Giving Tuesday 2021 – How We Helped Our Clients Meet and Exceed 2020’s Results
Giving Tuesday 2020 left some awfully big shoes to fill, despite being a season of uncertainty. What we found during that season was that everyone was home for the Thanksgiving holiday, and those who were able to donate, did — and immediately. All of this provided an amazing outcome for fundraising programs, but did inevitably result in high expectations for Giving Tuesday 2021.
Going into this Giving Tuesday, our team went into each client’s strategic planning with the full expectation to pivot as results rolled in, as this was a ticket to our success in the year preceding. In many cases, we already planned strategic backup, such as additional copy, creative, etc., for each digital channel. While we had to pivot at some point for almost all campaigns, three takeaways stood out to us. We want to share them with you today, two weeks after Giving Tuesday, as you enter your end-of-year or holiday campaigns.
1. While people traveled, they still engaged — just not as expected.
- We originally structured a lot of our deploy schedules around the successful sends/deploy times and dates of GT2020. However, this year people were safely able to travel, and in many cases, we did not see results on the earlier end of the Giving Tuesday campaigns. Results truly did not roll in until the day of, which was both anxiety-inducing and reassuring. Our donors were still there; they still wanted to engage, just on their schedule. In some cases, we found that even our earliest email sends escalated in funds raised per communication a week after the communication was deployed.
2. Deadlines, gift matches, and urgency still drive donations.
- This seems to be an evergreen concept, even post-2020. Of course, staying transparent, keeping the language up-to-date (especially regarding match amounts, funds raised, and goals being met), and being able to update that language throughout any and all digital communications helped us to ensure that the donor did not feel schemed in any way. Instead, we focused on the necessity of the funds raised, why they were so important, and why NOW.
- We also found that increasing urgency through the campaign helped lift results across the board. This is not a new concept, but it should be noted that it still works. This applies especially if there is a gift match involved.
3. Forwards of highly performing communications helped to lift results, especially when sent to non-donors or non-openers.
- For many of our clients, while we were raising money and the numbers were steeply climbing, we saw a lot of recipients not opening, even on highly cleaned data files. Resending to these non-openers and utilizing forward copy where available to do so proved to be successful.
- Reaching out to them with an additional touch, formatted and structured around their personal engagement (while avoiding coming across as cheesy), aided in boosting engagement and funds raised. Additionally, it allowed each organization to create a more personalized relationship with these donors/recipients.
These strategies helped us lift all of our clients’ results, including one who saw a 50% increase in funds raised during this campaign when compared to 2020.
And of course, all of these tactics are not Giving Tuesday-specific, but rather available to be utilized in end-of-year and holiday campaigns, as the same roadblocks will be present during that season.
While your audience is traveling, remembering to pivot to meet them where they are, avoiding high traffic days and trying to find subject lines/from lines that drive engagement and boost urgency, all will help you reach your goals. Additionally, speaking to each segment, including your non-engagers, based on who they are and how they interact with you, will only aid in lifting the overall results.