It’s past Giving Tuesday! Now what?

Grassroots Your Giving Tuesday!

You did it! You grew a fundraising program that empowers donors to support your work during and far after Giving Tuesday. December 3 is officially over, but you’ll continue the grassroots momentum for the rest of giving season and beyond! So even though you’re keeping up the nonprofit fundraising, don’t forget to think about the nonprofit fundraiser (you!). Here are some steps for taking care of yourself during and after giving season, so you’re in a good place to foster this important work for the long term!

1. After Giving Tuesday: Some self-care for you, by you.

In these immediate days after Giving Tuesday, remember that your nonprofit’s work is a long fight for change! So while nonprofit fundraising often involves hustling to hit goals, it’s also important to take care of yourself in ways that work for you. This way you’re ready to meet any fundraising moment throughout the year.

We know self-care means different things to different people. Whatever it means to you, give yourself what you need to feel recharged and to take care of yourself!

Some self-care for you, by you

2. When giving season winds down, celebrate:

Your achievements! Before giving season gets too far away, pat yourself on the back for the important groundwork you’re laying for sustained fundraising success in the new year. This is just the beginning: You’re ready to further nurture your community of supporters up the ladder of engagement and continue growing your program so any season can be your nonprofit’s giving season.

Your donors. As the year winds down, say thanks to the amazing supporters who gave to you throughout giving season! You can send an email dedicated to showing your gratitude for their end-of-year gifts and explain how their donations will be put to good use by your nonprofit next year. You can also recap and highlight some of your nonprofit’s achievements so far this year, made possible by the sustained generosity of donors like them!

Your team. Finally, express gratitude to your fellow organizers and colleagues! This work of change takes so many people, and you can show appreciation for their hard work and hours of care this past year. Say thank you at your team meeting, or better yet, write each team member a personalized thank you note! You can always take your team out for coffee or lunch, or you can bring the treats to your staff. Our nonprofit often hosts a hot chocolate bar – sprinkles, whipped cream, marshmallows, toppings galore — after busier moments for our work. It’s a delicious and low-lift treat for our team that makes us feel loved and appreciated when we need it most!

Celebrate your achievements, donors, and team

3. After the end of the year: Reflect and debrief (before jumping back in)

After giving season has come to a close, you’ll get back to your day-to-day and focus on continuing giving season momentum into the new year! But before you jump back in, take the time now to make time for the future. Janice Chan, from our friends at Wethos wrote a guest post for us about pressing pause after heavy lifts like year-end fundraising to prevent burnout. As Janice says, you can take a necessary breather now and reflect on how to move work forward in the new year with more efficiency and a little less stress.

You’ve put energy into building a healthy fundraising program that will drive your cause for the long term — and it should be the same for you, the nonprofit fundraiser. Put some energy into making sure you have sustainable work processes that can support you this upcoming year, too! And rest assured that automation has been running on AB Charities this whole time to help you clean up after end-of-year, like our automatic gift receipts.

Reflect and debrief

Hooray! Along your journey to grassroots your Giving Tuesday, you started to grow a program that can fuel your work year-round and picked up digital strategies you can pull out any time to boost your fundraising. We’re excited to keep this momentum going with you, so here’s a big grassroots cheers from us to you!

Sharpening your form: Your 6-step checklist

Grassroots Your Giving Tuesday header image

In a couple of weeks, you’ll be inviting a bunch of folks to join your movement and invest in your cause. With excited donors making a beeline for your contribution form this giving season, update and streamline your form so folks can give as easily as possible!

We put together a checklist with six high-impact customizations you should make on your form. Found right in your AB Charities form editor, these quick customizations will make all the difference in empowering donors to give now and support you past giving season. Take a few minutes to make these final touches, and you’ll be ready to send your form to grassroots supporters taking action this Giving Tuesday!


Checklist for sharpening your contribution form

1. Title and donation ask:

  • Personalize the text on your form. Keep the messaging simple and motivational, asking your supporters to chip in as key members of your community and drivers of your cause!

