Like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday has become a common part of many donors’ Thanksgiving observances. Because of that, it’s a great opportunity to encourage contributions as part of your supporters’ year-end and holiday giving. But it’s not enough to have a great Giving Tuesday fundraising campaign. To retain donors after the day ends, you need great thank-you messaging. In this article, we’ll show you how to craft a Giving Tuesday thank-you strategy that will keep donors engaged in the new year.
What is Giving Tuesday, and Why Does it Matter?
Giving Tuesday is a worldwide giving day that takes place annually on the Tuesday after American Thanksgiving. Since its inception in 2012, Giving Tuesday has become one of the most popular and well-known giving days in the world. Because of the timeliness and popularity of the giving day, it can do a lot to boost your end-of-year fundraising and reach donors who haven’t engaged with your mission before. When Giving Tuesday is over, however, you may never hear from some of those donors again. That’s why effective thank-you messaging is so important. A good thank you can keep new donors engaged and remind long-term supporters why they should continue to support your mission.
How to Thank Your Giving Tuesday Donors
Your Giving Tuesday thank-you strategy should be a multistep approach, which means thanking donors at several key moments. Depending on your broader communication strategy, you may not need to use all of these types of thank yous. But each one can help you connect with donors in different ways.
The first post-donation contact you’ll have with your donors is through your donation receipt. Make sure you’ve customized your receipts with a special thank you for Giving Tuesday.
Like any donation receipt, make sure to include all of the standard receipt elements, but add messaging that’s specific to Giving Tuesday. Consider unique imagery and graphics. And remember to call out the time of year and the added value of gifts made during the holiday season.
Social Media Shout-Outs
Because Giving Tuesday is just one day, it’s important to stay connected with supporters in the moment. Social media is a great way to keep supporters up-to-date with your campaign and make appeals throughout the day. It’s also an opportunity to make donors feel special by thanking them in a public forum. Shouting out specific donors not only makes those donors feel special but the public recognition can also encourage others to give.
If your fundraising platform offers text fundraising, you can reach out to donors directly via their mobile devices. Text messages are very personal and allow you to thank donors immediately after they give. Keep in mind, though, that many users are protective of their mobile space, so don’t overuse text messaging. Keep your text thank-you messages direct and to-the-point, and make them as personal as possible to maximize their effect.
Follow-up messages with impact and results
Once Giving Tuesday is over, you need to share how much you raised and thank donors again for contributing. We all love to know that we’ve made a difference. Aim to send a thank-you update a day or two after Giving Tuesday that includes the final tally of donations and the impact the gifts will have. Bonus points if you reached a specific goal that you can praise donors for helping you achieve!
To make sure your donors keep you in mind in the new year, one more thank-you a month or so after Giving Tuesday can be beneficial. After the holidays, take a moment to share all you accomplished in the previous year thanks to your donors. Remind them how their Giving Tuesday contribution impacted your overall success for the year and give them a preview of what you plan to accomplish in the coming year. This is also a good time to ask donors for their continued support and to remind them how important they are to you and your mission.
Giving Tuesday Thank You Tips and Examples
Now that you know what kinds of thank-you messages you might want to send, here are some tips for crafting those messages.
First and foremost, make them timely. Your Giving Tuesday thank-yous should be specific to Giving Tuesday. Think about why this day and time of year are so important. Many people and organizations struggle during the holidays, and this time of year is often associated with generosity and helping others. Emphasize to donors how their gift will help now and explain why giving during this time of year is so important.
Showing impact is one of the most effective ways to make donors feel like they’re making a difference. Where possible, include stories and images that show the real-life impact donors are having on your mission. Make sure to keep the focus on what the donors are doing, rather than what you and your organization are doing.
If you can, include testimonials or thank-you messages from beneficiaries of donors’ gifts. And in your later follow-ups, broaden your impact statements to include the previous year and future goals for the coming year.
Invite Donors to Stay Involved
You can boost retention by using your thank-you and follow-up messaging to offer donors ways to stay involved with your organization. Link them to your social media channels and ask them to like your pages. Invite them to subscribe to your newsletter or join an exclusive group for donors. Show your appreciation by making them feel like part of the “family,” and help them stay up-to-date with your organization to keep them engaged.
Thanking your donors with words is always appreciated, but to really make your gratitude stand out, consider creative ways to say “thank you.” If you have the time and resources, a thank-you video is fun and can touch donors’ emotions more effectively than still images. You might also consider small gifts or awards for extra special donors. If you can tie it back to Giving Tuesday and end-of-year giving, even better!
Check out Creative Ways to Thank Your Donors for more ideas.
A Few Examples We Love
Check out some examples from Qgiv clients who thanked donors via email, on their donation forms, and on social media.
Thanking donors is always important, but it becomes even more so if you want to retain Giving Tuesday donors after the day is over.
Apply a variety of communication methods to stay in touch with donors immediately after they give and at key moments in the days and months that follow. Use social media and text messaging to reach donors where they are and to personalize your appreciation.
And remember to tailor your messaging and images to the time of year and to Giving Tuesday itself. Part of what makes Giving Tuesday so successful is its timeliness. Remind your donors why giving during the holidays is so valuable to you and to those you serve. And don’t forget to ask for their support in the coming year!
Before you can thank your donors, you need them to donate! For ideas on how to build a great Giving Tuesday campaign, check out our 15+ Giving Tuesday Campaign Ideas (and Expert Tips).