Ep 171 | Using Your Website to Maximize Giving Tuesday

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Giving Tuesday isn't too far off. I'm sure you'r working on all the things you need to promote, but are you taking into consideration what their experience is when they land on your website? Keeping it clear and simple will help get more conversions from all the hard work you're doing to drive donors do give on your website.

What you'll learn:

→ why a separate donation page is helpful.
→ how to use blog posts to drive more visitors.
→ keeping your home page simple and direct.
→ how to capture peoples attention on this noisy day.

Want to skip ahead? Here are key takeaways:

[3:15] Donation Page Create a separate page just for Giving Tuesday that provides information specific to that day and where the donations will go. Have a preset dollar amount when donors click on the donation button to help increase the amount of donations compared to last year.
[7:50] Hide Normal Donation Button Hide your usual donation button on your homepage for the day so that all donations go through Giving Tuesday links.
[10:30] Blog Post Create interest by posting a blog entry prior to Giving Tuesday that shares information on where donations from that day will go. Tell a specific story that separates you from similar organizations that are also asking for donations.

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Full Transcript

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] GivingTuesday is just around the corner, can you believe it? I can't believe that we're already in fall and or moving into the busy year and giving season. Now, hopefully you have plans in place for giving Tuesday. But let's face it, it's a noisy day. It's a day when a lot of organizations can raise a lot of money, which is awesome. But it's also a day that you're competing with every other organization that's out there that's trying to do the same. So in today's episode, I'm going to walk you through some ways that you can use your website to make it easy for people to give, and some thoughts behind how you can cut through some of the noise and really dive deep with your donors. New and existing, right? So that's the beauty of Giving Tuesday, is it's a great opportunity to ask for additional funds from those that have been donating. It's also a great time to introduce yourself to new people. So we're going to talk through some of those strategies specifically with how they relate to your website, so that you can get your website ready now to be ready to go and flip on during Giving Tuesday because the other thing is it's right after Thanksgiving. So odds are that your IT people, the people who manage your website, or you yourself, if it's you that do it, are going to be off for a few days, celebrating with friends and family. And we want that for you, right? We want you to be able to go into Thanksgiving at peace and ease knowing that you've got everything ready to go for when giving Tuesday hits. So I hope you'll join me for this episode. I'm excited to share some of these ideas with you. But before we get into it, this episode is brought to you by our free five day Summit, Online fundraising virtual summit takes place October 24 through the 28th. Grab your free ticket at onlinefundraisingsummit.com. It is five days of experts helping you build your monthly recurring Donor Program, planning it, building it, growing it, launching it, scaling it, and increasing those monthly donors into major givers. I hope you'll join me and all of my friends that are going to be teaching that week. Again, online fundraising summit.com. Can't wait to see you there. Let's get into the episode. 

