#GivingTuesday and the Power of Storytelling
In the second piece in a series on preparing for #GivingTuesday, we provide more steps organizations can take to participate in a global social media and philanthropic phenomenon. This installment focuses on developing a communications plan and creating a toolkit.
Develop Your Communications
#GivingTuesday is about narrative. What story, or stories, does your nonprofit wish to tell? Consider which stories your organization would like to share with supporters and the public. To some extent, the organization’s #GivingTuesday narrative should be determined by its campaign goal. For example, if a synagogue wants to raise money for renovations to the classroom wing, the stories it would tell would obviously include the Hebrew school, maybe focusing on particular educators or students. The main idea is to demonstrate a donor’s potential impact and to highlight human stories.
A robust #GivingTuesday program can juggle multiple narratives and reach multiple audiences simultaneously. Different communications can be directed at families with children in the preschool, single adults, or empty nesters. If your organization has multiple stories to tell or multiple ways to tell a story you should segment your database. This is something your organization should absolutely have the ability to do, whether or not it is participating in #GivingTuesday.
Once you have outlined the general contours of your narrative, it may be time to map out an overall communication schedule. You don’t have to compose every Tweet or Facebook post or have a final draft of your email or snail mail letters. You should, however, have a good idea of what you want to say and when you want to say it.
Create a Toolkit
#GivingTuesday is a robust example of peer-to-peer fundraising. When someone sends an email around or posts on Facebook that they are taking part in a walk/run to benefit a particular cause, that individual is engaging in peer-to-peer fundraising. As we saw with the Ice Bucket Challenge, the combination of a peer-to-peer approach with social media has nearly limitless potential. Part of the innovation of #GivingTuesday is that it champions grassroots fundraising – not only for a particular cause, but for the nonprofit world itself. The way to realize your #GivngTuesday potential is to empower your brand/organization champions to do grassroots fundraising. Essentially, you are meticulously planning to set off a snowball effect that no one quite knows how it will turn out.
The #GivingTuesday toolkit offers your supporters suggested messaging options that align with your goals. Ideally, the toolkit should have its own landing page on your website. You should use a link shortener such as www.Bitly.com where you can create a customized link that can be easily shared. The toolkit should contain an overall explanation of #GivingTuesday, a statement about your organization’s goals for the day, and should provide specific guidance about how to promote your #GivingTuesday campaign. The kit should also contain sample Facebook posts and Tweets along with images that users can download and utilize on social media. Most importantly, the toolkit should be user-friendly and straightforward. You want to make it as easy as possible for your supporters to share your message.
More to Come
Our firm has much more to say about #GivingTuesday. On August 13, we will partner with the JVilliage network on a free webinar, presenting a comprehensive approach to #GivingTuesday. Register to take part in our webinar.
And, between now and December 1, we will post additional tips on our firm’s blog, Facebook page, and Twitter feed. Have a question? Want to discuss #GivingTuesday in depth? Please reach out to either Ross Kasper at firstname.lastname@example.org or Robert Evans at email@example.com.
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