The 25, 30 and 50 minute plans.
Is your inbox filling up with #GivingTuesday appeals today?
Yeah, mine too.
And I have mixed feelings.
On the positive side I recognize the opportunity to engage some of the general public that hear our message and move them to support charities. That’s a good thing, for sure.
But I also am concerned….There are two negatives from where I sit.
First, a lot of (very limited) charity resources are often bet on these campaigns, hoping for magic beans. And as usually is the case, at best, only regular beans are harvested.
Don’t get me wrong. All new donors are good. But, the same resources used for #GivingTuesday campaigns can often be deployed more effectively. Imagine the impact a well planned, executed and funded donor retention strategy would make at your organization…or a strategy for identifying and acquiring a targeted group of potentially passionate supporters.
This is the biggie for me. So often we chase the shiny new thing at the expense of investing in the fundamentals of solid donor relationships.
The other drawback I see is a lack of planning to welcome our new friends and working to ‘convert’ #GivingTuesday donors into ongoing contributors. And to me that adds up to a missed opportunity at best and a waste of precious resources at worst.
An optimistic curmudgeon
OK, so I may be a curmudgeon, but I’m an optimistic curmudgeon.
The good news is that no matter where your #GivingTuesday campaign is sitting right now, you can take a few simple steps to maximize your return on the time, energy and money invested in these campaigns.
The 25-minute plan
While your flawlessly executed #GivingTuesday campaign is rolling forward today, take 25 minutes and sketch out a plan for the donors your acquire. Here are a few things you can do that have almost no cost and are easy to execute:
- Write a fantastic thank you email. One that is genuine, personal and emotional.
- Find a colleague or volunteer that will help you do some thank you calls to every newly acquired #GivingTuesday donor.
- Grab a stash of your organizations’ generic thank you cards from the supply closet and go ask your CEO to start hand-singing them while also handwriting a simple “Thank you for joining our donor family” one line message. Send these to every donor that responds to your #GivingTuesday campaign.
Add 5 more minutes
If you start to see a huge spike in donations (if you’re like me you’ll be obsessively checking the results every few minutes!), take an extra 5 minutes to find a board member or senior volunteer who can help with those handwritten thank yous.
The 50-minute plan
If you can spare 20 more minutes, sketch out your new donor’s journey through the first year. Ask things like:
- What’s the next message they will receive from us? Solicitation? Or Stewardship?
- Can I segment my solicitation campaigns to include variable copy for this special group?
- Can I feature one of these new #GivingTuesday donors in my donor newsletter?
- What should I say to these donors leading up to #GivingTuesday 2016?
Every minute you can invest in building your relationship with your new #GivingTuesday donors will offer a big return on donor retention and lifetime value. And, it can be a welcome distraction while you wait on the next #GivingTuesday results update.