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Jenna Sauber 7 min read

4 Ideas for a #GivingTuesday Crowdfunding Campaign

A 24-hour fundraising campaign like #GivingTuesday (mark your calendar for December 2nd, 2014) is the perfect opportunity to experiment with new tactics and tools, and to showcase inspiring stories from your nonprofit.

Whether you’re integrating a #GivingTuesday campaign within your larger year-end campaign, or keeping it separate, there’s no limit to ways you can make your nonprofit stand out among the crowd with something unique, fun, or innovative.

At CauseVox, we get constant inspiration from our clients, and from the larger nonprofit community. To that end, we came up with a few ideas of our own that we encourage you to borrow and tweak for your #GivingTuesday crowdfunding campaign. Check them out below.

24 hours, 24 stories

First, find Jack Bauer.

In all seriousness, the reason the show 24 was so compelling was because it kept you coming back for more – you had to watch each episode consecutively to tie together the events of the day, and ultimately, to see how Jack saved the world from terrorists once again.

So why not take the same concept and apply it to your #GivingTuesday campaign? You could find 24 stories that drive home your mission and goal, or you could break one story into 24 parts that compel continued visits and more donations. You could even “unlock” each story as a specific amount of money is raised. It’s also a great reason to finally bust out that cool countdown widget you’ve been dying to use.

We’ve found that as you use storytelling more in your appeals, the more donations you’ll get. In the lead up to #GivingTuesday and on December 2, be sure to post frequent updates and new stories to your crowdfunding campaign site.

Change Your Voice

If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to share a new perspective – a board member, one of your most ardent supporters, or someone who has benefited from your organization – today is the day to try it.

Send an email from this person, let them be a guest poster on your Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook profiles (as groups like Water.org and AARP have done with members of their online community with much success), and feature them on your homepage. Make sure you explain why you’ve switched things up for the day – personalization is key to make that connection to your broader audience, and to inspire them to give.

Be Uber-Specific

If much of your fundraising throughout the year is unrestricted, and you mostly communicate about general programming with broad mission statements, now is the time to hone in on the nitty-gritty.

With a short timeframe and sense of urgency, #GivingTuesday is a great day to pick one specific fundraising goal and focus all messaging on it. For instance, your nonprofit may usually fundraise for research or program operating costs. But this time, perhaps you can raise money for one family, or one specific project, or tangible goods or items. Then after #GivingTuesday, you can tell your donors how that investment is integral to your overall mission and long-term goals.

You can even quantify the impact so that donors and supporters can be inspired by the potential effect of their donations.

Give Back to the Givers

Many giving challenges are successful because they use prizes and incentives as a key part of their strategy. America’s Giving Challenge and GiveMN are just a couple of the bigger giving challenges in the last several years that have awarded extra funds to organizations that “beat” their peers for raising the most amount of money in a certain timeframe, by having the most donors, etc.

Think of opportunities to reward your donors throughout the 24 hours of #GivingTuesday. You could offer an exclusive meetup with people from your organization or an entry for a trip to see your work on the ground. Or maybe you could give away handcrafted goods or gifts that directly relate to your impact. Perhaps it’s as simple as sending the first 10 donors a handwritten thank you letter or featuring them in your next newsletter. If you’ve been debating using prizes and incentives, #GivingTuesday could be the perfect opportunity to test this tactic.

If you’ve tried some of these ideas before, let us know how they worked for your nonprofit. And if you want to give one of them a shot, send us a note after the campaign is over – we’ll want to know the results!

Jenna Sauber is a crowdfunding and digital marketing expert at CauseVox, a peer-to-peer fundraising software for nonprofits.