Charities used donor-centric messaging on #GivingTuesday to appeal to millennials' desire to effect change, and campaigns that incorporated both grassroots and digital efforts proved to be the most successful, a report from strategy consultancy Achieve finds.
Based on data from and interviews with nine nonprofits — three university foundations, a community foundation, and organizations working in the areas of education, health, public media, and nonprofit infrastructure — conducted before and after this year's day-long event, the report, GivingTuesday 2015: Attracting Millennial Donors (47 pages, PDF), found that key strategies employed successfully included matching funds to encourage giving (six organizations); starting planning sessions early in the year; and targeting millennial donors via social media.
In terms of messaging, some organizations appealed to potential donors' emotions — "Today's Superhero: You" — or their social networks: "I just made a gift to make a wish list come true! Will you join me?" Others crafted their #GivingTuesday messages to include a focus on their organization's work, using hashtags such as #GiveAMentor or #GiveKidsKesem, while Rutgers University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill promoted the event as #RUGivingDay and #TarHeelTuesday without reference to #GivingTuesday.
While all nine organizations promoted their participation in the event via website, email, and social media, the study found that some also utilized offline events and/or efforts such as community engagement, education, ambassador recruitment, and peer-to-peer contact. Looking ahead to next year's event, the report recommends planning early and thinking strategically; engaging, not just soliciting, potential donors; and thinking beyond digital to include grassroots efforts.