At a conference last year, I met a gentleman from a financial consulting company I’d never heard of. His company’s concept was impressive but its reach and audience were small.  While chatting about the work of DO MORE GOOD, and marketing in general, the man mentioned that his company had experienced some misfires in their marketing strategy. Most notably, they had invested seven figures in one Super Bowl ad which netted them nothing.

I’m sure my gulp was audible. The Super Bowl? My shock that this somewhat unheard-of company would invest so heavily in a one-day, one-time promotion was palpable. Isn’t the Super Bowl reserved for McDonald’s… and Chevy … and Budweiser?

Not necessarily. The Super Bowl is a great advertising platform where a well-recognized brand can garner even more loyalty. But it is not for the faint of heart, the budget-conscious, or the unremarkable.

The same can be said for paid advertising on Giving Tuesday.

The stats on Giving Tuesday are pretty fantastic. A graph of the six years since Giving Tuesday began in 2012 shows a steady, upward-trending line. The day celebrating generosity has truly become an annual event. BUT, much like Super Bowl Sunday, it may not be the wisest investment for every nonprofit. Here is some guidance to help you do more good this December 3:

Should every nonprofit participate? Yes. Whether it is as simple as a button on your website or one single Facebook post (pinned to the top of your page), ALL should participate.

Should every nonprofit invest in promotions for Giving Tuesday? No. Giving Tuesday is one of the most highly competitive advertising days of the year. Before investing your hard-earned promotional dollars, consider these Giving Tuesday facts:

  •  The competition is fierce. See image below of fundraising consultant Pamela Grow’s inbox last Giving Tuesday.

  • The average age of a Giving Tuesday donor is 25. How old are the majority of your donors?
  • The majority of social media giving on Giving Tuesday happens on Facebook. Does your organization have a strong Facebook following?
  • Giving Tuesday is primarily an online giving movement. Does your organization have a seamless and easy-to-follow online giving platform?

If these questions are causing you to panic – don’t. Do be realistic about what you can do to benefit from Giving Tuesday this year and what you need to do to build up to a great campaign for next year. Here are a few tips that all nonprofits can pursue before December 3:

  • If you don’t have a strong social media presence, consider a thank-a-thon or other phone-driven campaign on Giving Tuesday.
  • At a minimum, make sure your posts and website look their best for in-bound donors. Your loyal supporters may seek you out on Giving Tuesday.
  • Send an email and make it remarkable. Email is the top communication method that donors respond to on Giving Tuesday. Get creative and bold when it comes to your subject line.
  • Seek a matching donor. A matching gift does not need to be large. Even a matching commitment of $500 can inspire countless new donors to offer support.

Do you have other tips or insights for Giving Tuesday? Send them our way! We’ll share the best ones on our social platforms and tag you for contributing to the conversation.