[INTRO] You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. And each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing, and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] I love giving Tuesday. It's a great opportunity for you to introduce yourself to new people for us as a community in a country to come together and support our favorite nonprofit organizations. And to really just celebrate all the hard work that we're doing. So you probably have, you know, emails written, social media content, you probably have like an outward strategy for how you're going to reach out to people and get them to engage with you on GivingTuesday. And so my question to you is, have you really thought about how that plays in with your website, because we know it's busy. And we know it's loud. And so we want to make it super quick and easy for people to participate in whatever it is that you have planned. Okay, so the first thing that I want to talk about is getting your website easy and donation ready. So you probably have a header, you probably have a donate button, you probably have some basic information about your organization. And we go into giving Tuesday, we want to make it clear and simple. We don't want people to have to hunt around for what it is that they're looking for. So this might take a little bit of work on your part. But it's going to really help increase those conversions on your website, I promise. So what you're going to want to do is create a separate donation page just for giving Tuesday. And on that page, you'll have your donation option. But you'll also have kind of that specific story that you're weaving into all of your other things for giving Tuesday. So this might not be the typical stuff that you have on your current donation page. Like maybe you have information about where the funds go. Maybe you have a breakdown of you know, your operating expenses and your program support. Maybe you have just stories and different pieces of information about the work that you do. Here, we want to make sure that the messaging is super consistent with what it is that you're putting out everywhere else. We don't want people to show up and then all of a sudden, it looks a little different. And they're like, well, am I on the right page? Is this what I'm supposed to be doing right? So whatever that story is that you're weaving and I hope that you're weaving a story into giving Tuesday. That's the information that you want on this donation page. Now, I want you to do a little bit of research and take a look at your gifts in the last few years during Giving Tuesday. What was the average gift size? So let's say your average gift size was $25. Then I want to make sure that the automated amount that is there is maybe like 35, right? How can we kind of ease people up into a little bit of a bigger gift because we know that we're looking for, we're not looking for major donors on GivingTuesday, although that's nice. But we're really looking at this as an opportunity to bring more awareness to our organization and get new people in that we can continue to nurture and grow, right? So take a look at what your average gift size was for giving Tuesday in the past. And then, with most donation platforms, you can have it automatically land on an amount, doesn't mean people can't give less or more. But let's try to up that a little bit. Right. So like if your average gift was 25, let's set that at 35. And see if what we can do to kind of help increase that donation. Now, this donation page does not need to be long. Again, we are not trying to get people to read our whole history and know everything about our organization in one day, that's up to you afterward to make sure that you're following up. And we're gonna get to that here in a second. But we want to make it quick and simple. Remember, we just got done with the Thanksgiving holiday with our friends and family. People were probably shopping for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, right? We're like, just, we're going. And so we don't have time right now to really dive deep into what it is that you do. But I know that I like you enough that I want to give you money. Keep that page super short and simple. Then what you're going to do afterwards, so this is something you can have automated in your email system, is make sure you have a series of emails, we've talked about this before, like your welcome sequence for first time donors. These won't all be first time donors. But you can still create a two to three email series after Giving Tuesday that talks about this campaign specifically. That gives them more information on where these dollars are coming. More information about where you're headed in the new year, and how they can help support you in finishing out 2022 strong right. So those emails can happen afterward. Our goal with Giving Tuesday is to get as many people to the website and donating as possible. Okay, so you've got your donation page set, this is something you can do ahead of time. Now here's where it's going to take a little bit more work manual or not just depending on the platform that you use. And if you have specific questions, you can always reach me at hello@thefirstclick.net, happy to answer them. Just put Giving Tuesday episode in the subject line. And I can kind of help talk you through how you might want to, how you might be able to automate this process depending on your platform. But what you're going to want to do is take a look at your homepage, and we did an episode on the headers recently. So taking a look, listen to that one might be helpful. We'll link that up in the show notes. But really making sure that the header, the image that people see, the graphic is all around Giving Tuesday. And that it has clickable buttons that takes everybody to the donation page. 

Now here's the other piece that I want you to do, is take that donation wherever you have a donation button on your homepage, either hide it for the day or in your header, turn that into a Giving Tuesday button. Make sure that anytime people are landing on your website, it's only going to your Giving Tuesday donation page that day, okay. Usually as simple as just changing a link out, you can go back in on Wednesday, and change it back. So it is a bit of a manual process. But it's going to again, keep it clean and easy for people to find the GivingTuesday page. Now I'm not suggesting that you go through your entire website and change all your donation pages or your donation buttons. But just making sure that when people land on your homepage, they are getting the donation link that is going straight to the Giving Tuesday page. So if you have a lot on your homepage, then make sure you just put a little spreadsheet in and keep track of where you made those changes. So you know where to go back and fix them. So you've got your donation page, you've got your header set up, you have your buttons changed. So it's easy for people, you could even do something like an announcement bar at the top that has all of the Giving Tuesday information. There's lots of different ways that you can do that. It's a great way to grab people's attention. And then we want to make sure that we are hitting them up right away. So like that follow up email and asking them to share their donation with their friends. So that's a key piece to just keeping that community and that giving around Giving Tuesday. To make it easy with links so more people can come to your website. Now, as we plan for Giving Tuesday, it's also important that we are having conversations with people in the week or two leading up, asking them to show their support and sharing your goal. So we want to have a goal that's timely right so that we can also have a reason to share things on social media, to maybe update the website during the day, to send an email maybe halfway through the day like hey, we set a goal for $20,000 on Giving Tuesday. We're at 18,000. We need your support, right? It's a great way to get people to come back and potentially make multiple gifts throughout the day to help you hit that goal. We all love to see those thermometers kind of go up and see how our impact is affecting the overall goal. It really makes those that are only giving what they can. So maybe they feel like their five or $15 gift isn't impactful, but when they see it as part of that larger goal, it's going to make them feel like they're participating in something bigger than what they can do right now. 

