Nonprofit Marketing Must Transition To Digital In Advance Of May’s #GivingTuesdayNow

April 3, 2020 Kathy Bryan

#GivingTuesday 2019 raised more than $2 billion in the U.S, but only one-quarter of those funds came from online donations. As nonprofits in the U.S. face unprecedented needs due to this year’s pandemic, #GivingTuesdayNow has been announced for May 5, but nonprofit organizations need to prepare now to have success next month.

What Is #GivingTuesdayNow?

Giving Tuesday Now, Together We Give. Photo from #givingtuesdaynow

#GivingTuesdayNow is a “global day of giving and unity” and a moment for nonprofits and the giving community to address the COVID-19 crisis with communities and individuals. On May 5, the Giving Tuesday organization will strive to “drive an influx of generosity, citizen engagement, business and philanthropy activation and support” with communities encouraged to “take action” on behalf of first responders and frontline workers.

“As a global community, we can mourn this moment of extreme crisis while also finding the opportunity to support one another,” explained Asha Curran, CEO of Giving Tuesday.

The Nonprofit Marketing Strategies That Worked In 2019 Won’t All Work In 2020

While the 2019 Giving Tuesday contributions topped $2 billion, only $511 million in donations were made online. The remaining three-quarters of the donations were contributed offline. For #GivingTuesdayNow to succeed at the levels of last year’s Giving Tuesday, nonprofit brands need to adapt to today’s social distancing environment.

Canvassing Is No Longer An Option For Nonprofits

Since most of America is being encouraged to stay inside, canvassing is not a viable strategy for nonprofits to raise funds during the coronavirus crisis. With stay-at-home orders being enforced across many communities in the U.S.,opportunities for in-person conversations are extremely limited.

Nonprofit Events Have Been Cancelled And Postponed

Galas, charity races and other live fundraising events have been put on hold throughout April, and likely longer, as communities across the country practice social distancing. While flattening the curve is a top priority for our nation, nonprofit events are not an option, no matter the size or the location.

Direct Mail May Not Be Delivered If The U.S. Postal Service Isn’t Properly Funded

The recent $2 trillion coronavirus bailout did not include funding for the U.S. Postal Service, which has warned it may run out of funds this June due, in part, to a pandemic-related reduction in mail. “Temporary, localized impacts” to mail delivery service could happen sooner in some regions due to postal workers with coronavirus, according to Postmaster General Megan Brennan.

Big Dollar Donations Are Expected To Decline

Corporate giving and donations from major donors are expected to decline during Q2 and Q3 of 2020. When the stock market is slipping and the economy is declining, nonprofit organizations must shift their focus to increasing their volumes of smaller donations.

Digital Marketing Must Be A Priority For Nonprofit Marketers In 2020

During last year’s Giving Tuesday, 4.3 million donations were made online, with a median donation amount of $50. For #GivingTuesdayNow to reach the $2 billion mark achieved last year, the online donation volume needs to be quadrupled.

Email Marketing Can Strengthen Cause And Brand Awareness While Encouraging Donations

Shutterstock_409129390  Donate Charity Give Help Offering Volunteer Concept

Email marketing is a very strong driver of engagement and donations for many nonprofit organizations. In fact, according to a recent study, emails from the nonprofit industry achieve an average 25% open rate and 9% click-to-open, the highest across all industries. Nonprofits that take initiatives to build their CRMs and cultivate engaged audiences are likely to succeed in driving action from their audiences when needed.

Sustained Giving Initiatives Can Attract Younger Donors

“Millennials are optimistic they can change their communities and the world, and they also believe it’s their responsibility to take action,” according to a 2019 DMS Insights article. But younger donor audiences cannot always afford big dollar donations - especially when their employment status may be in question. Sustained giving opportunities, which allow donors to give at higher amounts but commit to only small payments each month, can open the door to larger donor pools.

Online Peer-To-Peer Fundraising Efforts Might Be Perfect For Today’s Virtually Connected World

With face-to-face contact limited, screen-to-screen communications are taking center stage. All social media platforms seem to be experiencing an influx in users, with WhatsApp reporting a 40% increase in usage as of late March. The largest growth in social media use is among Gen Z, a demographic already comfortable with online-based peer-to-peer fundraising strategies. Providing advocates with the digital resources they need to fundraise on behalf of nonprofits could turn out to be very profitable - especially during an event like #GivingTuesdayNow.

Text-To-Donate Strategies Help Donors Take Immediate Action

The current coronavirus crisis has resulted in many people feeling safe at home, effectively flattening the curve, but ineffectively doing anything else to help people or organizations in need. Text-to-donate giving strategies are designed to let donors take action immediately. Although text-to-donate contributions are typically very small - in the $5 to $10 range - they can add up. More importantly, text donations can begin relationships with long-term donors.

Social distancing and stay-at-home orders are new to both Americans and nonprofit organizations. When face-to-face contact is not possible, digital communications are the obvious solution. People are spending more time online, on social media and consuming email, and there is no expectation that digital usage will slow before America returns to normal life. For May’s #GivingTuesdayNow to succeed, nonprofit organizations must evolve in the same manner Americans have evolved: turning to digital to engage.

Are You Ready To Engage Your Audience Of Digital Donors?

Digital Media Solutions helps brands across the country build consistent and sustainable fundraising revenue with performance-based campaigns supported by martech-enabled digital media distribution. Our full-funnel digital marketing strategies focus on retention and lifetime value in addition to donor acquisition.

Contact DMS

About the Author

Kathy Bryan

Kathy Bryan is the Chief Marketing Officer at Digital Media Solutions (DMS). In this role, Kathy is responsible for all aspects of marketing and communications for DMS, the leading global martech company leveraging innovative, performance-driven brand and marketplace solutions to connect consumers and advertisers.

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