November 14, 2018

Unlock a Giving Tuesday donation match

Giving Tuesday is the biggest single giving day of the year. And this year, Facebook is running a match campaign for US-based nonprofit organizations that has the potential to level the playing field for small nonprofits – to the tune of $7 million. Here’s how you can get your slice of that donor match pie.

Register as a nonprofit organization on Facebook

First, you should make sure that you are set up as a nonprofit organization with Facebook. It will take time for Facebook to verify your legitimacy, and they’re likely to get an influx of applications the week before Giving Tuesday, so don’t delay.

For example, here’s the setup page for an organization I work with, the Friends of the Multnomah County Library.

Facebook page setup

Deputize your donors

Facebook’s rules on matching stipulates that there is a maximum of $250,000 per nonprofit and $20,000 per donor. With competition for a share of the $7 million matching pot, you need to get in quick on Giving Tuesday – and that means increasing your number of donors.

A good strategy is to find deputies who are supportive of your cause to create fundraiser buttons. This works a lot like other crowdraising strategies, helping you reach not only your existing donors but their friends and connections.

Help them raise funds on your behalf

Start reaching out to potential deputies early with information on your campaign, how the platform works and what you need from them. Send them stories and impact data that they can reshare with their networks to help them see the importance of donating to your cause. Use your existing donors to seed your list of who to recruit.

Once you have your deputies in place, it is important that you communicate with them how this works and what their expectations are. At minimum, you should send them this article. You also may want to send them some Facebook resources and volunteer instructions that are unique to this task.

Make it a competition

I recently attended a gala for L&LS Man and Woman of the year. It was the final event of several weeks of fundraising initiatives, each participant being a member of a team that was trying to raise more than the others. And every team had a team leader who was in the running for the top prize. The event was not only an awards ceremony but an auction that served as a last-ditch effort for a team to pull ahead. By building this competition, hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised in the Portland area alone.

This is a rather grand example, but if you’ve ever been involved in a fundraising penny war, you’ll realize it’s the same basic principle. Even if you can’t afford to do something as big as L&LS, you can learn from them and apply it to this fundraising event. Make your own competition to encourage people to donate that has rules and prizes that speak to what your organization is about. Giving a prize that is relevant to what your organization does will be a more personal touch in reaching your deputies and remind people of why they’re advocates of what you do.

The early bird gets the $7m worm

Not only should you get the jump in getting verified by Facebook, recruiting and training deputies, you should be timely in the donation ask. The hungry, hungry hippos race for those seven million matching dollars begins at 8am ET. That’s 5am on the west coast. So you have to get rolling on this bright and early in the morning. Reach out to donors beforehand to encourage them to make a donation first thing in the morning on Giving Tuesday.

Get started right now to unlock your Giving Tuesday match.

Michael Rasko
Michael Rasko is a nonprofit marketing consultant who specializes in Google Grants. He has been a volunteer, board member, and employee at nonprofits. He is currently on the board of Friends of the Multnomah County Library. Immediately prior to starting his own company, he worked at a law firm, specializing in digital marketing.