Why waiting until Giving Tuesday is losing you donors– and what to do about it

Why waiting until Giving Tuesday is losing you donors– and what to do about it


Aspen Logan

Blog post by Aspen Logan
published 9/28/2023

Why waiting until Giving Tuesday is losing you donors– and what to do about it

The end of the year is fast approaching and with it comes many things: holidays, family time, vacations, and for non-profit organizations, 30% of annual donations. Many non profits anticipate Giving Tuesday as the ultimate kick off to their year end campaigns. While this is a great time to raise money, waiting until this single day so late in the season can cost your organization much needed support. Let’s explore ways waiting to approach your supporters can hurt your bottom line–and how you can get ahead of the game.

Beat Donor Fatigue

By the time Giving Tuesday arrives, many of your potential donors have already contributed to other causes. They may have allocated their budget elsewhere, and even if they want to support you, they just don’t have the funds. Or, if they still have money to give, waiting until Giving Tuesday means you’ll be competing with a slew of other fantastic organizations coming across their desk. You’ll have to be very loud or very special (or both) to cut through the noise and get noticed, not to mention considered.

Being first on their desk, in their inbox and top of their mind means getting to them early. If most non profits use Giving Tuesday as their bump, you should be aiming for early November.

Make a Beautiful First Impression

Your first outreach to supporters could be many things: a postcard, a brochure or a letter. Regardless of the form it takes, you’ll want to make sure it’s well designed and eye-catching, enticing the recipient to notice it and, most importantly, open it. Don’t rely only on your organization’s reputation or whether they’ve donated in the past: you want them to be wowed by what they find in their mailbox.

Present a Clear Call-to-Action

Once the piece is opened, you want to make sure the potential donor knows what to do next. Having a clear call to action (CTA) with an easy next step is key to a successful return on your investment. Include some of your accomplishments and achievements of the past year, ask for donations for a specific project or talk about how their donation directly impacts your mission. People are enticed and inspired by clear messages of how their donation will help you thrive.

If your message is early and clear, it makes it easy for your supporters to include you in their annual giving plan. And, if the piece is gorgeous, it may even go on their fridge!

Offer Practical Impacts

It can’t hurt to remind people of the practical aspects of giving to charitable organizations like yours either. Tax deductions are a big one, but there are also others that hit a little closer to the heart. Supporting causes they care about can have a direct effect on peoples’ communities, enhancing and increasing the wellbeing of their neighbors, their local environment or the world at large. Studies have shown that donating to charitable causes has a positive effect on the donor’s wellbeing as well, allowing them to make a meaningful difference in the areas that matter most to them.

Establish Your Organization as a Thought Leader

By connecting with your supporters before other organizations, you can be the first to address critical issues or share innovative solutions with your supporters. This helps build trust and credibility as your organization contributes to the discourse of your industry. By establishing yourself as a visionary, you don’t just address problems: you actively seek new approaches, strategies and technologies to create positive change.

End of year appeals offer you a unique opportunity to harness your donors’ holiday spirit, meet your financial goals, engage donors and strengthen relationships. By getting out early and with a memorable appeal, you can secure resources needed to continue your vital work in the coming year.

Looking for help with your end of year appeals? Give us a call and see what we can create together.

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