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Kicking off the Giving Season: Giving Tuesday

Every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving charities, non-profits, corporations, and individuals around the globe celebrate Giving Tuesday, a day that’s been set aside for people to consider charitable donations and the spirit of giving and support. Giving Tuesday started in 2012 to increase “global generosity” and encourage individuals and organizations to “give back” around the world. For many charities and non-profits in the U.S, Thanksgiving is traditionally the kickoff to the year-end giving season, so many organizations use this day to fundraise for the upcoming year. While many non-profits leverage the messaging of Giving Tuesday and year-end giving to help drive donations, when launching a campaign, it is important to have updated marketing materials and a polished website to maximize your success. After all, your website and your marketing materials are the face and voice of your organization. Luckily, 2 Fish is here support your organization and campaign needs.

Spreading Non-Profit Mission Awareness

Non-profits are doing amazing things for our community. We work closely with non-profits that support our educators’ mental health, support families and children with disabilities, help fight poverty in Zeeland, ease the housing crisis in West Michigan, and help corporations learn to become more sustainable and equitable organizations, just to name a few! Non-profits must utilize marketing so that they can spread mission awareness. Spreading awareness through communication channels not only helps more people understand an organization’s mission, but also allows the community to support them financially.

Digital Media, Or Traditional Media? Why Not Both!

We have helped numerous non-profit clients with several Giving Tuesday and year-end appeals campaigns. While classic word-of-mouth communications, printed postcards, and year-end appeal letters are all valuable tactics, we also encourage (and have seen success from!) ramping up digital marketing efforts for our non-profit partners. A shift to digital makes sense in 2021— Millennials and Zoomers that have entered the workforce in recent years are far more comfortable with PayPal than paper checks and are used to online activism. And they’re active donors! 84% of millennials give to charity efforts annually.

And it’s not just millennials giving online— all age groups have adapted to online shopping and payment systems. Digital donations and messaging are a logical extension of this trend. Extending your year-end campaigns online lets you target these potential donors where they spend their time naturally— checking emails, their newsfeeds, or catching up on their friends’ latest tweets.

Facebook ads are an affordable way to gain the attention of future supporters and donors, and easily reach a wide, targeted audience with your messaging. Organizations currently use this tactic to link to their website, share success stories, and locate volunteers. Targeting adds an extra layer of efficiency to social media marketing campaigns. By filtering to people who are already interested in your cause, or to demographics that are most likely to engage with your organization, social media advertising provides a cost-effective way to broadcast your message and reinforce it alongside more traditional methods of communication. Repeat views of ads keep your organization top-of-mind in your potential donors’ minds!

Of course, aside from effective messaging, fundraising is a key part of Giving Tuesday marketing efforts! It’s important to meet your donors where they are and provide them with opportunities to contribute in a way that’s comfortable to them. Opportunity Thrive, a non-profit focused on enhancing educator wellness across Michigan, recently worked with us to develop ways for donors to contribute to their organization. In their case, the solution was composed of two assets:

A remittance envelope that donors who are more comfortable donating by cash or check could utilize to mail in donations and contribute with at events was created.

An online donation landing page was also developed on their website as a location for donors to contribute online. In both cases, the donation methods also provide a second critical benefit: By collecting contact information on both the online form and the envelope, Opportunity Thrive now has a way to not only receive additional funding, but also build out their contact lists to help share messaging with a wider audience of engaged donors!

While email marketing might seem old-school in a world with Snapchat and Tiktok, email is a proven way to stay connected with your audiences, especially in the case of your year-end campaigns. By using a marketing automation platform, you can generate email that not only catches your donors’ attention but allows the organization to provide more information and even customize emails to each recipient with unique information.

An additional benefit of email marketing with an automation platform is the ability to create a drip campaign with multiple emails that send in sequence, based on recipients’ opens and response to emails. For example, an email campaign with a series of three emails that allows the organization to first introduce the campaign, then more information about the campaign as major donation milestones get closer, and finally send a reminder to recipients of the campaign on Giving Tuesday, for example. If a donor responds to the first email with a donation, they can be removed from the email campaign and then provided with a “Thank you!” message instead, with an automated follow up at the close to the campaign, or an invitation to share the campaign on social media or with their friends via email. A series of emails allows the non-profit to stay top-of-mind with the potential donor, and thanks to the customizable content, allows for a much more personal feel to a campaign than a mass-mailed letter or social post.

It is important to remember that, when running a campaign, the website you are steering people to must be running efficiently and effectively. In digital world, your website is basically your front door of your organization— and it’s hard to be convincing with a metaphorical broken window and sticky hinges! At 2 Fish Co., we work with our clients to create websites that load as quickly as possible to allow audiences to reach information efficiently, and that have content that’s organized effectively and written well. This ensures that your potential donors don’t get “lost” in your website and can reach information they need with minimal clicks. An easy-to-understand and navigate site makes your organization seem more legitimate to audiences and keeps them engaged by providing them with a friendly, not frustrating, experience. It’s important to keep SEO in mind as well while updating your webpages. By understanding what keywords and phrases search engines like Google are looking for, it’s possible to structure content in a way that can allow it to rank higher in search rankings, ensuring that your audience finds your page when it’s looking for your organization. In Google’s case, rankings are also based on quality of content and page performance in their most recent algorithm updates, so it’s critical to make sure your website is performing at peak performance so people can find you!

How To Donate?

As you might have gathered, we have supported many non-profits’ marketing efforts locally. If you still haven’t decided where to give this Giving Tuesday and holiday season, we’d encourage you to consider these local organizations which provide services and support for people near and far.

Family Hope Foundation
Family hope foundation serves families of children with special needs in West Michigan. They work to fill gaps in current support systems through scholarships, resources, and events; and collaborate with other organizations to build a stronger community.

Harvest Stand Ministries
Harvest Stand Ministries is an organization that supports individuals who find themselves in crisis and lack resources, connections, and relationships to escape poverty. From a food pantry, clothing store, and connection assistance, Harvest Stand is showing the love of Christ to those who need a helping hand.  

Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity
Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity builds “strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter” in the Ottawa and Allegan Counties. Did you know that in Ottawa County 9,785 renters and 12,954 homeowners pay 30% or more of their income towards housing cost? With the support of donors, volunteers, and team members, Lakeshore Habitat aims to provide stability through affordable homeownership in the community.

Opportunity Thrive
Opportunity Thrive is an organization that seeks to create opportunities for educators to “thrive in both work and life” through wellness and coaching programs with the end goal of creating better educational experiences for students across the states. Experienced educators help new educators balance life and work through a coaching program.

Table Public House
Table Public House is an organization located outside of Denver, Colorado that focuses on providing food support and education to the community through the Table Urban Farm. Table Urban Farm grows all their produce within Denver’s Platt Park and University Hills neighborhoods, do most of their transportation and distribution by bicycle, and use only organic growing techniques. Due to limited amounts of large, available plots of land in the city, they partner with private homeowners who will allow them to use their yard space to grow vegetables. 100% of the food grown is donated back to the community.

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum
West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum promotes ethical businesses practices that not only advance climate leadership, but aid in community resilience, social justice, and creation of a circular economy. This organization saw a need to support businesses in investing into corporate social responsibility and social equity in the Grand Rapids area.