Experts Roundtable: See What DRUM’s Specialists Recommend for Your Giving Tuesday Strategy

by DRUM, 06 Nov 2019

As Giving Season approaches, nonprofits are gearing up their online fundraising strategies to end the year strong. Past seasons have shown us that it’s a great time of year to reach out to donors — but are your old strategies working as hard for you as they can? What new tactics might refresh your end of year campaigns?

We surveyed a handful of DRUM subject matter experts to find new recommendations for reaching donors this Giving Season. Read on to see their advice:

  1. Leverage short-term tests for better email campaigns.

    Kelley Coram, eCRM Manager:

    For Giving Tuesday, use short-term tests to make the most impact — rather than the kinds of longer-term tests that help you optimize your entire email program. For instance, a 10/10/80 subject line test in which you send out two potential options in the morning and very quickly learn which option is best and use that for the remainder of your deployment can help improve the day’s results. (For more email strategy advice, check out our special Giving Tuesday Q&A with Kelley!

  2. Pinpoint likely donors on Pinterest.

    Megan Marks, Director of Social: 

    Giving Tuesday and the end-of-year Giving Season require lots of lead-up, but I would look to Pinterest to drive conversion. The reason is that people are there looking for last-minute gift ideas — that search trend pops about December 3rd. People will go to Pinterest more than Facebook to actively seek these gifts. So for year-end donations, you can drive messaging like “Give someone the gift of giving back to the community” or “Give the gift of a cure.” Worth noting: The average household income on Pinterest is almost double that of any other social network. 

  3. Harness the emotional power of video.

    Molly Snyder, Director, Programmatic:

    We always recommend standard desktop and mobile banners with a very clear call to action. This is great for people who are already aware of the brand or the cause and just need nudging to donate and take action. From a higher-level standpoint, I would recommend testing video, specifically leading up to Giving Tuesday, just to create a surge of awareness around whatever the cause may be. Video is just a great channel to prompt and connect with your users on an emotional level, and it’s a great way to drive high reach and keep frequency relatively low.

  4. Fold it into your year-long strategy.

    Vladimir Bradic, Associate Media Director, SEM:

    For SEM, the key is in the proactive testing across the year and not necessarily only during the last few days of Giving Season specifically. If you look at the roadmaps for most of our accounts, they are designed primarily based on seasonality and risk. They do account for the peak season — running our best ads on our best platforms and extending the reach for all audiences across the board. The key is not only to test around Giving Tuesday or the final month of the year, but on what was done so far that actually helps make the best SEM campaign possible.

  5. Mobilize influencers and be specific.

    Leah Farmer, VP, Creative Director: 

    Since Giving Tuesday is a short-lived, mostly online shareable initiative, it’s important to try to leverage all that you can to get people involved. I’d consider looking for a community partnership or corporate sponsor to match donations. See if you can leverage social ambassadors that also would help promote your Giving Tuesday campaign. Communicate with your current donors and see if you can garner any interest in getting them to make personal fundraising pages through Facebook or other channels to support your Giving Tuesday initiative. 

    Another good practice is to test a baseline/minimum ask in your Giving Tuesday communications, rather than a general open-ended ask. Consider adding a value to the amount. Can a $25 donation buy something specific like two meals for a family, or a winter coat? Look for opportunities to show real-time progress — how well your campaign is performing and how many donations you’ve received.

Could your Giving Season strategy benefit from the DRUM brain trust? We’d love to chat.

Get in touch with DRUM experts now.