Use #GivingTuesday to develop better relationships

Just as both brick-and-mortar shops and online stores have their days to reach more customers this holiday season, nonprofits and charities have their own as well with #GivingTuesday this Dec. 1. Started in 2012, the international day is designed to recognize and give to good causes by donating in person or through nonprofits' online fundraising tools.

This special day doesn't have to end at the strike of midnight, though. Nonprofits should expect more Web traffic on Dec. 1, but smart not-for-profits will use the day to build stronger, longer-lasting relationships with volunteers and convert them into future donors. 

Here are some great ways to attract contributors and keep them engaged long after #GivingTuesday ends:

Reason for the season
Remind the public that not only is #GivingTuesday a day to celebrate nonprofits, but the whole holiday season is a time to serve and give back to the community as well as the less fortunate. Post announcements and reminders on your organization's website and social media pages along with links to accept online donations

VolunteerMatch advised nonprofits to expound on the benefits and virtues of volunteering. Organizations should emphasize that volunteering year round is just as important as giving back during the holidays. Remind this potential workforce that giving their time to a not-for-profit is boosts moods and is also good for a person's physical, mental and emotional health. A 2013 UnitedHealth Group study found 76 percent of people who volunteered their time to an organization felt physically healthier while 78 percent of those surveyed said giving back decreased their stress levels.

Also, let the people you're trying to reach know that volunteering will also improve their community.

Start early
Some big box stores start the door-busting sales even earlier than Black Friday. Take a page from their book and start your ask campaign even earlier. Whole Whale recommends not-for-profits get a leg up on #GivingTuesday and start asking for donations or holiday volunteers' help the day before or even earlier. Many nonprofits are incredibly busy over the holiday season so they could use more helping hands during the hectic months. 

Begin a social media campaign
Nonprofits can use Facebook, but especially YouTube over the holidays to encourage both old and new donors to give. Whole Whale suggests creating a video campaign featuring long-time donors explaining why they give to your organization each year and why they think your cause is necessary, noble and needed in the community. After you film these clips, post them to your nonprofit's Facebook and Twitter pages.

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