You’re probably familiar with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but do you know that there’s a movement that’s gaining popularity for non-profits called Giving Tuesday? An organization out of New York began the first #GivingTuesday campaign a few years ago and it’s become one of the biggest ways that non-profit organizations solicit financial donations from their supporters and others at the start of the holiday season.
During the holidays, people are by nature in the giving mood. Lots of places are the recipients of increased donations: Food banks. Coats for kids. The cold bell ringers of the Salvation Army. But not all non-profits are as lucky.
As a former healthcare executive, I witnessed firsthand that this season of charitable giving doesn’t always include local hospitals and health systems. In fact, the majority of Geonetric’s clients that track giving through our VitalSite CMS experience low charitable contributions during this time of the year.
To keep that giving spirit directed at their organization at the end of the year, hospitals must get creative.
Tips for Getting Donations on Giving Tuesday
Here are some tips and ideas to increase donations to your hospital this holiday season, particularly leveraging Giving Tuesday:
- Connect with the official Giving Tuesday organization. One way to compete for charity dollars is by actually connecting with the Giving Tuesday organization. Go to the Giving Tuesday website and set up a page for your organization. Be sure to list specific ways donations will be used in the coming year and ask for gifts that could be applied to your hospital’s greatest need. (Keep in mind this shouldn’t replace your own online donation landing page or website – but rather supplement it.)
- Include your website. Create a holiday banner for your website that links to your donation page. If you don’t have a donation page, link your page on the Giving Tuesday website.
- Create an email campaign. Create an email campaign to get in front of your existing and potential donors, with messaging and creative that supports your other efforts.
- Use social media strategically. From writing great posts to creating images that are easily shared, social media is a great way to get your followers to spread your ask. On your social media posts, talk about your organization, what you have used donations for in the past year and how your hospital plans to use donations in the future. Make sure to always link to your donations page.
- Look for Double the Donations. Check to see if any of your donors work for organizations that match charitable contributions. During the two weeks prior to Giving Tuesday and two weeks after, Double the Donation will provide their service free of charge to charitable organizations that want to promote matching programs.
- Be sure to track and follow up! Set up tracking codes so that you can measure the overall campaign’s effectiveness and share with others at your organization how this campaign resulted in real dollars. In addition, use the information that you receive from donors to not only thank them for the donation, but also to understand the donors’ motivation for giving, how to keep them as donors and how to use their motivations as a spring board to promote your organization.
- Create a post Giving Tuesday plan. After the event, you will want to engage with your new donors so that you can retain them as donors, patients and in general, supporters of your organization. Take what you have learned from this experience and set some goals around how to improve donations through this program in the future.
Get Moving, Giving Tuesday is Fast Approaching!
If you’re a Geonetric client, talk to your client advisor to get things started. If you’re not, contact us. Either way, our creative team is here and ready to help spin up this campaign quickly! From design and content creation to social media management and email campaigns, we’re ready to help hospitals and health systems stop the downward trend of donations during the holidays.
And who knows what will happen! We’ve heard of people placing gold Krugerrand’s in the Salvation Army kettle. Maybe one or two of your soon-to-be donors will provide a major donation through your use of Giving Tuesday.