What’s more, it’ll hit people at the end of a year where inflation has dented family budgets, the Supreme Court decision on abortion has heavily impacted the landscape of political and issue fundraising, and progressive donors are voicing overall fatigue with the drumbeat of grassroots appeals, period. So what to do?
Here are some ways to tell a story that cuts through the commotion, that softens the impact of these competing needs on your supporters, and that makes giving to you feel like a real investment, not a one-day shakedown.
For example, your campaign for better internet infrastructure across the country may seem to pale in the face of the erosion of reproductive rights. But what is one of the most powerful ways for folks in rural and red areas to reclaim their power and get the information they need to exercise their autonomy? Online. If you have a five-year strategic plan to empower Black women in professional settings, well, that’s a reproductive equity issue too. Abortion is just the example here, but no issue exists in a silo. Whatever’s driving the headlines is interconnected in at least some ways with your issue, so be sure to connect the dots for your supporters.
Grassroots supporters are students, seniors, parents and professionals, working class and retired. Between the pandemic and inflation, folks may not have a lot to give. Take special care to reassure that a gift of even $1 is enough and deeply appreciated. That said, don’t forget to offer the option for a recurring donation if folks feel up to it.
We always advise our candidates to call supporters to say thank you, taking a photo or video of the conversation, and sharing it with their email list or social media followers. Knowing that other people like you are donating to a cause can be more motivating than simply feeling like part of a faceless team. That includes the folks who’ve given you $1.
Every day should be a Giving Day, not just the last Tuesday in November. Tell the story of why. If you work in reproductive justice, this fight is for women and pregnant people now and in the future, for the health of our society 100 years from now. If you work in education, your mission also impacts the next generation. Our Giving Tuesday work with an Indigenous organization in Canada touched on the atrocities of the past and the importance of investing in future healing. When someone gives to you, they shouldn’t feel shaken down for that one day. They should feel like they are investing in the long term.
No, really. Sit it out and instead, send messages beforehand letting your supporters know you’re going to spare their inboxes the day of, but that your mission endures every day — making every day a terrific day to give. You can always supplement with a day-of message if you want to cover your bases.