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A Better Giving Tuesday, Part 3 - Think In Segments

Jennifer Mulholland & Jeff Shuck
October 20, 2020

In part three of our six-part fall fundraising series, we want to dive further into one of the most fascinating – and potentially destructive – dynamics to emerge over the past year: the gap in wealth that continues to grow. 

At a time when millions of people are unemployed, Bloomberg recently reported that the wealthiest people in the country actually got wealthier during the pandemic! This obviously has significant negative ramifications for our country and our future, let alone your Giving Tuesday campaign – but for today, we want to focus on how you navigate this disparity in your end-of-year campaign planning. 

In other words, what worked last year isn’t going to work anymore. 

Challenge 3:
Some of our donors have seen their wealth grow, while others have lost their jobs and their ability to give. How do we balance asking for help from the wealthy with being sensitive to the struggles of others?

Recommendation:
Think In Segments

The Details:
More than ever, it is critical to ask in segments, both to increase your fundraising effectiveness and to show your donors the consideration and care they deserve.

One place is start is to think in terms of "inside-out." In other words, start with your most engaged supporters and important donors. Who has increased their support for you over 2020? Speak to them directly and really listen to what matters to them.

From there, create other segments of supporters who have continue to give time and talent in lieu of treasure, supporters who have been loyal in the past but can't support you this year, and so forth. Note that this work may require you to get a lot more granular in your segmentation than you have in the past.

First Steps:

  1. Make a basic segmentation by donation level and by frequency. At the very least, craft different asks for different types of donor capacity.
  2. If you have the data, it is also very effective to segment supporters by what they value. For example, if some of your supporters are interested in research while others are interested in ongoing care, create two different campaigns for each mission area.
  3. Be ready to revisit your segmentation throughout the campaign and adjust accordingly. 

To sum it up: not all of your donors are the same, so your solicitations shouldn't be the same either. While it is more work in the short-term, in the long-term it will pay you back both financially and emotionally. Your donors will appreciate the extra care you took to speak to them more personally. 

In tomorrow's post, we'll look at whether this fall is the time to ask at all! Perhaps you might be better with a "Gratitude Tuesday" this year instead of a Giving Tuesday...

Until then, to read all of our observations and recommendations, we invite you to download our free guide to Giving Tuesday and year-end fundraising. More to come tomorrow!

Polaris Fall 2020 Campaign Download Cover

Times are tough. Fundraising doesn't have to be. 

Let us help you navigate your way to better results with Polaris, our service to help your plan a better, more effective Giving Tuesday and year-end campaign.

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