#GivingTuesday – Creating Ties That Bind

on in Fundraising

At Cause Effective, we often say “The most important day of a special event is the Day After.”

So, too, with #GivingTuesday.

Everybody's revved up to “perform” on #GivingTuesday. We've got our call lists, our social media messages, our ambassadors all suited up and ready to go.

But what about Wednesday, and the day after and week after and month after? Are we done, with a sigh of relief, until next year?

And if the answer is “We hope not” – how do we capture this adrenaline-of-the-day, this special excitement, into a sustained, everyday effort to promote our nonprofits...one that offers as much meaning to our circle of ambassadors as it does to us on the inside?

Really, the answer to that query is the same key as all donor stewardship – thank, thank, thank, and show the donor/advocate/ambassador that their actions have agency. In other words, that their actions make a difference.

b2ap3_thumbnail_fruit-hearts.jpgToo often, we ask people to extend themselves on our behalf, and when they do, we barely remember to say thank you. We're on to the next thing, using the information they've brought to us, the funding they've unearthed, to make more inroads into the pressing social issues of our work.

We have to bring our ambassadors along with us. And we can do that by defining and highlighting the fact and meaning of their success.

I once sat in a board meeting of a $47 million nonprofit – all government-funded for medical clinics. Cause Effective had been brought in, as we often are, to help the board find its fundraising power.

But this group had a problem in motivation. Because what impact could the “measly” $30,000 this board set as its first-time-out fundraising goal make, in the shadow of the other $46,970,000 in operating resources at this agency's disposal?

There are many ways to skin this cat, and the one this agency chose – to isolate $30,000 in “innovation” funding for its youth-oriented programming that government funding wouldn't cover (and which they could then report to the board on), is just one way to help ambassadors gain a sense of satisfaction and “meaningfulness” from their fundraising success.

But we have to show our ambassadors their success – indeed, steep them in it. Inspire and feed their altruism, their connection to our mission.

Last modified on