Yesterday was #GivingTuesday. You likely used some great hashtags, grabbed some new followers on social media, hopefully met your fundraising goal and perhaps acquired some new donors along the way. So now it’s Wednesday and your next laser focus is the year-end appeal, right?
Before you move on, here are 5 easy things you can do to keep yesterday's donors engaged:
1) Thank your donors (personally). Don’t wait to thank them until next week! Block an hour on your calendar TODAY – maybe it’s even your lunch break – to hand write a thank you letter to each donor. Make the letter personal: acknowledge how much they gave, the fact that they gave on #GivingTuesday, and include 1 or 2 things that their donation will help fund. (As a software provider, clients often rely on the auto-generated thank you email as the only acknowledgement. While we think the immediacy of an email thank you is important and can be creative, it does not invoke the level or personalization that cultivates a relationship.)
2) Tag your donors. Make sure you know which donors gave to you on #GivingTuesday and make note of that in your donor database. When you send out your year-end appeal you’ll want to filter out your #GivingTuesday donors. Send them a different email that acknowledges the quick turnaround. It’s okay to ask again, but the donor will more likely give again if you acknowledge their recent gift. Make this ask more personal.
3) Involve your Board. Circulate a list of GivingTuesday donors to your board suggesting that they shoot an email, note or use a social media channel to personally thank their friends who donated.
4) Use Social Media Channels. Our system automatically thanks a donor (with permission) on Twitter and we actively encourage clients to retweet those online thank-yous. However, nonprofits can be even more creative by using an image of Thanks on Facebook and tagging donors (if possible.. this is where you need your board to help you tag) and utilizing a donor's twitter handle.
5) Follow-up. If you picked a certain cause for #GivingTuesday, make sure you tell the donors who gave on that day specifically how they are impacting you throughout the year! If you raised money to buy tools to help build a house, send a picture of the house when it’s complete to help the donor visualize what they helped you build. Showing their donations through to completion proves to the donor that their money was used well, and will increase the likelihood of them giving again.
Warning: Do not "Thask" donors by including an envelope or veiled second appeal. We love this blog post by @donorguru, Lynn Wester, warning nonprofits about "Thasking". We love that term and cannot take credit - saw it there first!
Next year, make these plans ahead of time (block an hour off on your calendar for thank yous in advance, etc.) and you’ll have a smooth transition from #GivingTuesday into #WhatsNextWednesday!