October: Giving Tuesday Strategy

This guide is part of a series of guides designed to get your nonprofit ready for #GivingTuesday. If you haven’t read the first few guides in the series we strongly suggest you start there as the following guide will make more sense.

We’ve come a long way since June! To quickly recap our progress we’ve:

  1. Developed and implemented a content curation strategy
  2. Learned what to look for to measure the success of our posts
  3. Discovered how putting as little as $5 a day into Facebook ads can lead to big results
  4. Started engaging supporters on a deeper level with social actions

Hopefully all four of those wheels are still spinning. By now your Facebook page should be almost ready for your big #GivingTuesday campaign. This month, we’ll take a look at what we learned from playing with social actions last month, and combine it with donation best practices to create killer messaging around your #GivingTuesday campaign.

Learning from social actions

Analyzing the successes and failures of our social actions may feel a lot like the content analysis we covered back in July. Once again, we’ll be taking a look at social actions through the lense of the ActionSprout app, but the things we’ll cover apply to any action platform you use.

What metrics to look at

The three top metrics you’ll want to look at are:

  1. Engagement (Likes, comments, shares)
  3. Completion rate

action metrics

We’ll compare these metrics to each other to determine what parts of your flow are working (Facebook post, form, completion), and what’s not. This will help you pinpoint your weak spots and give you a chance to strengthen them before next month.

Scenario #1: Post engagement is higher than form views

You’re on the right track! Your post is doing its job (mostly).

You now know the subject, tone and format were correct because it caught people’s eyes, made them stop scrolling, and engaged them to the point where they felt compelled to leave a reaction, comment, or share. That was a tall order in and of itself!

The problem is, comparing this post engagement to your low number of form views tells us the post didn’t do a good enough job getting supporters to click.

There are two main possible reasons for this:

Unclear or missing call to action:

  1. Was it clear to supporters that they needed to click on the post and take some form of action?
  2. Was the language of your call to action clear?
  3. Did you have a call to action on the post at all?

Unconvincing / non-urgent call to action:

  1. Your call to action might have been clear and present, but was it urgent or convincing enough?
  2. Does your data show that supporters were interested in the topic, but they didn’t feel compelled to act?
  3. Can we make this stronger?

Scenario #2: Post engagement and views are about equal but conversion rate is low

Your post is rockin it! Not only did it make folks stop scrolling and pay attention, you compelled them to engage and investigate taking greater action by viewing your form. The problem is, very few of these folks actually went ahead and completed the action. You lead the horse to water but it didn’t drink.

What happened?

The form didn’t deliver what they expected

Make sure there isn’t a mis-match in what the post promised and what the form delivered. This mis-match is commonly called “click baiting.” It’s the practice of overselling or mis-communicating what the form will be once they land on it. Make sure your messaging and call to action are consistent between the post and the form.

The form messaging failed to move them to complete the action

The form itself wasn’t compelling enough. The petition language was weak, the final call to action was lackluster, or the pieces as a whole just didn’t come together. It’s important to keep your language strong throughout the process!

The form was confusing

Once supporters got to your form they became confused. The call to action no longer made sense. Did one call to action turn into multiple? Did sign the petition turn into sign and attend the event? Did the messaging around the call to action confuse the core ask?

The form was not mobile optimized

This one is the most painful! Your supporters wanted to complete the action but couldn’t because your form wasn’t mobile friendly! A super easy way to check this is simply bring the form up on your own phone. It’s also a good idea to ask a few colleagues to pull it up to double check different types of devices.

Scenario #3: Conversion rate is high but post engagement is low

Now, this may or may not be an issue you need to fix. Sometimes causes and particular supporters just don’t translate to high post engagement. They’re completing the action so the main goal is being accomplished!

However, we also don’t want to leave value on the table. Lower post engagement is an indication that the post could be stronger and pointing even more people to your form.

A few things to look at:

Does your post have a strong call to action?

  1. Looking at your post, would you know you needed to click and complete the form?
  2. Is it clear what is being asked and why?
  3. Is your call to action urgent and reasonable?

Is your image attention grabbing?

1.Would your image make you stop scrolling through Facebook? 2.Does it grab attention and make you want to engage? 3.Have you tried testing different images?

Combine these lessons with fundraising best practices

Hopefully you’ve now isolated some weak spots and found areas to improve upon. Now let’s take all that and rollin some fundraising best practices. There are a four main principles you’ll want to roll into your #GivingTuesday campaign. Donate for change

Your supporters, no matter how loyal they are to your organization, are really donating to effect change on an issue they care about. Ask them to donate to the cause, not your particular organization.

“Chip in”

It’s been shown in some nonprofits tests that using the word ‘donate’ actually reduces donations. Try something like ‘chip in’ or ‘pitch in’.

Set a goal

Set targets for donations and outcomes achieved. Targets put your campaign in perspective. No matter how much or little someone gives, they know they are chipping away at the set goal. They can easily see that their donation had an impact.


It helps if the donation appeal is directed at a specific goal, e.g. keeping open a children’s hospital, saving a local park, passing legislation, etc.

Wrap up

That was a long one! Be sure to take the time this month to go back through your social actions from last month, learn what you can and combine that with the outlined fundraising best practices. This should leave you with a killer donation ask for #GivingTuesday.

Next month’s post will be a recap and checklist of all the material we’ve covered up to this point.