Has your parish taken part in GivingTuesday? Because of the virtual shift in everyday life as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, any charitable efforts will likely be electronic in nature. So how can your parish participate in the global philanthropic event (taking place this year on December 1 ), and how is donor behavior changing?
What will be different this year?
The GivingTuesday organization reports more than half (54%) of surveyed donors plan to maintain their giving levels this year, while one quarter plan to increase their donations in response to the pandemic. Broken down by age, 46% of Millennials plan to give more, as opposed to 14% of Baby Boomers and 25% of Get X. Time spent volunteering is expected to decrease among older populations as COVID-19 continues to be a concern, while Gen X and Millennials intend to increase time spent volunteering.
1. Create a plan and set a goal
Brainstorm with your parish team — you may want to raise money to help a ministry that has an impact on those affected by the pandemic, or you may want to offer extra support to your parish school. Then set your dollar goal; it should be one that requires a bit of effort to reach. Find a visual representation for this goal, such as a thermometer, that can be used on your website and social media channels to allow parishioners to monitor the progress.
Make sure your links work across all channels of communication and have someone test the donation page to make sure it functions correctly. You don’t want to risk a technical mishap when you’re trying to raise money for worthy causes.
Consider publicizing your efforts a few weeks in advance of the day. Email blasts and social media posts will likely be most effective in promoting your efforts, especially if your parish hasn’t restarted Mass in person. You can also create a temporary campaign page on your website with a link near the top of the homepage, where you can include any visual elements you create.
You can register with GivingTuesday or #iGiveCatholic (a Catholic effort on the same day to raise money for parishes and ministries) to get further support in your efforts. You can use hashtags #GivingTuesday and #iGiveCatholic when you post on your social media channels. You can also find ways to show prospective donors how you plan to use their money; Classy has impact blocks that add a visual component to your appeals with a photo and a chance for you to show what your donation will do.
As you approach December 1, you can ramp up the use of social media and multimedia to promote your fundraising. You can periodically have your campaign leader or priest go live on social media updating parishioners on your progress to drum up enthusiasm.
4. Thank your donors
Send a prompt thank you email to your online donors. Write it out ahead of time and set it up to go out as soon as the donor hits “submit” on your website. Something else you can do to thank your donors is to email them photos, video, or other information that shows how their money has made an impact.
Do you plan to take part in GivingTuesday? Let us know below!