Again, SMART goals come into play here. The more you can drive everyone towards one mission on Giving Tuesday, the more your team will be able to march toward meaningful impact.
3. Focus on Outcomes to Tell a Better Story
So now you’ve got your goals set. But saying you need $5,000 cash is far less compelling than saying you need a new playground to engage 150 children each week. And you can go a lot further than that!
Outcomes, not outputs, can help you tell a more interesting story to your potential donors. And that’s how you bring in more donations. After all, 67% of funders say they look to outcomes when evaluating organizations.
Instead of simply putting a dollar amount in front of Giving Tuesday donors, tell the story of what their donation will achieve. Data can play a big part in that. If we think our new playground will attract and retain 30 kids per day to the afterschool program, that’s 30 kids who have access to the afterschool care program and the tutoring resources that are part of it, which we know from program data helps boost grades by one grade letter for participants.
That means that on Giving Tuesday, your donor’s contribution will not only build a beautiful playground, but help boost the grades of 30 area children, reducing dropout rates, involvement in criminal activity, and increasing graduation and post-graduation employment rates. That’s money well spent!
(Of course this applies to any type of NPO – what does showing outcomes for your Giving Tuesday look like?)
4. Different Data for Different Audiences
As you work through your outcomes, think about how different stories resonate with your different donor audiences. What data, presented in what way, is most likely to get people to participate in your Giving Tuesday campaign?
Let’s look again at our playground example. Perhaps two donation campaigns for different programs within this organization occurred earlier this year – one for a graduation program and another for reducing juvenile crime rates in your area. Although we’re still building our playground, perhaps the first group of donors receives Giving Tuesday 2018 messaging specifically around graduation success, while the latter is targeted with the crime reduction message that appealed to them in the past.
This can be a great way to double your reach without doubling your work. What numbers do you already have that could be used to tell your story in a different way? Which of your donor audiences would resonate with these messages?
5. Use Historical Data to Help Plan Your Campaigns
Look back at your Giving Tuesday efforts last year. What went well? What could be improved? Your marketing campaign performance data can provide great insight into how you can be successful for this year.
If this is your first Giving Tuesday, no worries! Think about how data from other campaigns may apply. And be sure to collect data from your initiatives this year, as it’s great to learn from for next year and beyond.
6. Not Just New Givers, Existing Donors Too
New givers are a huge part of Giving Tuesday. 75% of all one-time donations on Giving Tuesday come from first-time donors. But don’t forget to include your existing donor base in your Giving Tuesday campaigns, or you’re leaving some of your most impactful audience out to dry!
Giving Tuesday is largely an online effort, so tap into your email and social networks. There are so many great resources on email and social media marketing for nonprofits for Giving Tuesday. Even with so much emphasis placed on new donors, don’t forget your existing and loyal donor audiences.
7. Test and Measure to Acquire New Data
Giving Tuesday is not only an opportunity to use the data you already have, but to acquire new data to drive improvement. While testing and measurement should be done year round, this day is no exception!
Here are a couple of ways you can test and measure on Giving Tuesday, with links to resources on how you can get started with each:
- A/B test Giving Tuesday emails
- Examine which posts perform best using free analytics from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and more. Does one time of day get more interaction than another?
- If you’ve segmented your email audiences, which messaging was most effective?
You’ll be glad you gathered this data when you’re ready to rock Giving Tuesday next year!
8. Use Data in Your Results to Encourage a Lifetime of Giving
Giving Tuesday donors are 10-15% more likely to give again than donors acquired on other days.
The follow-up is critical for converting first-time Giving Tuesday donors into lifetime givers to your organization. Just like you would for any other fundraising campaign, start with a thank you message. Regardless of the size of the donation, this simple gesture sets a strong tone. Your mission has already convinced the donor to give to you, so keep up the good work and nurture that relationship.
From there, keep Giving Tuesday donors informed of your progress as you execute on the promises of your campaign. That playground, for example? Provide a monthly construction update, reminding people of the data and impact they are helping to drive. And ultimately, don’t forget to show off a photo of the finished product!