The holiday season is fast approaching. And with all the wild surprises 2020 has given us so far, this winter is promising to be unlike any other. But festive fundraising strategies remain relatively unchanged. Despite the complications COVID, museums, zoos, and other cultural institutions remain beloved and necessary fixtures in the lives of their patrons. Audience members are striving to make sure their favorite aquariums and historical houses survive these tumultuous times, and are ready as ever to give generously.
Giving Tuesday, this year occurring on December 1st, marks day one of most major winter fundraising campaigns. But Giving Tuesday itself is an event that sees many nonprofits setting fundraising records. And if your organization does well on Giving Tuesday, it can truly set the pace for the ensuing holiday season.
Giving Tuesday: An Introduction
If you’re not already familiar with the social media sensation that is Giving Tuesday, here’s a brief history to get you up to date.
Giving Tuesday is a hashtag created by New York based Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact. The aim of this all-encompassing campaign is to unite individuals, businesses, and nonprofits alike in the spirit of giving. Since its inception in 2012, #GivingTuesday has helped to raise over $1,970,000,000 for charitable causes in the US alone.
By engaging the hashtag on various social media platforms, everyone from singular people to well-established organizations can educate their audience, and encourage them to either donate or become cause-ambassadors themselves. This is one of the reasons Giving Tuesday is so effective as a fundraising strategy: even patrons who can’t afford to donate financially can still support the campaign through shares and likes.
As well you know, gardens, arboretums, and other public organizations rely partially on contributions made by generous donors. Chances are the people at your organization are already masters at asking for gifted funds. And Giving Tuesday is a wonderful opportunity for your cultural nonprofit to boost its donation numbers line at the end of the year, and kickstart a great holiday fundraising season.
Giving Tuesday Ideas and Best Practices
In this section, we’ll explore fun and practical ways you can make the most of Giving Tuesday 2020.
As always, it’s imperative that you understand what you’re working towards before you begin your campaign. That way you know what resources to allocate, timelines to set, and what kind of budget you need to have. These can include uber-specific dollar-amount-financial-targets, or broader statements like increased membership numbers, even simply increased awareness around your chosen project.
Make it easy to give.
Visitors may give up quickly if your donation process is unintuitive or difficult to do. Make sure that you follow up your asks with a can’t-fail donation flow that makes contribution fast and easy. ACME’s latest donations feature does just this. Click here to learn more.
Take it seriously.
You can’t expect to just toss around a couple hashtags and see tangible results. There’s a lot of money at stake here, and while it can feel overwhelming to participate with thousands of other organizations, if done right, your Giving Tuesday campaign can turn a considerable profit. One strategy is to treat your #GivingTuesday efforts like any other marketing campaign, and optimize advertising and other content for various social media channels.
Set the pace.
A successful Giving Tuesday fundraiser can yield dramatic results. But why should you stop on December 1st? This campaign may be just the beginning of your end-of-year drive, acting as a kickstarter to encourage your audience to keep giving through the end of the year. Consider turning your Giving Tuesday campaign into an advent calendar. Or, if you’d prefer to run your own unique holiday fundraiser, why not run another one-day speed-campaign to stand out on a day that’s more meaningful to your organization? Zoos should think about having a quick fundraiser on December 14th — World Monkey Day — and art museums might run a campaign in honor of photographer William Wegman’s birthday on December 2nd.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your engagement strategy for Giving Tuesday. Whether this is your first time participating, a one-off that will never happen again, or the start to a longer campaigning season, it will always be worth your while to make the festivities a little more interesting. If your event is going to be 100% on social media, you might feature your most loyal visitors on your instagram, asking them why and how they’re donating this season. Or you might hold an auction for a fun and unique way to give to your cause.
Say ‘thank you.’
Never let your generous audience members go without gratitude. Consider crafting a personalized message to let your visitors know how much their patronage means to your organizations. Gratitude feels great to give and to receive, not to mention that it has the added bonus of encouraging your patrons to donate again and again.
Giving Tuesday: How ACME Can Help
ACME Ticketing is a comprehensive platform designed to make purchasing a ticket, membership or making a donation easy and enjoyable for both visitors and institutions. ACME’s new donations feature facilitates an enhanced donor experience, offering details such as custom messaging to potential donors, a streamlined flow for donation-only orders, and the ability to define the appeal, fund, and campaign. This #GivingTuesday, ACME will make processing your audience’s generous donations easier than ever before.
Are your #GivingTuesday activities featuring as part of a larger holiday campaign? Do you need help putting it together? Check out ACME’s other article, Plan an Event in the Digital Age for more ideas and practical advice.