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The Formula to #GivingTuesday Success

#GivingTuesday is just around the corner, and with it, the opportunity to see a substantial increase in support for your nonprofit. Since its inception in 2012, the movement has raised over $1,000,000,000 online in the United States—including last year’s record-breaking total of $400,000,000! How are these organizations making such an impact? They’re asking the right people the right questions the right way.

Easier said than done, we know. In previous #GivingTuesday posts, we shared memorable campaigns and broke down their common elements. This year, we thought it would help to focus on that crucial messaging formula.

The Right People

If you’ve conducted stakeholder interviews or sifted through your analytics, you likely have a good idea of who your audience is and what resonates with them. You may have even created a few personas—or, fictional, generalized representations of your ideal donors. These are the people you should consider when writing any text copy this #GivingTuesday. Social media posts, emails, video scripts—anything.

Avoid this pitfall: Too often, organizations assume because they represent a universally acknowledged “good” cause, their audience is everyone. Unfortunately, this is the kind of thinking that exhausts budgets and prevents meaningful connections.

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The Right Questions

Let’s say you have a few personas. Take a moment to think about how each one prefers to interact with your organization. Are they financial donors? Do they prefer a more involved role as a volunteer? Maybe their contribution is sharing your content with their network. Once you’ve made that determination, you can segment your mailing list and tailor your “ask” to what they’re most comfortable giving.

Tip: The easier you make the experience, the better your results will be. 

  • If you’re looking for donations, make sure your donation page includes proven features and functionality. 

  • If you’re looking for volunteers, include a list, search, calendar, or map of opportunities. 

  • If you’re looking to spread the word, provide share buttons, scripted click-to-tweets, links to existing posts to share/retweet, etc.

The Right Way

How does your persona perceive value? What is it that makes them believe and motivates them to act? The answers to these questions will shape your campaign. 

For example:

If your persona is focused on impact, you should highlight an impressive statistic. 

If they’re drawn to more emotional pleas, share a touching story or photo.

Make A Wish

And if you’re attempting to reach multiple personas, consider who you are centering and address their preferences first. 

Putting It All Together

  • Personas are key. 

  • Using what you know about them, you can better frame your ask.

  • Using what you know about them, you can better shape your campaign.

  • Asking the right people + the right questions + the right way = success

So, what do you think? Are you ready to kick off the charitable season? 


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