Beyond Giving Tuesday: How to Connect with Donors All Year Long

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Today is Giving Tuesday, the day following Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday when nonprofits ask their supporters for donations. Since 2012, the Giving Tuesday movement has gained momentum and now thousands of not-for-profit organizations use the day to kick-start their end-of-year philanthropy campaigns. For small nonprofits, Giving Tuesday is a crucial part of their fundraising efforts. It may even be the only time when they ask for donations. Many of them do well, bringing in a large percentage of their donations in a single 24-hour period on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. However, too many nonprofits make the mistake of putting all their eggs in the Giving Tuesday basket when they should be spreading their message out throughout the year.

You Need to Communicate With Donors More Than Once a Year

Every year, I am inundated with emails and social media posts from nonprofits asking me to provide monetary support for their mission on Giving Tuesday. Usually, I have some personal connection to the organizations that are asking for my hard-earned dollars, but all too often, Giving Tuesday is the only time I hear from them each year. It’s like getting a phone call from that friend who only reaches out when they need something from you — it’s not a great feeling. If you only communicate with your donors when you’re asking them to donate, they probably don’t feel valued.

On the other hand, when I get an email from one of the nonprofits and charities that I hear from regularly, I’m much more likely to click the donate button. Why? Because I know about the work they’re doing to make my community a better place. They’ve invested time to tell their story and in the process, they’ve primed me to want to support them. By dropping me a line on a regular basis, they are building a relationship with me that will ultimately lead me to open my wallet when the time comes.

How to Lay the Foundation for a Successful Giving Tuesday Campaign

Where should you start if you’re a nonprofit and want to be more intentional about communicating with your donors? The secret is amazing content. When you have a compelling story to tell, all you have to do is tell it. Whether it’s through emails, blog posts, video stories, or podcasts, you should be churning out a steady stream of content that highlights how your nonprofit is making a difference in people’s lives. Show your donors how they are having an impact through their donations. By keeping them connected to your cause all year long, your supporters will be much more likely to make a donation on Giving Tuesday.

Now is the perfect time to start planning for your philanthropic communication strategy for next year. For nearly a decade, I’ve helped nonprofits tell their story and raise millions of dollars in donations. I can help you develop a communications calendar and write attention-grabbing content to keep your donors engaged all year long. Learn more about my copywriting and content strategy services for nonprofits here.

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Jonny Eberle is a copywriter and strategic communications professional in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. He’s spent years helping nonprofits tell stories that make a difference. Click here to hire him as a consultant for your nonprofit.

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