Which organizations had the best Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday was in early December, and it may seem crazy to think about it during the holiday rush. However, it's important to take stock of successes and failures on this crucial fundraising day to create an even more effective campaign next year. 

This day has gotten bigger over time. In 2014, more than 15,000 individual organizations participated in 68 countries, according to npENGAGE, citing data from the Case Foundation. These nonprofits raised approximately $45.68 million, which was a 63 percent increase in donations from 2013.  

This is a massive jump in participation from Giving Tuesday's inception in 2012. There is much greater awareness of the day among the general public, with the hashtag #GivingTuesday receiving more than 32 million impressions on social media, Nonprofit Hub stated. In fact, Giving Tuesdays got more attention than Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Sales the day after Thanksgiving were down 11 percent, and Cyber Monday dropped 8 percent from 2013. 

Some nonprofits had a particularly successful Giving Tuesday this year. The Canadian Cancer Society increased donations 78 percent during the week of Giving Tuesday, npENGAGE reported. These results require careful planning and tailoring your message to your audience. Here are some tips to have a great Giving Tuesday in 2015:

Start your campaign earlier
Don't wait until the morning of Giving Tuesday to send out the first email to your constituents. Initial messages should start going out about a week beforehand for the maximum impact. This ensures your organization will be at the forefront of donors' minds on Giving Tuesday. In addition, you can start creating buzz about this international day of giving on your social media profiles. Multichannel promotion can call attention to Giving Tuesday campaigns, but it's important to share a consistent message through email, social media and direct mail, as well as on your website. 

Be sure to follow up
This one can still be put into practice this year. It's crucial to thank donors for contributing on Giving Tuesday. After major days of giving, it's a good idea to send a quick thank you and inform donors of the kind of information they can expect in the new year. What are your organization's goals? Nonprofits don't stop fighting for their causes when Giving Tuesday is over, and this mindset can open the door for more meaningful communications with your constituents.

Turn first-time donors into loyal supporters
Building your donor database is one of the biggest opportunities that comes from Giving Tuesday. On this day, many individuals may contribute to your organization for the first time. It's critical to take the time to try to cultivate a relationship with them because it leads to a more sustainable pipeline in the future. With the huge number of new donors completing your donation form on this day, you need to kick the relationship off on the right foot and say thank you. You can send impact information after Giving Tuesday so donors know what their gifts accomplished. 

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