2. Branding:

  • Use our branding editor to design a special form branding for Giving Tuesday that looks different from your other forms! Through design, you can emphasize giving season as a unique, exciting moment for your cause and inspire folks to click the donate button!

  • A great form branding can be as simple as customizing your form’s header image. Include a Giving Tuesday logo next to your logo in the header image like NARAL does, or try designing a special header image that matches your giving season theme as seen on Grist’s form.

3. Pop-up recurring:

  • Our pop-up recurring feature asks people who make a one-time donation to you if they’d like to turn that one-time donation into a monthly one.

  • It’s turned on automatically for all AB Charities forms, but it makes all the difference for you to personalize the pop-up’s text and explain in your own voice how important recurring donations will be to continue your work in 2020!

  • You could also opt to use our Smart Recurring pop-up feature, which asks donors who make a one-time contribution to start a smaller monthly gift. Just like pop-up recurring, customize the text and empower donors to make a long-term investment in your cause!

  • Feeling creative? You can use an image or a GIF instead of text in the pop-up!

4. Remarketing:

  • Our remarketing feature sends a reminder email encouraging supporters to finish their incomplete donations.

  • Personalize the text in this email to emphasize to folks one last time why their year-end donation is so important in making sure your work continues!

5. Thanks message and email receipts:

  • Recognize and value your donors by customizing the thank you text included in email receipts that are automatically sent to your donors! Explain how end-of-year gifts like theirs will make a lasting difference for your nonprofit.

  • Don’t forget: In the “Branding” tab of your Dashboard menu, you can customize the design of email receipts sent to donors, like adding your logo as the receipt’s header image.

6. Social share:

  • Finally, customize your form’s social share! This is the image and text that automatically appears on Twitter or Facebook when supporters share your form’s link. With folks excited to share their giving season support, it’s important that your social share stands out, matches your messaging, and invites more folks to give!


Now is the time to get your form ready for your giving season fundraising asks. Armed with this checklist, you can update and sharpen your AB Charities form in minutes so you can convert more donors! Here’s where the customizations you need live in your form editor:

Form with form editor opener, with numbers marking which customization is in which tab of the form editor

Have some remaining end-of-year fundraising questions? Our team of nonprofit fundraising experts is all ears!

Bring your board members into grassroots fundraising

Grassroots Your Giving Tuesday

There is no better time than giving season to get board members fundraising for you! They are some of your biggest advocates and have a clear personal connection to your cause, so invite them in to create contribution forms and make pitches to their networks about why your cause is so important! As your board members become grassroots organizers for your cause, they’ll help new donors build a strong relationship with your organization for the long term.

And we know your board members are busy: You can directly involve them in your important Giving Tuesday efforts without asking them to make a heavy lift. In fact, you have the tools to make fundraising actionable, accessible, and fun for them! Here are a few ways for you to make taking action easy.

1. Give folks peer-to-peer fundraising tools they can use in seconds

Your organization’s stakeholders can create their own fundraising pages on AB Charities in seconds to fundraise on your behalf. We call these pages community forms! Community forms put supporters in the driver’s seat and allow folks to mobilize their own networks to give.

Your board members can include personalized pitches on their community forms that explain in their own words why their friends, family, and professional networks should donate to your nonprofit this year-end. You can also encourage supporters to add a goal thermometer to the form that tracks either the number of donors or dollars raised, which adds urgency and excitement!

We know your board members juggle many priorities, so to make it as easy as possible for them to begin fundraising, consider customizing forms for them yourself. With AB Charities, you can send board members a link to create a community form that you’ve already set up with a design and donation pitch.

landingpage

All your board members have to do is create a custom web address and click the “Get Started” button. Then they’ll be brought to their personal form that they can customize and share with their networks!

Looking to make it even easier than a few clicks for your busiest board members? You can make the custom web addresses for your stakeholders and then send each one their specific community form link!

