Omnichannel Engagement on Your Giving Day
Vice President of Research
December 2, 2019
In previous posts we have discussed the importance of giving day, the keys to a great giving day, and what we learned from running our first RNL-sponsored giving day at the RNL National Conference. This last post in our series covers omnichannel engagement on your giving day and the recommended tools that you should be using on your big day.
The Importance of a Great Giving Day Platform
Your giving day platform plays a huge role in the success of a giving day. It impacts how you amplify your message, how donors react and give, and how you track your results. However, we find that institutions that don’t choose a platform that truly embraces the purpose of a giving day inevitably underperform and don’t live up to their real potential.
There are plenty of platforms out there that really embrace the importance of giving day and do a great job of showing off their special day. However, there are just as many that don’t do a great job of highlighting the importance of the event.
This is why we have designed the RNL Giving Day platform to provide all the tools necessary to promote, amplify, and manage your giving day. Our campus partners experience improvements in their results when they move from a single page or crowdfunding project approach to our sophisticated, donor-friendly solution. You are investing a lot of time and money on your giving day, it’s important that you don’t just choose a solution because they are the most budget friendly because you’ll likely receive results that reflect your investment.
Giving Day Omnichannel Engagement: Key Channels
Texting: Engage and warm your audience
One of the most effective and most popular new additions to giving day is the texting channel. There are many text use cases on the market today, but RNL has found that the peer-to-peer mode of communication is much more effective and efficient than a text to give.
Think about what we spoke about above in regards to the purpose of giving and how you are going to drive participation. You’re not going to accomplish that goal by sending a boring text that is 100% focused on asking for money. Here’s the cadence we have seen work well:
1. Send a warming message that is focused on engagement and the purpose of your giving day sent a few weeks before the start of your giving day.
2. The second message should be on the day of giving, reminding your donor base where they can find the giving day page and why they should make a gift.
We’ve seen a lot of success with this method from both a response rate perspective (17% response rate at a large public school) and very few unsubscribes. In fact, one school only had 13 people unsubscribe from the texting channel while sending nearly 20,000 messages throughout the two-week process. Your donors want to be texted and want you to communicate with them this way, which is why we would highly recommend you add this channel to your mix this upcoming year.
Digital Engagement: Building awareness and engagement through social media and digital ads
Social media and digital ads should be a huge part of your giving day plans. Utilizing retargeting ads on your giving day pages, targeted banner ads for donors who are going to be engaged with your giving day, and geo-fencing your community during the big day are great ways to ensure you have a great digital reach.
As we mentioned above, having a strong ambassador program is key to your social outreach and making sure the larger community is aware of what is going on and what they should be getting involved in. Also, feel free to share all of that engaging content that you created across your social channels. Make sure DOD’s and campus leadership are sharing project pages and challenges that are relevant to them and their networks. This will help potential donors find the areas they are interested in and increase the likelihood of making a donation.
Phone & Student Engagement Staff: Making personal connections that lead to gifts
The phone channel is really important during the day of giving. Not only should you be calling from dawn until dusk attempting to raise money but you should also use your student staff for other ways as well. Calling to thank donors, writing thank you cards, creating videos to post on social media, etc. There are so many ways to put this group to work outside of calling for donations, which you should be doing without question. If you have the right platform you should be able to upload all of these donations into your giving day to make sure your donors who make a gift through the phone aren’t missing out on the action.
Email and Mail: Creative uses for traditional channels
Communication through these channels is still vital but think outside the box. You shouldn’t be providing your donors with the same old boring content. Think about utilizing postcards, handwritten notes, and really cool print promotional pieces that explain and promote your giving day.
You can accomplish the same thing by utilizing some of that engaging content via email. We’ve always found that emails that include video increase opens and click through rates so utilize that content that you spent so much time creating to drive donor traffic and engagement.
Talk to RNL About Giving Day Omnichannel Engagement
RNL believes in a true omnichannel effort in your yearly fundraising plan and we believe in doing so on giving day as well. If you’d like to learn more about how RNL can provide a true omnichannel effort on your giving day, talk with our fundraising experts to discuss strategies and solutions.