5 Lessons Learned from #GivingTuesday
Every year #GivingTuesday sneaks up on us and all of a sudden, we are in a mad dash to get our message out to the right people and get a little piece of the pie for our organization. This year I was much more prepared, and my organizations raised more money because of it. However, after spending the whole day sitting in front of my computer posting and sending emails I still learned a lot about how we can do things differently next year.
You can’t schedule too much
I thought that scheduling an email here and there and a few Facebook posts would put me ahead of the game. Boy was I wrong! I didn’t take the time to think about the updates I would have to send throughout the day, engaging with our fans and donors on social media, and answering questions from staff and others. Next year I assure you that I will design ALL graphics and schedule ALL posts well in advance of the day.
Find a “backup”
I ended up having a really great opportunity to attend a meeting in the middle of #GivingTuesday. This was a training that I could absolutely not pass up on but the idea of being away from my computer while driving and while in the training was really stressful. Luckily, I communicated with someone in the organization about this and she was able to pick up right where I left off and take over social media for a couple of hours. I would make sure that I always have a back up person in case there is any kind of emergency or conflict that comes up and communicate well with them.
Get your champions to jump on board early
I’ve read in a few places that in general people are much more likely to donate to a cause that is already 30% funded. The first few donations in any campaign can be painful to get. I’ve found that some of our best champions will come in near the end of the day to help make sure we meet our goal. However, next year I would try to have them donate first in the morning, so we start off strong! Then we can use those donations for matching purposes or have our “champions” fundraising on their own also.
This year I started my #GivingTuesday plans about a month early and next year I will start much earlier. With more time we could have planned better “day of” events at our physical locations and invited key influencers to join us. I also had a few issues with links that I sent out (so embarrassed for not double checking them!). The night before I was trying to download some of the resources from givingtuesday.org and the site kept crashing. And of course, even a month wasn’t enough time for Facebook to “approve” us so that we could use their new donate button. (Looking back now I am glad we didn’t go this route).
This year’s campaign was basically starting from scratch. With as much work that was put into it I have made sure to document the whole process so that next year we have a good jumping off point. This includes “ideas” that came up that were too last minute to implement. Maybe we will try them next year! I also made sure to document all of the little steps and issues that came up so we can avoid them in future years.
I hope you had a successful and stress free #GivingTuesday but in case you didn’t hopefully these lessons will help you. The last piece of advice I have for you is to be sure to collect any relevant information for your campaign and store it somewhere. This includes donor information put into a list, all your metrics for the day, and mistakes made. Trust me, you will want this information at some point in the future.
What lessons did you learn that will help you next year?