5 Free Ways to Amp Up Your Online Fundraising for #GivingTuesday

Sponsored by Give Lively

#GivingTuesday is approaching fast and we want nonprofits to be prepared. We know that many organizations are unable to take full advantage of the digital movement due to the high cost of online fundraising tech. Last year’s #GivingTuesday attracted over 1.64 million donations and $177 million total. This year, those numbers are expected to grow by double digits, and we don’t want organizations like yours to miss out.

Here are some things you can do right now for free to up your online fundraising so your organization can take advantage of this year’s #GivingTuesday.

1. Set Up a Branded Donation Page

Nonprofit donors are nearly 70% more likely to give a second donation if they used a branded page the first time they made a contribution. Capitalize on those first-time #GivingTuesday donors to create a future fundraising stream.  Make sure your tech vendor or payment processor allows you to fully brand your page.

2. Launch An Email Fundraising Campaign

Once you have a donation page you’re proud of, send the link out to your donors and supporters via email. Email has the highest return on investment of any marketing channel, with $40 coming in for every dollar spent.  Load in your supporters’ email addresses, then write them a short note about how your organization will use their #GivingTuesday donations for good with a clear call to action and a link going to your donation page.

3. Turn Social Followers Into Donors

Facebook makes it easy to add a “Donate” button that links to your personal donation page to your nonprofit’s donation page. Here’s how you can do it right now:

  • Sign into your Facebook page as an admin.
  • Click the “Add a Button” button on the top right of the page directly under your cover photo.
  • A menu will pop up. Select “Make Purchase or Donation” and then click “Donate” in the pop-down menu.
  • Facebook will ask you, “What website would you like to send people to when they click this button?” Enter your donation page URL.
  • Your new Facebook “Donate” button is up and running.

You can also share your donation link in traditional social media posts on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. Include a #GivingTuesday call to action in your post for the best results. 43% of millennial donors say they are inspired to give by social media. Around a quarter of both Gen Xers and Baby Boomers says the same.

4. Place a Donate Button on Your Site

Each of your website visitors is a potential donor. Make sure you have a “donate” button prominently placed on your site to reach them. Best practice is to link this donate button to a branded donation page where they can donate on the spot, on mobile or desktop. Better yet is an embeddable widget that lets donors give directly on your site without ever leaving the page.

5. Create a Text-to-Donate Campaign

Text-to-Donate is the perfect technology to complement your #GivingTuesday strategy. You can promote your #GivingTuesday text code on social media, in print, through direct mail, and any other way your organization reaches donors. Whenever donors are inspired throughout that day, they can simply text a phone number with your text code and make a donation in seconds. Text-to-Donate has historically come with a high price tag, but Give Lively is proud to provide this technology with unlimited campaign codes at no cost.

Want to learn more about #GivingTuesday tips and free resources? Contact us at membership@givelively.org. We’re here to make your #GivingTuesday a success and if you’re paying for any of the above services, make sure you’re aware that they’re all available for free!

Give Lively is a tech start-up that builds fundraising tech and gives it away to nonprofits for free. Much like a foundation, Give Lively was founded by philanthropists for the sole purpose of providing free resources to nonprofits. Give Lively stands apart from other fundraising tech companies not only because their tech is available for free to all 501(c)(3)s, but because 100% of product development is based on feedback from nonprofits and donors.

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[PODCAST] The Ins and Outs of Community Engagement | Ft. Amy Sample Ward

NTEN’s CEO, Amy Sample Ward, and Randy covered a lot of topics in this week’s podcast.

Amy referenced her blog, where she writes about the ever-changing world of social media, engagement and the nonprofit sector in relation to generations.

It’s no secret that nonprofit branding is important to the success of your organization, but Amy had some different ideas on whether or not it’s the right thing to focus on.

Instead, she urges organizations to think about the idea of community. She believes that a community is a group of people that is already directly related to you and should never be something that you’re “targeting.” Your community is a group that has already opted to get content from you; whether it be through a podcast or email, they want to hear from you! Amy says that’s important because they’ve already said, “Yes! We like you!”

