If you wonder how to capture donor attention during Giving Tuesday, you’re not alone. Giving Tuesday—and the frenzy before and after—is an important time in the nonprofit sector. It’s the start of the end-of-year giving season, and a day dedicated to global generosity that unleashes the power of collective change.
But it can also be a challenging time as nonprofit communication and fundraising professionals try to craft messages that stand out in a sea of sameness, and there’s just one chance to get it right before Giving Tuesday is over. Don’t let your organization’s messages get lost at sea.Here are four communications best practices you can employ to ensure your messaging is on-brand and breaks through the giving day wave to reach donors new and old:
You may think that everyone should know about your work and therefore everyone should be the target of your message, but the reality is that only certain people will care. When you have a limited marketing budget and resources, focusing on those key donors that are most likely to give will yield the most engagement and support.
To do this well, identify 3-5 types of donors you want to attract to your Giving Tuesday campaign (e.g. education professionals, parents, animal activists, artists). Next, you’ll want to get to know them beyond their type or occupation. You can do this by asking these questions for each audience type:
Now group them by their values instead of their demographic descriptions. This will help you develop values-driven donor personas that will guide you as you craft your messaging for them. Personalized messaging that resonates with what donors value most is what will inspire them to give.
Once you identify your donors by value type, it’s time to engage them in a on-brand way. Create a brand experience with your messaging that makes donors feel something they can’t access elsewhere.
For example, Napa Valley Community Foundation wants its key audiences to “feel like a force for good.” So their Giving Day communications will reinforce that experience as they educate their audience on Napa’s most pressing issues and how their audience’s collective efforts can help, making them feel like that force for good.
When considering where to start with your Giving Tuesday materials, ask yourself how you want your audiences to feel, and then develop your communications with that emotion at the center.
You may have a specific program or service in mind that could benefit from end-of-year giving. And while the operational specifics matter to mission fulfillment, donors don’t need programmatic details to be inspired to give. Instead, show them the problem and how only your organization can solve it—the why behind your work.
When you emphasize, in the clearest language possible, what problem you are singularly focused on solving, it makes you sound like an expert and positions your organization as a trustworthy leader that can solve it with your audience’s support.
If you announce that your city has enrolled 15% more children in Kindergarten this year without further context, your audience might not be as impressed as you hope. Is 15% better or worse than it used to be? How does 15% compare to the national average? How has your organization impacted this percentage? And most importantly, why should your audience care?
Instead, use visual language and stories to paint a picture in your donors’ minds. At Mission Minded, we recommend sharing stories of impact, not statistics. But if you must share statistics, always share them with context and with the bigger picture of your mission.Example: We’ve enrolled 15% more students in Kindergarten this year, the biggest increase in the history of our county. If we gathered them together for cookies and milk the number of new kids who will benefit would fill our baseball stadium.
As you prepare for Giving Tuesday this year, don’t miss the opportunity to connect with your donors in a more meaningful way. Here are additional tools and resources that can help you as you plan your on-brand Giving Tuesday communications:
With a background in project management and brand positioning, Abbey Meyers is a creative professional with a love for strategy and planning. A firm believer that all good narratives should have a backbone, she loves the art of effective storytelling through a creative fusion of cold hard facts and future untapped potential.
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