Generosity in the US is growing.
GivingTuesday.org estimates that 35 million adults participated in Giving Tuesday in some way (giving gifts of time, skills, goods, advocacy and more) in the US in 2021. That's a 6% increase over 2020. GivingTuesday.org also reports that donations of crypto increased 500% in 2021 over 2020.
Whole Whale, a digital consulting firm, used a linear regression to predict the total market cap on Giving Tuesday, 2022. The number is $3.2 billion USD––an 18% increase over 2021, which was a record-breaking year in its own right at $2.7B.
So, with the total number of philanthropists set to increase, along with the total amount of wealth given, how can you set your organization up to maximize this opportunity? I'll share some ideas in this blog.
Successful Giving Tuesday campaigns typically meet the following three criteria:
The clearer the strategy is––internally, among your staff and volunteers, and externally, to your potential donors––the more successful your campaign will be. Donors are more inclined to support an initiative to clean three miles of beach than to just clean an unspecified amount of beach. Likewise, donors will be more likely to donate toward a campaign that has a $30k fundraising goal than to one that has no fundraising goal. Donors are more likely to donate to a campaign that has a target date––like Nov. 29, 2022––than one that doesn't. You get the idea.
The more points of contact you have with your potential Giving Tuesday donors, the more likely they are to understand your mission, your campaign goals, and how they can partner with you in making a positive impact on the world. Email campaigns, public and private in-person events, online events (like virtual tours or workshops), social media posts, physical mail and website articles and blog posts are all examples of communication-boosting instruments.
The reality is that use of technology in the philanthropic space is growing. People are more likely than ever to make electronic donations, including crypto, than ever before. Additionally, they'll want to see real-time campaign progress when they give. Evidence suggests that the more your nonprofit incorporates technology into its fundraising campaigns, the more you'll be able to raise.
Donation-matching has become a popular fundraising method, as it engages the high-end and everyday donors alike. The high-end donors, by presenting them with an opportunity to further exercise their generosity to your cause, and the everyday donors, by giving them the opportunity to unlock those matching gifts and double the impact of their generosity.
Three organizations, the University of Georgia, the Alzheimer's Association and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, all raised over $1M USD in a 12-month span by using a corporate donation-matching platform called Double the Donation.
A study performed at Tufts University found that donors are more likely to participate in a donation-matching campaign when they feel both challenged and important. The study presented three scenarios to donors:
This was the donation rate for each scenario:
This shows that donors not only want to feel important to the success of the fundraising campaign, but that they're also stimulated by the challenge of (collectively) meeting a goal.
There are several reasons why you should consider including crypto in your donation-matching campaign:
If you haven't recently, take a look at the gifts your nonprofit has received, and pay close attention to the "giving tiers" that form. These will be different from one organization to the next, but every nonprofit can easily sort their donations into simple categories like large, medium, and small. As a reference, GivingTuesday.org tiers donors into the following categories:
Once you've recognized your "major" and "supersize" donations––or whatever the largest category might be for your nonprofit––identify the donors making those contributions. They are the biggest believers in your cause, and they are championing it with their wealth. They are your potential matching donors.
Anymore, 85% of your nonprofit's funding will come from the top 15% of your donors. So, if you don't already, consider ways that your nonprofit can create VIP experiences and specialized communication for this community of top donors. Let them in early on your future plans, provide guided tours, share video reports at year's end, give them early access to special events, send them swag bags and give them access to members of your organization's leadership through activities like galas and cocktail hour meet-and-greets. The goal? To make them feel like the highly valuable members of your team that they are. Once you have engaged your high-end donors through whatever form of VIP experience makes sense for your nonprofit, making an ask to match your Giving Tuesday campaign is a much easier task.
You'll know you've identified the right matching donor if they meet the following criteria:
Below are a couple of variables that you can explore with your nonprofit. Mix and match until you find the right combination for your organization and your donor base.
Donors want to know the maximum matching gift they'll be committing to make at the end of your campaign. What if you get a $10M USD donation? Are they expected to match it?
First of all, procure a predetermined, fixed number of matching donors. For example, target ten of your top donors to match the campaign's total. This way, if the campaign raises $25,000 USD, each donor is only "on the hook" for $2,500.
Note: If you predetermine to have ten matching donors, but only secure eight, you can still have those eight match at a tenth of the campaign total.
Secondly, determine if you want to cap the matching amount. For example, continuing to play out the scenario from earlier, require those matching donors to match the campaign's total up to $75,000 USD. This way, if your campaign happens to raise $1M USD (which would be amazing!), each of your eight donors are still only "on the hook" for $7,500 USD each (one tenth of $75k USD), and your campaign total will be $1,060,000 USD, including the "matching amount."
This significantly simplifies "the ask," because now you've limited your matching donors' liability to $7,500 USD. It's easier to get a "yes" to that.
Determine ahead of time when your donation-matching campaign will end. For example, you might pick 11:59pm on Tuesday, November 29, 2022 (which is Giving Tuesday). Another option is to make one of your nonprofit's public events the official conclusion of your campaign, where you announce the total amount your campaign has raised.
Fixed duration campaigns also allow you to strategically curate your communications with your donors and potential donors. You can plan a few in-person events, host online seminars, create an email campaign, share updates on social media, and prepare an exciting way of closing the campaign when it ends.
Another way to reduce your donors' exposure to liability––and simultaneously create an incentive for non-matchers to give––is by making your donation-matching campaign an "all or nothing" scenario. That means that the donor (or donor pool) only matches if half of the goal is raised.
This is especially useful when you have a fixed amount that you need to raise (for example, the price of a new delivery truck at, say, $78k USD). So, if you're raising $78k USD to purchase a new delivery truck for your nonprofit, your donor (or donor pool) is only committed to matching if you manage to raise $39k USD by the end of the campaign.
More often than not, two things will be true of your top donors:
Both being true, they will understand the numbers that support donation-matching as a highly successful fundraising tool––so don't be shy to ask.
Here are three characteristics of a good "ask":
Here are some examples of mission statements:
Here are some examples of specific campaign goals:
Here are some examples of clear participation details:
If your "ask" states your mission, and how your Giving Tuesday campaign supports the mission, and if you present specific campaign goals and clear participation details, you can be confident that you're setting your nonprofit up for a great donation-matching campaign. And, in so doing, you'll secure essential funding to continue making the world a better place.