So what now? Is it like that awkward first date we’ve all been on? Yes, they like you, but what do you do about it? Cue: social media!

The point of social media can be confusing. But, for your nonprofit, focus on using it for:

  • Disseminating information about your causes and the organization.
  • Building community and engaging with different stakeholders.
  • Mobilizing actions like donations and volunteer work.


Social media is the perfect platform for getting your information out there! If your community follows you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., then they will see it. It’s less invasive than an email, plus you can send more than one without being too overbearing. By doing this, you are inadvertently building your community. Now you have to direct your posts toward stakeholders. Do this by creating a strong call to action that will communicate your cause to them. Social media is great for actions, too. Asking for donations and volunteers is easy because it’s so widespread. You’re reaching people you’ve never met without doing a lot of heavy lifting!

Not sure you believe how easy it is? Don’t worry! You’ll get the hang of it. And when you do, post on social media and tag us with what you’ve learned in the podcast. Use the hashtag #nphubpodcastlearning to see what others are saying and start building your community!

You can subscribe to the Hubcast on iTunes and Soundcloud to make sure you don’t miss out on our latest podcast.

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How to Use Communication to Engage With Your Constituency

Communication is key. You’ve heard it before, and you’re surely going to hear it again. And while it may be glaringly obvious and overused, there’s a reason you’ve heard that didactic little phrase from every teacher, manager or counselor you’ve ever had. Communication is undeniably important. It isn’t just a keyit’s the master key. It unlocks every door, behind which are donor and staff retention, increased fundraising, engaged volunteers and so much more. Let’s get our hands on that key.

Treat your donors and volunteers like customers

If you talk to any for-profit business leader, they’ll likely tell you customer service is a top priority, if not the top priority, for their business. This line of thinking should not be exclusive to for-profit business models. Nonprofits have customers, too, and it’s important that we keep them satisfied. The customers of your nonprofit are your constituents: your donors, your volunteers and anyone else directly affected by your work. They’re all buying into your mission, or, in business terms, your product. So keep your constituents happy by creating open lines of communication. Check up on them, and let them know you’re always available to talk or answer questions. Unhappy customers will take their business elsewhere. Philanthropists won’t stop giving; they’ll just find somewhere else to give. It’s up to you to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Don’t be condescending

We’ve all been treated like a Kindergartener in conversation, and it isn’t fun. More often than not, we don’t intend to be rude or condescending. We’re so caught up in doing what we love that we forget to meet people where they’re at. Don’t assume that someone knows all about your organization, even if they’re a donor or volunteer.

If you’re interacting with someone who knows nothing about your work, try putting yourself in their shoes. How would you want to be talked to if you were learning about an organization for the first time? Try to put your organization’s work in simple and relatable terms. Don’t use any confusing jargon or insider language used by you and your staff. Assume they know nothing, and go from there. Remember: it’s better to climb from the ground than fall from the ladder.

Create an elevator pitch

Your constituents include potential donors and volunteers, too. And while a lot of them may hear about your organization through your website or fundraising campaigns, it’s imperative that you’re able to verbally communicate your mission. Enter: the elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a 30-60 second spiel which succinctly captures your organization’s purpose. Be specific, be confident, and, most importantly, be quick—after all, the average adult attention span is about eight seconds.

The best elevator pitches are easy to memorize and recite. It’s important not to sound robotic, but if every member of your organization has a stellar elevator pitch, word of mouth will be your best friend. Plus, if someone is particularly impressed by your elevator pitch, they’re more likely to share it with their peers. It’s like nonprofit gossip, which is, of course, the best kind of gossip.

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of your organization and forget the importance of communication. Just take a step back and imagine you’re on the outside looking in. Communicate clearly, succinctly and with humility. Remember that the customer (your donors and volunteers) is always right. Communication is key, and if you remember these helpful tips, just imagine all the doors you can open.

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