Now, the way that we're going to communicate how we're putting together our Giving Tuesday, like what the story is, is in a blog post, so I hope you have a blog post or a blog, and you can write a post that kind of is talking about the whole story. Like what is the campaign all about? Are you celebrating amazing wins in 2022? Are you, you know, really hoping to hit this goal so that you can serve x more students or provide homes for x more dogs? Are you working on a capital campaign where you, you know, if you can raise this money during Giving Tuesday, we'll help you with adding you know, three more classrooms or getting supplies, whatever that might be. Let's write that in a story that can be really emotional, not emotional, but really, like, you know, get people to understand how their gift is going to impact your organization. And put that all in a blog post. That blog post can then have the buttons to the donation page. But you can also have those buttons say like, you know, coming soon, or you can send it to your current donation page until you're ready to put your GivingTuesday page. Or maybe you just have your GivingTuesday page up. And you're taking donations for a period of time with a big push on Tuesday. But the reason why I want the blog post up early, especially if you take advantage of the Google Ad grant, is that you can run ads to that page, to that story. You'll have to do some finessing as far as keywords and what that looks like. But if you're doing it right, and you're telling the story, and you're making the impact, there's tons of ways that you can kind of incorporate that into your Giving Tuesday strategy and get some ads running there for you. I am not an ADS expert, I would assume that this would be something that would need to be up and running fairly quickly. But definitely try that out and see if it helps in your organization's GivingTuesday strategy. So the last thing I kind of want to talk about is really diving deep into the story and what it is that you're talking about. A lot of times, we want to talk about all of the great things that we've done, and that is awesome. And you are doing incredible work. We want to make sure that when we're competing with all of the other nonprofits, on GivingTuesday, for our donors' attention, that we are really making sure we solve that pain point for them. So why is it? What's the motivation for why they're going to give to us versus another organization? Whether they do a similar thing as us or not? Right? If I'm a family? Well, I have a family. So, you know, I might be thinking about, you know, we adopted a pet. So maybe I want to give to a local pet shelter. I have kids in school, so there might be some educational things. I've got a son with ADHD, maybe there's something there. You know, I have family who's dealt with breast cancer, like there's all of these things that are personal for me that I might want to give to. So we really want to think about the stories that we're telling, and what does that look like? So are there opportunities for you to do a quick video or have an interview with somebody that's been impacted by what you do? And then simply saying, okay, you know, Jim, you know, utilized our services, in order to have food and shelter during the winter months in the Midwest, when it's cold. And, you know, through our workplace training programs, we were able to get him into a job and he's now, you know, in a house of his own and blah, blah, right, like that success story. You know, with your support of helping us reach our goal of 20,000, we can support three more gyms, like those kinds of things you can tie together. So think about that, and how you can tell the story from the eyes of the people, animals, environment, the community that you serve, as opposed to kind of fighting the urge to say things like, here's all the amazing things we did. We fed bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, and we have done this and we opened, you know, like, all of that stuff is great. That's great for an impact report. It's great for an annual report. But for GivingTuesday we really want to make sure we're telling the stories of the people that we impact because that's what people care about, and that's what they're thinking about during this giving season. Okay, So that's a lot and I know that you're anxious to get going and planning. So let's just get to it. So make sure that you are pulling your GivingTuesday plan all the way through to your website, get that blog post up, get the donation page done, make it super easy for people to donate, make it super easy for people to find your donation page. Make it a super easy link, like thefirstclick.net/GivingTuesday that you can share across the board everywhere so that everybody's speaking the same language, and everybody's coming to your website to make those gifts. Thank you so much for listening. I really hope that you'll subscribe wherever you listen, New episodes come out on Tuesdays. I don't want you to miss them. And watch the video versions of these episodes at thefirstclick.net/YouTube. You can grab the show notes with the links to the other episodes I've mentioned at thefirstclick.net/171. And leave us a five star review. If you don't mind, I would really appreciate it. We'll see you in the next one.

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