With the cost-of-living crisis escalating, how to approach GivingTuesday this year is something many charities will be considering.
With bills rising along with the number of people in need of support, fundraising will remain essential. However, with more likely to find it harder to give financially this time around, offering a range of alternative ways to support will be critically important too.
This year, the Chartered Institute of Fundraising has taken over from Charities Aid Foundation as GivingTuesday’s UK leader. Dan Fluskey, its Head of Policy and Communications says:
“When times are hard and the need we see in our communities is so great, it is really important for charities to continue to fundraise so the absolutely vital work they do can continue. An opportunity like GivingTuesday is great because it promotes giving and provides an opportunity for charities and businesses to fundraise together, but also allows space for non-financial contributions and allows anyone to be involved on their own terms.”
And there are plenty of options. Among the most obvious non-financial ways charities can encourage people to show support are by donating unwanted items and volunteering – in-person or even virtually depending on the task. Organising a donation drive for people to drop off goods, clothing and other items, or arranging a drop-in session to provide a taster of what it will be like to volunteer for your charity can both help to spur people into action around GivingTuesday.
The gift of voice is also invaluable and well worth encouraging Matt Smith, Head of Development and Innovation at Think:
“Signing online petitions, sharing campaigns and following and sharing content on social media all help the supporter’s chosen charity amplify their impact and reach out to new audiences to spread the message about their work and increase brand awareness.”
There are also lots of other ways charities can encourage engagement and interaction on social media channels. One idea is to partner with organizations or sponsors on a campaign where a certain amount is donated per retweet, like, or post. Another is to ask a corporate partner for permission to take over their account for the day to reach new audiences. Others include sharing Instagram stories promoting GivingTuesday to build awareness in the run up to the big day, and calling on supporters to send in videos of themselves talking about why they donate that you can share.
Charities could also think longer term (on and off-social media), says Colin Kemp, Specialist Associate Consultant at Think – while money might be tight for now, some supporters might be open to the idea of a legacy pledge. He explains:
“Asking for a legacy pledge could be attractive for a number of reasons. This is deferred giving, so virtually no cost to the donor at this stage, apart from cost of making a new will. There are a number of low-cost will writing options widely available, Will Aid is coming up for example.
“People can, and do, include more than one gift – the average of people who leave any charitable gift is about 4 charities remembered – so can help multiple charities. Choosing to tell a charity of intentions regarding a legacy is helpful to the charity and can also be a source of comfort to the supporter that they are not abandoning causing they care deeply about.”
Other ways of making the most of this GivingTuesday include:
- To boost income ask people to Gift Aid their donations of money or items
- Collaborate with local organizations or similar cause-related charities on a GivingTuesday campaign to amplify your voices
- Share case studies and examples of the work you do on social media to highlight its importance and what could be achieved with further support
- Get staff beyond your fundraising and marketing teams involved – they may be able to offer some great ideas that guide your campaign, such as good stories to share
- Thank your supporters and volunteers – post it on social media, do a shout-out in your newsletter, send handwritten notes, or use the phone to text or call them
Whatever the ask, getting the messaging and the targeting right is of course critical for the best results, and for strengthening those vital relationships with supporters for the longer term.
Jane Trenaman, EMEA Non Profit Advocacy & Fundraising CXO Strategic Industry Advisor at Salesforce, gives this advice:
“For GivingTuesday and indeed wider campaigns, an ever more data-driven targeted approach to asking is crucial. Leverage all insight into your donor base, and be particularly mindful about the tone of your messaging in the context of your supporters’ reality. Now is the time to tighten up employee experience and leverage your existing supporter base, so you can deepen donor relationships and make the most of your acquisition investment by driving lifetime value.”
So, with all of this in mind, what are charities doing this year? To finish, three explain their approaches.
CHAS Director of Fundraising and Communications Iain McAndrew says:
“Giving Tuesday provides a fantastic opportunity for charities everywhere to collectively share their pride in the amazing generosity and passion of their existing fundraisers and supporters and also encourages others to consider becoming more charitable in whatever ways they are able.
“Giving isn’t just about donating money, it can be about offering to give some time or share your skills through volunteering. CHAS is currently recruiting for volunteers across our organization with roles ranging from helping in the hospice garden or kitchens to helping the children and families we care for in our hospices and in their homes. Everyone has unique skills and personal to them and if they have the time to do so, sharing those skills can be incredibly beneficial to charities like CHAS as well as being hugely rewarding for individuals themselves. Other ways people can help give to charities like CHAS at this difficult time when so many are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis is to donate clothes or other items to charity shops or by helping us spread awareness by sharing our news and fundraising activities and opportunities.”
ZSL Executive Director of Fundraising and Engagement James Wren says:
“Giving Tuesday is more important than ever for charities such as ZSL; support can come in many forms and a little can go a long way.
“With the current increase in the cost of living, not everyone will be able to afford to donate financially, but we’re also letting people know they can support ZSL by visiting our two Zoos, London and Whipsnade, sharing our campaigns on social media , joining our incredible team of volunteers who support the vital work of our zoos, or by becoming a citizen scientist and helping with our science and conservation projects online. They can even consider shopping for eco-friendly gifts this Christmas at ZSL’s online shop, or become a member for year round visits to both our Zoos – any of these activities will support our work in creating a world where wildlife thrives.”
Macmillan Cancer Support
Macmillan Cancer Support Executive Director of Fundraising, Marketing & Innovation, Claire Rowney says:
“We’re in challenging times right now so this Giving Tuesday we will be focusing on ‘other ways to give’, raising awareness around how people can support Macmillan in viable ways without any additional financial burden.
“Macmillan values giving in all forms, whether that’s the voices of the public backing our advocacy campaigns, boosting morale at one of our fundraising events, or offering a listening ear as part of our Buddy service. Focusing on light-touch opportunities that can be started and completed within a small window of time helps to hold people’s engagement and brings instant gratification.”