Giving Tuesday is kiiiiind of a big deal, but a lot of nonprofit experts and in-the-trenches fundraisers are leery about it. And for good reasons! Giving Tuesday emphasizes processing a large volume of one-time gifts instead of building good relationships with donors. We know that relationship-building and retaining donors are the most effective ways to raise money—and it’s easy for Giving Tuesday donors to get lost in the shuffle.
Here are some ways to make the most of Giving Tuesday by retaining the donors you acquire.
1. Automate an awesome Giving Tuesday receipt
Making a great first impression on donors is a powerful way to get them to give. But making a great impression after a donor completes their gift is equally important. The best way to do this is to write a great receipt that accomplishes a few things:
- It should make the donor feel like a hero for supporting your cause
- It should show donors that they’re making a difference in someone’s life (a.k.a. it includes a fantastic image)
- It should tell the donor what their gift will accomplish
- It should ask the donor to do something (like share your form on Facebook or tell someone about you—don’t ask for more money!!)
- It should establish that you’ll contact them later with updates about their gift
If you include those elements in your receipt, you’ve accomplished a few important goals. First, you’ll make your donor feel valued by your organization. You’ll also make them feel good about giving to you, which sets up the possibility of them donating again in the future. You will also set the expectation that you’ll be in touch again soon, which means donors are more likely to open and read future communications. This is the first step on your donor retention journey!
The best part about this donor retention method is that you can do it way before Giving Tuesday actually starts. Giving Tuesday is often a blur of planning, social media posting, last-minute changes to appeals, and general chaos—getting this piece done early means there’s one less thing to do in the ramp-up to the event itself.
Qgiv Tip: when you create your Giving Tuesday form, go ahead and set up your receipt. Select your form, then click on the “Receipts” navigation item. From there, you can customize your receipt with custom content and images. The more specific you can make your Giving Tuesday receipt, the better!
2. Send a follow-up email
A day or two after Giving Tuesday, send your donors a follow-up email letting them know how they made a difference. In this email, tell your donors:
- How much money they helped raise
- How you’ll use that money
- How their money will make a difference
- How they can stay involved
You may be able to do most of this before the event itself! Outline a general email, including details like an opening “thank you!” paragraph, details about how you’ll use the donations, and ways donors can get involved. After the event, you’ll be able to add final details, proof it one last time, and send it off without a delay.
Qgiv Tip: set up a form you use exclusively for this year’s Giving Tuesday; that will make running accurate reports so easy! Link to your Giving Tuesday form in all your social posts, emails, and other campaigns. Then, just run a report for all transactions processed on that form and boom—you’ve got a list of everyone who donated to your Giving Tuesday campaign. Alternatively, you can use our email integrations to export a list of supporters directly to your email platform.
3. Report donors’ impact
Donors give to you because they believe in your work and want to help make a difference in the world. If you send donors an “impact report” that shares how they’ve made a difference, they’re much more likely to continue to support your organization.
A week or two after your initial follow-up email, send donors a second email explaining how you used their gift. Use pictures! Showing them and telling them how their gift impacted your community will set you up for the next stage of your retention plan, which is to…
4. Ask for a second gift
One of the top reasons donors never make a second gift is because they were never asked to make another gift. It’s easy to assume that donors will want to continue their support if you communicate with them. But never making the second ask is almost guaranteed to result in donor churn.
Donors who make a second gift are 63% more likely to continue to support you long after that second donation. Getting that second donation is key, but you need to ask for it.
Here are some tips that will help you nail the second ask:
- Reference their past gift
- Be specific when you ask for a second gift
- Reiterate how their gift will make a difference
- Thank them for their past support
The best time to make a second ask is within 30 days of the donor’s first gift… which makes thanking the donor, updating them, and reporting their impact in a timely manner so important!
5. Repeat the cycle
This cycle—asking, thanking, reporting, and asking again—is powerful! Ask donors for support. Thank them for their gift. Report how they’ve made an impact. Invite them to donate again. Rinse. Repeat. It’s a simple process, but simple doesn’t mean easy! Retaining and cultivating donors is hard work. But that hard work will result in a loyal base of engaged, excited donors—what more could you want?
Giving Tuesday isn’t too far away, and it’s time to start preparing for the influx of new donors you’ll see that day (and during the rest of the holiday season). Take steps now that will help you keep those donors around for years to come!