You can also make fundraising a friendly competition among your board. Check on who’s raising the most by heading to the “Contribution Forms” tab of your Dashboard menu. Then click the “Community Forms” tab, where you’ll see all the community forms raising on your behalf, along with their contributions and dollars raised. Update your board with the current standings to give them a motivational boost and keep the fundraising going!

contributionforms

You can access all of the donor data from these forms by following these instructions!

2. Pre-write fundraising emails your board members can quickly send off

Now it’s time for your board members to share their community forms with their networks! Doing as much prep work as possible lowers your board’s barrier to action.

Write fundraising emails that your board members can send to their networks to ask for donations! Following some guidelines for crafting a successful fundraising email, you can write an email from your stakeholders’ point of view that explains why they support your cause and asks people to invest in your important work by donating! Your board members can take this pre-written email, add their community form link and signature, and send it off to the personal inboxes of friends, family, and colleagues.

It’s go time!
There are a little under 30 days until Giving Tuesday, so it’s the perfect time to empower your biggest stakeholders to become digital organizers themselves! You have the tools and strategies to make peer-to-peer fundraising on your behalf so easy and motivating that any board member can begin introducing your cause to their communities. You’re ready to rally your supporters around year-end fundraising now to ensure your work continues far into the future.

P.S. If you need to discuss board engagement strategies or have questions, now’s the time to give our nonprofit fundraising experts a call! We’re always happy to talk digital tactics that work for you.

Grow your email list now for success later

Grassroots Your Giving Tuesday

When you have a passionate grassroots community and a fundraising strategy in place to engage folks, your fundraising success doesn’t have to depend on going viral on social media. This is where your email program is key. Through email, shift your focus for giving season to bringing more people into your movement and starting long-term relationships with supporters. To do this, you’ll need to put time and energy into growing your email list!

Adding new sign-ups to your list not only increases how many people will receive your Giving Tuesday fundraising asks — you’re also building a powerful grassroots base ready to support you on any Tuesday. Growing a healthy and engaged email list takes time, but our team has your back. We break down the basics, do’s, and beware’s of list building so you can get started now.

Tactics for building your email list

On your website:

  • The barebones: Make sure there’s an easy-to-find place to sign up for your email list on your website. All you need to collect is name and email to make signing up super easy!

  • To level up for giving season, add a pop-up on your website asking people to opt-in for updates.

  • Does your nonprofit have a blog for sharing your work? Place a subscription button at the bottom of your blog posts, asking “Do you want to receive important updates like this in your inbox?”

On social media:

  • Cultivate your social media presence and give followers different ways to engage! You can encourage followers to sign up for email updates, or host swag giveaways and ask folks for their email.

  • Try running ads on Twitter and Facebook asking folks to take an action, like signing a petition or joining your movement. When people click, you’ll ask them to provide some basic information like their first name and email to join your list.

In person:

  • For tablings and other year-end events, be prepared with a sign-in sheet to collect legible emails.

  • When people buy tickets online for your event, include a way to subscribe to your list for email updates. Better yet, when you sell tickets using AB Charities, your event’s contribution form automatically collects email addresses so you can communicate with them.

  • Use Entry Mode for in-person donation asks, so you can easily collect gifts one after another on a single tablet and automatically collect emails with each donation!

Through email:

  • Tandem Fundraising: Partner with an organization related to your cause to coalition-build and introduce each other’s work across your different lists.

  • Peer-to-peer power: When a supporter creates their own fundraising page and shares it with their network, you’re reaching people who may not already be involved with your nonprofit. You’re receiving new donations and adding more people to your email list!

Once you add new sign-ups to your list, send them welcome emails introducing your organization and work so they hear from you before you make your first fundraising ask. This way, you’re nurturing and engaging a community for the long haul! And as your list grows, make sure to keep your list clean. Fix easy typos like @gnail.com and let go of inactive subscribers, which affect whether your emails will land in spam or “Promotions.”

Quick takeaways:

Do: Start building your email list now for success much later!
Beware: Overlooking the time it takes to grow an online community that gives year-end and year-round.

Do: Promote signing up for your email list wherever you can. (Don’t be shy!)
Beware: Stopping at promoting — have a plan to welcome and engage new supporters on your list!

