Tomorrow is Halloween! And #GivingTuesday is right around to corner. To celebrate, we’re listing the five scariest #GivingTuesday mistakes your nonprofit can make.
1. Forgetting to Register
Not registering for #GivingTuesday is like buying a bunch of Halloween candy, putting it out in a bowl for trick-or-treaters, and then forgetting to turn on your porch light. It’s a simple, easily-avoidable #GivingTuesday mistake. If you want to participate in #GivingTuesday on Mightycause (and be eligible to win some of the $10,000 we’re giving away in prizes), you need to let us know!
Registering is now easier than ever. All you need to do is fill out and submit as scarily simple form. If you’re already an administrator for your nonprofit on Mightycause, much of the information will be filled out for you. It could not be easier! If you’re not registered, do it now.
2. Leaving Your Mightycause Profile Bare
A blank Mightycause profile is about as inviting to donors as a spooky, creaky abandoned house. It’s not a place they want to spend much time (and is probably full of ghosts.)
Not customizing or updating your profile is one of the most grievous #GivingTuesday mistakes your nonprofit can make. It’s the centerpiece of your campaign, and where potential donors will go to learn more about what you do and why they should support your work. So, it’s critically important to make sure your Mightycause profile accurately represents your work and makes a strong case for donating to your nonprofit. And an empty profile says: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Profile Basics and Resources
Your Mightycause page is the hub of your nonprofit’s presence on our platform, and on #GivingTuesday. You can use your profile as a year-round page with general information about your nonprofit, or you can use it for your campaign. (And guess what — now you can set a financial goal on your profile!) How you use it is totally up to you. But, at a minimum, here is what you should customize and update for #GivingTuesday.
Your nonprofit’s logo represents you throughout the Mightycause platform. On #GivingTuesday, it’ll be on the leaderboard, on the main site if you win a Golden Ticket, in our search … basically, it’s everywhere. So before you do anything else, upload a logo. In general anything that works as a profile pic on your Facebook page will work as your logo on Mightycause.
Your banner image is at the top of your Mightycause profile. And, as such, it’s one of the first things people will see when they visit your profile to learn more about you and make a donation. We do have a gallery of random banners you can use, but why not make it custom? You know what they say about first impressions!
In general, your banner image can be any photo. Landscape (meaning rectangular) works best, but our cropping tool can help you make your chosen image fit. You can use an overlay if you want to tone it down or ramp up the colors in your banner. And it’s a best practice not to use a collage or anything with a text overlay, because our platform is mobile-responsive, meaning it adjusts to the size of the screen it’s being viewed on, and we’d hate to see part of your collage or text lost on a smaller screen.
Your story is your place to talk about your work and make sure your case to donors. So, leaving it blank a bad plan. Mightycause has a simple text editor you can use to easily add information and tell your story. You can easily upload photos and graphics, add bullet points, numbered lists and headers, and embed videos. (All videos must be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo first.)
3. Not Reaching Out to Past #GivingTuesday Donors
You don’t need a magic spell or the Necronomicon to bring donors back from the dead. You just need to reach out to them.
It’s a huge (and common) #GivingTuesday mistake to forget or ignore outreach to last year’s donors, or lapsed donors. But these donors are low-hanging fruit. They know of your work, they have supported it in the past, and the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. So, it doesn’t make sense not to include outreach to this segment in your #GivingTuesday plan.
In general, it’s best to make your outreach to this segment feel personal. Plan for a few segmented marketing emails, using personalization fields. You can also enlist volunteers to call these donors and ask if they will support you again on November 27, 2018, if you collected their phone numbers.
If you used Mightycause for last year’s #GivingTuesday, you can easily pull a report of everyone who gave to your 2017 #GivingTuesday campaign by using the date filter.
4. “Field of Dreams” Fundraising
In the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams,” a character played by Kevin Costner hears a voice whispering in his cornfield. “If you build it,” the voice says, “he will come.” He sees visions of a baseball diamond in his cornfield. And, so, he builds a baseball diamond, in preparation for the proverbial “him.”
A majorly scary #GivingTuesday mistake is to treat your campaign like that cornfield. You can build it with the hopes that donors will come, but you’ll be disappointed if you don’t take action to get your donors there. You need to market your campaign to your donors!
The work starts when you build your profile and campaign on Mightycause. It doesn’t end there. You’ll need a strong strategy to get the word out, get people engaged in your cause, and get donations flowing.
We’ve got a few guides that can help you get your campaign’s marketing rolling:
5. Not Saying “Thank You” to Donors
There is no bigger #GivingTuesday mistake or general nonprofit faux pas than failing to properly thank your donors. Donors should be thanked quickly, thanked emphatically, and thanked often.
On Mightycause, we have a few tools that make it easier for your nonprofit to thank your donors. After a donor checks out, they will be dropped into a page thanking them. You can customize this content to thank them immediately after they complete their donation. You can add text, photos, embed videos, and add a button that tells them where you’d like them to go next. (Back to your Mightycause profile? To your website? To your Facebook page? The decision is yours!)
Your Thank You page can be found in your Mightycause Manager, under Donor Experience. Click on the “Post-Checkout” tab and edit away!
This is also where you can add a custom message to your receipt. Mightycause will automatically send each donor a tax receipt, but you can add a message from your nonprofit to the receipt. That automates the acknowledgement process for you and gives your donor a good experience, so there’s no reason not to add a custom message!
But we don’t recommend stopping there. Come up with a plan to acknowledge your donors after the event as well. Send them an email after #GivingTuesday, film a video, post on your social media channels, send new donors a welcome packet, have volunteers hand-write thank you cards… the limit does not exist for thanking donors.
Now that you know the biggest, scariest, and most damaging #GivingTuesday mistakes, you can easily avoid the pitfalls! But the first step is getting registered.