Giving Tuesday began in 2012 as a response to the shopping mania that has for years taken place on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Occurring the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, it’s a great time for people to embrace the giving spirit of the holiday and support their favorite causes. It’s also an excellent time for school districts and educational foundations to join in on the fun and conduct a fundraising campaign.
If your district has a foundation, you can use Giving Tuesday to draw awareness to the work it’s doing and most importantly to drive donations. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for this year’s Giving Tuesday.
Begin your campaign early
The first mention of your Giving Tuesday campaign should be weeks before the actual date. Give people time to consider your campaign and whether they would like to donate. There will be many other well-deserving causes competing for their attention—and possibly requests from other alumni groups, including colleges and universities. Let your alumni know sooner than later that an opportunity to donate is coming soon. Use your website, social media and other channels to spread the word.
Prepare a list of donor types
You may want to try a different approach for each type of donor. Your messaging for a recurring donor may not be the same as it would be for someone who has never donated before. If you have the information available, sort your email list into three smaller lists: recurring donors, one-time donors and non-donors. Make a different pitch to each and see if donations increase among each group.
Harness social media
Social media is one of the best ways to alert people to your cause thanks to the #GivingTuesday hashtag. Just as you need to prepare alumni for the upcoming ask, you also need to prime your social media profiles. Share a few posts updating alumni on district happenings. Demonstrating your value to alumni will make it easier to make an ask of them later on.
Offer an incentive
Offer potential donors an incentive for making a contribution. See if you can secure a matching donation from a local business. Show donors what the fundraising goal is, such as a new soccer field or lab equipment. Use social media to keep donors informed of the campaign’s progress. Even though you are always willing to take donations, setting a goal of X dollars in 24 hours creates a sense of urgency and encourages people to avoid putting it off.
Engage fellow alumni to promote your campaign
You’re not the only one who cares about reaching your campaign goal. If you have active alumni who are well connected in the community or have a large online presence, ask them to spread the word. Enlist them to post on social media that they’ve just donated and to post the link so others can donate, too. Send local businesses a flier to post over the big shopping weekend. Alumni (and non-alums) may be more likely to donate when they know their friends are also giving.
The holidays are the perfect time to promote the good work your district and/or foundation performs. Be prepared for #GivingTuesday so that you can maximize donations that support your students.