6 ways to do better on #GivingTuesday 2015

How much more like the USA do we really want to get?

In retail and not-for-profit alike, it seems an irresistible trend.

Having seen the concept of ‘Cyber Monday’ creep into the retail lexicon of retail during the first decade of this century, back in November 2014, UK retailers embraced the idea of ‘Black Friday’ sales with the attendant silly publicity and unseemly scenes of fighting in the flat screen aisle.

It does all seem rather alien. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the USA – the end of one shopping season and the start of another. It’s a bit like the Boxing Day sales here – quite logical and there are some great deals around – if you wathc the small print. But here it is just another day. Giving Tuesday is the ‘guilt trip’ day when US consumers atone somewhat for self-centred materialism by popping as few dollars in a tin – for the first time this year it was promoted in the UK.

Some have questioned the merits, as well as the morality, of Black Friday.  Andy Street, the Chief Executive of John Lewis, has highlighted the problems of pulling forward discounted trade during what has traditionally in the UK been premium Christmas shopping season. That said, I bet John Lewis run it next year, and the year after that.

So a phalanx of UK Charities followed their US not-for-profit cousins into the uncharted territory of ‘Giving Tuesday’ running social media campaigns to attract new doners and supporters.

How successful was Giving Tuesday?

According to The Guardian, doner websites reported the findings of fundraising software provider Blackbaud of donations up 270% on the same day last year. Meanwhile the Charities Aid Foundation who had promoted the hashtag #GivingTuesday said donations were up 43% over a typical Tuesday.

I’m no expert on fundraising numbers, but I’m not sure how successful that really makes it. You would expect donations to be well up on a day that had considerably publicity, including some on the back of Black Friday to be considerably better than the average day and up by at least that on a year when there was no publicity.

That said, charities need hooks to promote fundraising and, given the global village in which the USA for the moment remains Le Grande Fromage it looks like Giving Tuesday is here to stay (and I should say that the logo is a really smart visual, spelling out the notion of compassion and making clear that it’s happening over here not just over there).

How to get more out of Giving Tuesday

So let’s assume the Giving Tuesday numbers were OK for starters and it’s here to stay, how can it be better for your charity 2015? The evidence of technology, giving and commercial trends suggests the areas that will provide the greatest return on not for profit marketing investment. Here are 6 ways to do better on #GivingTuesday 2015:

1. Make your not for profit website mobile-friendly

The overwhelming evidence is that donation through mobile devices is essential to maximising your effectiveness online. Alarmingly, only a minority of UK not-for-profit websites operate effectively on a table or a smartphone. Social media campaigns like #GivingTuesday will draw traffic disproportionally to mobile devices. With computing moving rapidly to mobile platforms it is absolutely essential to get your message across effectively on these media. If you haven’t yet got a responsive web design then you absolutely need to act soon. You can find out more from our blog here or contact Public Impact to find out how to get your charity web site responsive on mobile.

2. Enable text giving

Text donations on Just Giving were up 80% on Giving Tuesday. Text Giving is easy, instant and ripe for promotion through social media fundraising campaigns.

3. Produce more effective social media infographics

Social media fundraising campaigns are much more effective when they are underpinned by strong visuals. Our recent blog looked at some of the best from last year including some from Giving Tuesday campaigns. We also highlight some of the most obvious missed opportunities and provide 10 rules for not for profit infographics on Twitter to getting it right. Why not get Public Impact to review your social media visuals?

4. Get a celebrity partner with a big twitter following

It’s just a fact, people follow celebs on Twitter. Celebs can be influential and they can retweet to lots of followers. This isn’t just about the big players. The numbers from Localgiving.com suggest that Giving Tuesday worked for smaller charities too. Find a local celeb with a big local following who will re-tweet your messages.

5. Bite the bullet and partner with a Black Friday retail offer

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Black Friday might not float everyone’s boat but it’s probably here to stay whether we like it or not. So get ahead of the game and start looking for a retail partner who will plug your Giving Tuesday campaign alongside their Black Friday efforts and extend your reach.

6. Blog about #GivingTuesday

Don’t ignore the obvious. You should plan your blog content well in advance to incorporate your Giving Tuesday campaign with great examples of the power of giving and case studies that make the case for your cause. Get yourself guest blog slots too. All this assumes you are using blogging for your not-for-profit. Download our free eBook to see how to write better not for profit blogs.

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