Do: Reach out to us for help! We love talking about digital strategy that fits your nonprofit and are excited to help you grassroots your Giving Tuesday so the momentum doesn’t end on December 3.

Grassroots Your Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday (December 3rd) is a little less than 90 days away — so now is the perfect time to buckle in and start thinking about your nonprofit’s plans to maximize your end-of-year fundraising. With $400 million raised online in the U.S. in 2018, Giving Tuesday is one of the largest days of global charitable giving.

But the grassroots momentum shouldn’t start and stop on December 3rd! As you focus on your year-end game plan, prioritize building a small-dollar fundraising program that will empower tens of thousands of people who want to support advocacy work and set you up for future success far after the end of the year. By taking the time to grow your network and grassroots your Giving Tuesday now, you’ll be ready to connect with passionate supporters this giving season and engage them in years to come as sustainers and vocal ambassadors of your cause.

Our team’s got you covered! We’re a nonprofit ourselves, and we’re excited to help you build a stronger fundraising program and have a more successful giving season with the help of small-dollar donors.

We’ve put together all the end-of-year advice and checklists you’ll need so you can easily follow along to grassroots your Giving Tuesday. For the rest of the year, our team’s focus is making sure you’re ready to encourage supporters to give and join your movement. Each week we’ll deliver the best strategies you need straight to your inbox, so you’ll have a toolbox full of concrete, specific tactics to use during giving season. By the time December 3rd arrives (and far after that), you’ll be ready to raise more money for your cause and reach more supporters.

Here’s your checklist to get your #GrassrootsYourGivingTuesday planning started (and a preview of the tips and tricks we’ll be sending over the next couple months!).


Grassroots Your Giving Tuesday Checklist:

1. Sketch out your organization’s theme for the giving season.
□ Choose a theme for your year-end fundraising campaign that reflects the mission of your organization and that you can weave into your communications this giving season.
□ Nail your theory of change: Explain the problem you are looking to solve, and tell donors how they can help be part of the solution. Your work is important, and you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared to explain why when the time comes.

2. Plan your fundraising strategy and timeline.
□ Create a content calendar and establish your timeline for sending emails and posting social media ads.
□ Make sure your fundraising strategy hits multiple channels. You’ll want to run ads on Facebook and Twitter to boost your content, but the vast majority of online donations still comes from email.

3. Build your email list so you have a large network excited to see your future content!
□ Add a pop-up to your website asking people to join your email list and receive important updates from your nonprofit.
□ Prepare your social media ads that encourage supporters to sign up for your email list.
□ Make sure you’re ready to collect emails of attendees at your fall events!

4. Loop in your stakeholders.
□ Explain how your board members can help mobilize their own networks this giving season.
□ Utilize ActBlue community forms to engage your advocates as fundraising champions this end-of-year!

5. Polish your contribution forms and website.
□ Make sure you’ve optimized your site, so when people land on your homepage, they now see a pop-up encouraging them to pitch in this giving season. And if you do not use a pop-up, make sure your donate button is prominent on your website.
□ Do you have a branding on your contribution form? Take some time to clean up your form’s design so it encourages people to give, but isn’t distracting. A couple quick changes can make a huge difference!
□ Make sure your contribution form is optimized for mobile (our forms are mobile-optimized and accept Apple Pay and PayPal!).

6. At last, prepare for post-Giving Tuesday!
□ Pat yourself on the back, take a deep breath, and treat yourself!
□ Come up with a plan to thank your amazing donors and involve them in your organization’s work for the next year.
□ Establish an email series that welcomes new donors who pitched in during end-of-year fundraising to your movement. You can keep your new donors engaged and build a community of excited advocates for your cause!


We’re excited to meet you in your inbox each week with the best practices you can rely on, and we’ll be posting our top tips for fundraisers on Twitter (so give us a wave!). And we’re always just a call away to talk digital strategy that fits your nonprofit — hop on a one-on-one strategy call with us if you have any questions or need a good joke to keep you moving this giving season.