Someone who is truly passionate about helping a cause will always find a way to give back no matter what, right?  

If they can’t give online, they’ll send a check.

If they don’t have checks, they’ll take out cash and deliver it in person.

Right?

Well, it depends.

Someone who is passionate about your mission, for instance, isn’t necessarily passionate about your nonprofit operation.  In other words, if it isn’t convenient to support the cause they care about through your organization, those looking to give may instead seek out alternative solutions.  This could include giving to another organization that supports the same or a similar cause to yours.

Why do you think two local animal shelters in close proximity to each other might get very different support from their community?  There are a number of factors at play, including how long each organization has been operating, their marketing efforts, and so on; however, a significant factor is the actual giving experience.

How to Give a Good Giving Experience

#GivingTuesday is a day dedicated to philanthropic giving in which nonprofits from across the world participate, so how will you ensure you’re giving the best giving experience possible and nurturing donations instead of driving them away?

1. Use a Modern Giving Platform

Make it easy for people to give to you from wherever they are whenever is most convenient for them.  If they first learn about your campaign on Facebook while browsing from their phone, but your link goes to a campaign that doesn’t look good on a mobile device or worse yet is confusing or inaccessible on mobile, you’ll likely lose that gift opportunity.

Make it simple for campaign visitors to complete the giving process by providing them with an attractive and simple donation form that requests only the necessary information to receive their gift and send them a thank you message (i.e., their credit card information and an email address only!).

2. Tell A Heartfelt Story

Even if you have the above figured out, what are you doing to communicate that supporting your organization is the best way to impact the causes your potential donors care about?

Share the impact of what your organization has already done and what you still need to continue your work.  Use compelling photos (and video if you have it) to help your story shine.

Explain why your nonprofit’s mission matters to YOU on a personal level.  Why did you get into helping X in the first place?  Maybe something happened to a loved one of yours or to you directly that led you to create this nonprofit or begin working for one that already existed.

An authentic story is a relatable story and one that leads to action from those who sympathize with it.

Learn more about Nonprofit Storytelling

3. Beautify Your Campaign

Make your story shine with compelling photos of those you have helped or services you have provided.  Most smartphones are capable of capturing incredible images, and if you’re not savvy in this area, this would be an ideal volunteer opportunity for the right photography-lovers in your community to take part.

Customize your story so that it matches your nonprofit’s logo and any other branding.

4. Show Gratitude

Show appreciation before anyone ever even makes a gift. Show thanks to people simply for visiting your nonprofit’s campaign page or website, thereby increasing the likelihood that they’ll want to come back to support you in the future!

Provide a thank you immediately after a donation is received by leading them directly to thank you message and sending an automated – yet customized – thank you email letting them know that their donation was successfully received and that their support WILL make a positive difference!

5. Leave a Lasting Impression

Give stewardship, get loyalty.  We tend to care more about how we felt about something than what we thought about it.  And of course, those things influence each other, but feelings typically have the upper hand.  Beyond showing gratitude with a thank you message, consider sending a simple and thoughtful gift that leaves a lasting impression.

You could send something specific to your first-time supporters and something slightly different to your loyal fans.  Make sure for both segments that you’re sending something that makes them feel good about supporting your cause and that makes them feel like a special and important contributor to your organization.

Incorporate stewardship ideas like those available in our free guide, 35 Ways to Make Your Donors Feel Like Heroes.

With the gift of a quality giving experience, you’re sure to have a lucrative #GivingTuesday that will have a domino effect on your future fundraising efforts! 🙂

More #GivingTuesday Tips

Get the latest nonprofit fundraising tips and product updates delivered to your inbox every Thursday