As a company, we’re proud to be based in Minnesota, one of the most generous states in the nation, and there are few times where that generosity is more clearly evident than on Give To The Max Day. Give To The Max Day is a day where thousands of donors across Minnesota rally around nonprofits, charities, and schools by making gifts to their favorite nonprofits through GiveMN.
Give to the Max Day represents a critical fundraising time for Minnesota nonprofits as they push for end-of-year giving and work to reach their budget goals for the year and beyond. It also comes just before GivingTuesday, which takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and emphasizes charitable giving globally. These two designated days of giving make November one of the most crucial months for Minnesota nonprofits, and with the impacts of COVID-19 making nonprofits’ work more essential than ever, every dollar counts in the effort to strengthen our communities and reach people in need.
As we prepare for Give To The Max Day, as well as GivingTuesday, here are seven tips to keep in mind when approaching this season of giving.
1. Getting Started
First, if you haven’t already done so, make sure you’ve created an account with GiveMN and created a fundraiser page. You can get started here. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you have about fundraising strategy or general support. You can also register your nonprofit for Giving Tuesday here.
Next, GiveMN’s website includes Charities Review Council’s list of Reviewed Nonprofits that meet 25 accountability standards. The index consists of nonprofits that voluntarily submit for review each year. Approved nonprofits show they have aligned their internal policies and procedures to widely accepted standards showcasing nonprofit accountability and strength.
This seal is a great way for nonprofits to differentiate themselves, communicating their internal strength and impact to supporters. Additionally, those earning the Meets Standards® Seal are listed on the GiveMN website and in the semi-annual Smart Giver Newsletter. They are also highlighted on social media and recommended to donors via phone and email inquiries, so if you want to be successful on Give to the Max Day, your nonprofit should appear on this list. If your nonprofit has not yet submitted for review, or you need to renew your review, make sure you do so here.
2. Set Goals
Whether it’s your first of your 10th year participating in Give to The Max Day, it’s helpful to set goals you want to accomplish. The goals will keep your nonprofit motivated and help you develop a concrete plan for the event. You could set a goal to increase donations by 30% or new donors by 15%. If your average gift last year was $40, create a specific offer that’s for $50. Instead of asking people to simply “make a gift,” let them know that a $50 gift will help fund X. Don’t be afraid to shoot high, and be willing to get creative in how to get there.
3. Think About Your Marketing Channels
What methods are you going to use to reach donors?
Since GTMD and GivingTuesday happen online, you will want to decide what marketing channels will be most effective for you to leverage. Some of your trusted channels will include your nonprofit’s website, email lists, direct mail, social media pages, SMS messages, search engine marketing, and more. By identifying all the channels available to you, you can start planning how to use each of the best channels to reach donors and spread the word.
If you’re a fairly new nonprofit with no email list, consider focusing more on social media ads as one of the ways to market your organization. Think about sending out a “Save the Date” postcard for more established organizations or developing a more multi-channel integrated campaign. Use what is realistic and available to you!
4. Form a Strategy to Set Yourself Apart
Now that you’ve set your goals and started thinking about your strategy, you have to think about how you’re going to set yourself apart. Remember, donors will receive plenty of invitations to give from nonprofits on Give to the Max and GivingTuesday, so how do you distinguish your messaging and your voice? You may want to start by answering some questions.
Why are you participating in these days of giving? What are you hoping to accomplish with donations? What will the donations fund? What makes your nonprofit or work unique? The more specific you can get, the better. For example, can you help show the impact of a quantifiable gift? What can $50 help do? What about $100? Show others why you do the work you do and connect them to it–people are more likely to give if they can see how their giving matters and makes a difference.
5. Update Your Online Assets To Stay Fresh
You’re going to have a lot of traffic coming to your donation forms, website, and account pages during this time, so make sure you look your best! Switch out outdated photos for new ones, do another proofread or edit to make sure your content is free of errors, and liven up the boilerplate content to get to the heart of your organization’s work. You want to inspire supporters and, most importantly, drive them to the donations page, so make sure nothing is distracting from your objective.
Now is also an excellent time to review the donation form itself and make sure it’s readable and attractive. Avoid small text, unprofessional fonts, or awkward colors. Larger font sizes and dark-colored text is your friend!
6. Encourage Others to Spread the Word
One of the best parts about Give to the Max Day and GivingTuesday is the opportunity to reach people who may not typically give. And your already-existing supporters are your best ambassadors! Let your followers and supporters know that there are ways they too can help get the word out and encourage others to participate. Make sure you let them know that you’re participating in Give to the Max Day or GivingTuesday and send them resources that are easy to share via text, email, or tweet. You can even prepare a marketing kit and offer suggestions on how to talk about your nonprofit and their work on social media.
7. Every Gift Matters
We’ve seen many record-breaking funds raised during past years of Give to the Max, but it’s important to remember we often get there through a few small gifts at a time. Small, individual donors make a difference, and when enough people are encouraged to show up for their favorite causes, it’s incredible what goals we can meet. Nonprofit work is an ongoing process, and it takes all of us to keep that work going.
To learn more about Give to the Max Day through GiveMN, make sure you check out their website here. You can see past Give To The Max Day results, search for a cause, and access free fundraising resources. Most of all, don’t go into November unprepared.