Giving Ready: Is your CRM ready for Giving Tuesday 2015?

giving tuesday 2015One of the biggest giving days of the year is approaching fast: Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday, which takes place on the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving, was founded in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a response to the massive amount of consumerism that takes place on Cyber Monday and Black Friday.

Giving Tuesday 2015 will take place on December 1st, and this year is expected to be its most successful year to date. If your nonprofit has not yet participated in Giving Tuesday, we recommend getting in on the good times this year. Not only is it a revenue-generator for your organization (in 2014, the average online donation was $154.18, a 6.3 percent increase from 2013), but it’s also a great way to raise brand awareness, encourage philanthropy and have fun doing it!

So, if you’ll be joining the giving revolution this year, there are a few things we recommend doing to prepare your CRM to make sure donor information is managed accurately and efficiently.

  1. Clean up your current data: Giving Tuesday is often a whirlwind of activity – from connecting with past donors, segmenting lists, sending out emails and direct mail and acquiring new donors. With this in mind, it’s important that you make sure the data already in your database is squeaky-clean. This will help you make sure you’re not sending collateral to duplicates in your system and that you are targeting the ideal donors to participate in your Giving Tuesday campaign.
  2. Make a plan: Connect with your staff, including volunteers and anyone else who will be working in the database, to make sure that you know how you will input donors, the constituent codes you will use and any other database logistics. Will you be implementing a matching gift program? Targeting certain donors? We recommend that you communicate this with your co-workers so the database stays clean, consistent and accurate.
  3. Do your research: Once your data is clean, your database is a great resource to find the right donors to reach out to for donations on Giving Tuesday. You may also want to participate in a wealth screening to pinpoint specific people or organizations who will be mostly likely to give larger gifts. Did you participate in Giving Tuesday last year? Run a query on the donors who gave for that campaign – they will be more likely to give again this year.
  4. Segment your donors: You probably won’t want to send the same email to your entire donor database (as you shouldn’t), so take some time before the big day to segment your donors to make sure the right message is reaching the right constituent. You may want to send one mailing to those who gave for Giving Tuesday 2014, one to major donors, one to lapsed donors, and one to donors in a sustained giving program. Whatever you choose, make sure that your messaging is specific to the group that you’re targeting.
  5. Use Project Management: Holding a Giving Tuesday event like a gala, 5K or silent auction? Our new Projects feature is great for managing your large events. From tracking volunteers, making seating charts, utilizing a to-do list, managing attendees and sponsorships, etc., this is a great resource for your larger Giving Tuesday event.

Whether you will be participating, giving, or both, we wish you a philanthropic and successful Giving Tuesday 2015!