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GT_baby1_2014-e1403115003540A successful #GivingTuesday campaign demands a lot of planning. In fact, planning what you will do AFTER #GivingTuesday is just as important, if not more, than all the planning you put into the big day.

Do nothing, to meaningfully convert your first time #GivingTuesday donors into making a second gift and you just wasted all your hard work you put into creating your campaign. Not to mention you’ll spend as much as ten times more to go out and acquire more new donors as you would spend keeping that first time donor!

5 Keys to Convert, Retain and Upgrade Your New #GivingTuesday Donors

Here are five things your nonprofit can do to effectively convert, retain, and upgrade the people who give to your cause during #GivingTuesday:

1)  Follow a solid, actionable plan to acknowledge, thank, and welcome new donors properly.

More than likely, your organization is putting a lot of effort into your #GivingTuesday campaign to acquire new donors. In the same way, you need to have an intentional converting a new first time donor into a fan. You need a thoughtful plan to convert these first-time donors into consistent supporters.

2)  Set a memorable auto-responder.

Many nonprofits use auto-responders to simply function as a confirmation of a gift. But have you ever thought about using them as a way to educate, entertain or inspire people who donate to your cause? Now’s your chance. Developing a creative auto-responder is a simple way to stand out immediately with something fresh, funny and warm. The truth is we should be doing this everyday. If you aren’t, start now. Grab your donor’s attention.

Tip: Let this immediate first response to their gift be inventive, inspiring, and gushing with gratitude. Make them blush. However, this DOES NOT replace the thank you card or letter. Which leads us to my next point…

3)  Be prepared to thank them by having pre-printed thank you card stock with thoughtfully crafted copy ready to go.

I am a huge fan of the hand written thank you card and if you prepare these ahead, including your copy, you can get them out the door effortlessly. Saying thanks is a privilege. Jay Love, CEO of Bloomerang said in his guest webinar, What Every Fundraiser can Do To Stop Falling Retention Rates, Effective donor engagement begins with the thank you letter.” Don’t let the gift size dictate whether they are properly thanked. If you want these donors to give again you need to show them the personal touch immediately.

But what should you say?

Tip: Our donors don’t know our processes so you should be proactive by taking the first step of thanking them, showing how their gift will be used, and setting expectations for building the relationship.

4)  Welcome them into your communication stream with a series of targeted emails.

Many organizations have an email welcome series for new donors. This is your chance to tailor yours for #GivingTuesday. Roll out the red carpet with a warm introduction to your cause.

Tip: Make the donor the hero of your story by using the pronoun “you” and sharing powerful storytelling that give your donors the credit for changing lives.

5)  Qualify their interests to learn more about them and upgrade their giving through the use of video.

Our clients have experienced tremendous success by creating videos to engage donors that reveal critical data about their interests. You likely already have great behavioral insights from events your donors attend or programs they support. Creating a follow up video to your #GivingTuesday campaign can be an incredibly effective way to not only educate your donors, but gather critical insights about their interest in giving more in the future.

Tip: Taking the time to gather behavioral data about your donors can provide valuable insights which can be passed on to a gift officer who can then know precisely which programs and topics the donor cares about when they engage them.

Are you ready to capitalize on #GivingTuesday?

If you follow this plan you should successfully convert your new #GivingTuesday donors into making a second gift.The good news after that? If we can just get that second gift, your donor retention rates can increase up to 60%. That’s a number we can feel good about!