Sorry about not posting something this morning, but I got to my hotel late last night (around midnight) and I was up five hours later for a 6:00 prospect identification/evaluation meeting. My request of Santa this year is more time added to the day and a few more weeks added on to the year. 🙂
However, when I got out of my early morning meetings and checked my overflowing email inbox, I was reminded that today is #GivingTuesday. I couldn’t have forgotten it even if I wanted because I had a ton of non-profit emails reminding me. I’m not kidding when I tell you that between my emails, LinkedIn messages, and Twitter and Facebook feeds, I must have received 25 personalized solicitations.
Being sleep deprived and generally a softy when it comes to charitable giving, I decided to make my first ever #GivingTuesday donation. So, I weeded through all of the online solicitations and chose the one that I liked most and aligned with what I support.
Drum roll please? 🙂
Congratulations to United Way of Elgin!
Here is the text/copy of what they sent me in a Constant Contact solicitation:
Today is #GivingTuesday–Let’s ALL Make a Difference Today!
#GivingTuesday is an international movement to honor the spirit of giving during the holiday season. After the craziness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday reminds us that we are part of something bigger, and that everyone plays a part in making our world a better place.
Join United Way of Elgin in celebrating this day dedicated to giving back. You can participate instantly with a $30 gift to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program, which provides one free book each month to children under five in our community. Over 4,200 children received books through the DPIL in 2014–help us reach even more kids in 2015!
No matter how you choose to be a part of #GivingTuesday, remember that when you reach out a hand to one, you influence the condition of all. THANK YOU!!
I must admit that my charitable gift felt like an “impulse buy” like one I might have made on Black Friday because I obviously wasn’t planning on making this gift.
Hmmmmmm? Black Friday? #GivingTuesday?
I suspect a light just went off above my head.
Successful #GivingTuesday solicitations probably utilize some of the same strategies that for-profits use to create the conditions for an impulse buy. Now it all makes sense. (I might not be quick, but I usually get there.) 🙂
So, here is what I really like about the United Way of Elgin’s #GivingTuesday solicitation:
- It was big and colorful, which captured my attention
- There was a picture that told most of the story
- They asked for a specific dollar amount, which allowed me to not think about it very long.
- It was project focused and very specific
- The case for support was understandable in a few simple sentences
- There were multiple links to the DonateNow page (so if I wasn’t ready to click after seeing the first link there were other opportunities late in the letter)
- The letter was short, sweet and to the point . . . easy to read in a matter of seconds
Haven’t made your #GivingTuesday gift yet? There is still time left! Can’t figure out who to support? Why not click-through and check out United Way of Elgin’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library? It will warm your heart to invest in early childhood education and literacy. It did mine!
Did your organization participate in #GivingTuesday? If so, what worked for you? What didn’t work? Please scroll down and share your thoughts and experiences in the comment box below.
Here’s to your health!
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
I’ve been blogging regularly since May 2011, which makes DonorDreams blog three years old next month. As with everything in life, there have been ups and there have been downs with things such as readership, content, and tech issues. I’m sure those of you who know me well, won’t be surprised to read that I tend to obsess over questions such as:
- Is the post is too long or too short? Will people read it?
- Is the headline going to capture readers’ attention and result in a click-through?
- Is the email subject line going to result in a higher open rate?
- Is the tweet too long or too short? Will it result in a RT?
- Are my sentences too long? What about my paragraphs?
I know some of you are rolling your eyes and chalking these questions up to my obsessive personality. While this reaction is well deserved, the reality is that there is a science to how you compose your non-profit organization’s emails, tweets, blog posts, etc. And since you’re not emailing, tweeting and blogging just for the heck of it, I think it is important to understand the science behind these things, especially if you want people to read your stuff.
Last week, an old friend of mine from high school poked me on Facebook and posted an article from Kevan Lee at the Buffer blog. He does an awesome job of untangling the facts and figures while sharing some really great charts and graphs on this subject.
If you want your donors to read your Facebook posts, tweets, website and blog content, then this link is worth the click. Kevan even developed a wonderful little infographic to help you remember and use the content in his post. I’ve included it in this post for your review.
When it comes to evaluation strategies for DonorDreams blog, I have not been very fancy because I don’t have any money budgeted for those types of activities. The blog is just a labor of love. So, when I’ve wanted to know something (e.g. whether or not the theme formatting of the blog is attractive, etc), I’ve simply asked readers and friends for feedback. How did I do this? I went on Facebook and Twitter and asked.
Does your agency evaluate and play with content, length of content, and promotion strategies? If so, what have you found? What measurement strategies did you use? What did you do with what you learned? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment box below. We can all learn from each other!
Here’s to your health!
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
By Rose Reinert
I think the morning after the “big game” is a great time to unwrap the impact of utilizing Twitter. It was hard to watch the game without seeing a ton of hashtags encouraging viewers to follow the excitement or learn more about a company or product by following it on Twitter. Lon Safko, author of The Social Media writes about “microblogging” in chapter 13, which begs the question: “What is microblogging and what does it have to do with Twitter?”
Simply stated, microblogging can be described as the act of sending a text message or sharing videos, photos, or audio. It allows you to make friends, give and receive advice, and most of all, get up to the minute news. Of course, the most familiar microblogging tool is Twitter, which is something your non-profit should be using.
There are many benefits to Twitter, but to maximize those benefits it is important to first cultivate a strong community of supporters, and even more importantly, remain relevant. Twitter is not meant to set and forget. You need to provide real-time updates (e.g. photos, videos and engaging questions are all great ways to attract attention).
Another way to utilize Twitter is as a fundraising tool. There are countless stories of successful fundraising through the power of Twitter. In my local community, Community Crisis Center, a domestic violence shelter raised over $150,000 in two weeks using Twitter and social media. This was unheard of in our community, but is possible with the right formula.
As I took a deeper dive into other organizations that have successfully raised funds utilizing Twitter, I stumbled on Twestival. Twestival describes themselves as, “The largest grassroots social media fundraising initiative in the world.”
How does Twestival work?
Twestival is a movement that uses social media for social good by connecting communities offline on a single day to highlight a great cause. All local events are organized 100% by volunteers and 100% of the ticket sales and donations go directly to local non-profits who organizers identified as having an incredible impact.
What I loved about this group was that: 1) a volunteer had to register an organization . . . a non-profit could not register themselves and 2) you receive a mentor to help make your “event” a success. This is a great way to gather support for your organization, but you need to be careful. More likely than not, supporters will not be sustainable for the long term (e.g. donor turnover is very high among people who contribute to your twestival). However, it is possible these individuals might continue to follow you on Twitter or Facebook and become loyal investors if you work hard at engaging them.
If you plan on adding Twitter as one of your agency’s fundraising strategies, like any effort, it must be intentional, strategic and consistent. Maximize your efforts by highlighting volunteers, special events, and educating about your mission and how you are meeting your mission.