In our first Countdown to GivingTuesday blog post we covered tips for determining goals, using impact to drive storytelling, and planning communications.
Now let’s look at making connections and drafting communications.
Build Your GivingTuesday Committee.
Planning and executing your GivingTuesday plans should not be completed in a vacuum. If your organization is small, you may depend more on your supporters and board members than other staff members. If your organization is large, be sure to include representation from a variety of internal departments and roles in addition to your group of board members and supporters.
Ask your GivingTuesday committee to brainstorm ideas and strategize what needs to be done over the next few weeks. Share with your committee the impactful stories you’ve collected over the year. Ask them for feedback on ways to improve how the stories are told. Ask them to read the stories through the lens of a loyal, new, or prospective supporter. What feelings do the stories generate? What takeaway actions do the stories generate? Refine your stories, based on your committee’s feedback.
Strategize ways in which your committee can help extend the communication reach of the stories you share. Consider creating and sharing a list of ways committee members and others can help share stories with their networks. Emphasize the importance of having more people share your GivingTuesday communications. Highlight that most people give because a friend, family member, or peer asked them to give.
Tip: Collaborate with other likeminded organizations to further your reach and refine your strategies.
Meet with Your Internal Teams.
When we plan campaigns, we can be so focused on the external messaging that we forget to communicate with our internal teams. Yes, when GivingTuesday arrives, your internal teams can share your stories with their networks; but your teams may also need to prepare for the role they will play in a successful GivingTuesday campaign.
Does the team or person who manages your website have the content needed for your GivingTuesday campaign? Do they know when the GivingTuesday content should be displayed and taken down? Do they know where GivingTuesday links should take website visitors? Do they have plans for updating donation pages with GivingTuesday campaign options?
Have you worked with your accounting team to ensure they know where GivingTuesday gifts will be applied? Do you have extra marketing or communication expenses for GivingTuesday and, if so, is there adequate cash flow, have vendors been approved, and purchase orders created?
Does your gift entry team have the proper staffing and training for a possible influx of donations on GivingTuesday? Does the team have a plan for when online gifts will be processed in your database, so status reports can be run to check on goal progress?
Does your marketing team have the stories, graphics, and resources to create and manage communication around your GivingTuesday campaign? Do they know the timeline for when social media content will post to each platform and emails will be sent? Do they have the mailing lists for each round of emails?
Draft Your GivingTuesday Communications.
Don’t wait until GivingTuesday to start drafting and selecting graphics for your emails and social media written content. Read through your planned communications to check the progression/flow from one communication to the next. Are there missing pieces in the stories you are building? Do the stories and posts have a similar look and feel? If someone opens and reads your third email of the day, will they be able to understand the content or will they feel like the story was missing a beginning? Does each post and email contain links to donate and share with others?
Tip: Revisit your communication goals. Do they match your communication plan? What may need to be changed to make the goal a stretch but still obtainable?
Between holidays and year-end appeals, the end of the year can be busy. Consider this as your organization decides how large of a GivingTuesday campaign you want to create. Yes, the more you invest into GivingTuesday, the better the return; but remember that having something planned for GivingTuesday is better than having nothing planned.
For more tips and planning ideas, check out the GivingTuesday Goals and Planning worksheet on page 33 in Blackbaud’s GivingTuesday toolkit!
Remember to register your participation on www.GivingTuesday.org!