Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means #GivingTuesday isn't far off. This year, it's on November 29. If you haven't already put together any special campaigns to promote giving or volunteering around #GivingTuesday, don't worry. Yes, we're getting down to the wire here, but that doesn't mean you can't create something around that day that will make a big impact on your annual goals.
Video is the New Darling of Digital Marketing
Email is awesome, no doubt. But people can only read an email so many times. It's time to give a little shock to your subscribers' system with something new. How about a little video content? How about a little live video content?
Adults in the United States watch, on average, an hour and 16 minutes of digital content every day. The shift from television viewing to online video viewing continues to grow, which is great news for organizations (most of them) that don't have budget to produce television content and buy airtime.
It may be too late to produce a full-fledged digital video, so live video may be your only option on short notice. Don't panic. Live video on short notice may actually be some of your most authentic, accessible video content. You don't really need anything more than a smartphone.
See, publishing live video is much easier than it sounds. It offers the chance to connect in a less formal, more direct way with your community. Consider doing a Facebook Live video or Periscope session. The video capabilities on pretty much every smartphone produce some decent quality video. It's certainly video quality we're all used to. Facebook's new Live Stream function also lets you use traditional video camera for your live stream if you prefer. You can read about how to set that up, along with other good Facebook Live Stream tips here.
Your live stream can be of a visit to somewhere that's received funds from your organization or follow a group of volunteers. Pair up with another local nonprofit and broadcast a goofy "giving Olympics" competition (e.g. who can pack the most care baskets in 5 minutes), with viewers voting on the winners. Let your lack of planning work for you and bust out some rough-and-ready creativity.
Plus, once you're done, you'll have recorded video content you can slice up and repurpose in other ways.
Activate Your Undiscovered Ambassadors
Use #GivingTuesday as an opportunity to tap into your most digitally engaged constituents and convert them into donors or volunteers. You probably have a crew of people who have engaged with your online content, but have not yet donated or participated in any of your events. You can find them by analyzing your metrics. They have a higher than average email open or click-through rate, or number of site visits. Maybe they have a lot of interaction with your organization via social media, sharing your content or making comments.
Segment this untapped community and run a #GivingTuesday campaign to fuel some offline engagement. Start running targeted email or social ad retargeting campaigns promoting #GivingTuesday as their chance to finally get involved.
The #GivingTuesday organization provides great examples from previous years. For example, the HALO Foundation ran a campaign asking people to forgo their daily cup of coffee and donate the $5 instead. Take the day to get a large group of volunteers to take care of some backburner project. Community Missions in upstate New York used the day to get more than 120 volunteers to help repaint and renovate its food pantry.
These digital warriors have shown a lot of interest in your mission. Take advantage of the global giving momentum the day generates and provide them a specific, purposeful call-to-action that converts them into real world participants in your organization's mission.
Freshen Up Current Projects
Create some new ways for current members and volunteers to get involved. Hold a special event for donors, such as a cocktail hour or BBQ. (Hey, maybe you live stream the event too…)
You could also offer a new incentive to donate. It's never too late to find a new gift-matching partner, especially when you can pitch the partnership as part of a global event. Run a campaign that asks current donors to submit matching gift requests with their employers.
Or put together a limited edition #GivingTuesday swag bag giveaway for different donation levels. Include a CTA for some user-generated content with their new swag in your thank-you email.
Whether you're off-pace to reach your annual giving targets or itching to blow them out of the water, create a #GivingTuesday – focused donation campaign and start running it now.
If you don't want to pay out for a lot of swag, put together a line up of super-swag and run an online auction that closes on November 29. If you have the experience (so the legal issues are already sorted) running an online raffle, you do can do that with the winner's drawing happening on #GivingTuesday.
The organization behind #GivingTuesday wants to make it easy for you. They've put together a rich resource page of content, tool kits, and templates you can use in your campaign.
Put together a targeted campaign or two, say one for active members and one for your subscriber/lurkers. It could be a single event, whether a real world volunteer day or online auction, but customize different promotion campaigns for these different groups.
Don't overthink this. The day is coming up fast.