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6 Segments for #GivingTuesday Follow-Up Success

#GivingTuesday social media
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13 Lucky Year-End Fundraising Tips

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In terms of dollars raised, #GivingTuesday 2014 seems to have been an overwhelming success. Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the Case Foundation have reported that $46 million was raised last year. By comparison, Lilly reported that $28 million was raised in 2013.

Great job, nonprofit sector! Our work here is done, right?

Not so fast. If you plan on retaining those dollars and donors, the real work is about to begin. Your ability to retain new and returning donors that gave on #GivingTuesday will be the true measure of whether it was successful or not.

One of the worst things your organization can do is to lump all of these donors into a standard, one-size-fits-all acknowledgement. Because #GivingTuesday is so unique and isolated, segmentation and personalized follow-up is an absolute must.

Here are (at least) six ways you should consider segmenting your #GivingTuesday donors:

At or below average gift amount:

1. First-time donors via #GivingTuesday

This is an absolutely critical group, and likely the largest of the six.

These folks may have just recently discovered your organization, and are in the greatest need of stewarding. You might want to find out what compelled them to give to your organization for the first time. It’s also critical that you communicate the impact that their donation makes.

Suggested action: a phone call from an executive or board member

All first-time donors should receive a phone call. Multiple touches in the first 90 days are recommended, per Dr. Adrian Sargeant. A 3-minute thank-you call boosts 1st-year retention by 30%! 

Lori Jacobwith of Ignited Fundraising has a great sample 1st year donor communications plan:


Don’t let this group churn and burn, or you may experience negative ROI on your #GivingTuesday efforts as a whole.

2. Repeat donors via #GivingTuesday (only donation this year)

These folks have given to you before, but for some reason waited until #GivingTuesday to give this year. Find out why.

Suggested action: send a donor survey

As Roger Craver of The Agitator often states, a donor survey is a great way to measure donor commitment. Even if they do not complete the survey, merely receiving one will make a positive impression.

3. Repeat donors via #GivingTuesday (repeat donation this year)

These folks probably think you’re great. They’re your most loyal donors – keep them that way. The biggest danger here is letting the #GivingTuesday gift go unnoticed among their other gifts this year. Treat it just as special as if it was a first-time or major gift.

Suggested action: since this (hopefully) won’t be the only thank you they’ve received from you, do something fun / off-the-wall, like a handwritten note, photo or a quick video

Above average gift amount:

4. First-time donors via #GivingTuesday

5. Repeat donors via #GivingTuesday (only donation this year)

6. Repeat donors via #GivingTuesday (repeat donation this year)

All three of these segments should be treated similarly to their counterparts above, but with consideration given to the fact that the gift was above your typical gift size. At a minimum, the content of the follow-up letter should be different.

For repeat donors, look to see if the gift represents an upgrade over their previous gift(s). If so, they might be ripe for a major gift or bequest conversation. #GivingTuesday offers a wealth of insight!

Wrapping Up

Within your donor database, it’s a good idea to mark these first-time donors in a #GivingTuesday campaign or fund. Your appeals going forward into 2015 should be segmented accordingly.

Regardless of how you segment, all of your acknowledgements should reference #GivingTuesday as the gift source. If you had anyone mention or tag you on social media, be sure to respond individually to all of them.

How are you planning on following up with #GivingTuesday donors? Let me know in the comments below!

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