How to Use a Drip Campaign to Steward #GivingTuesday Donors

Wisely | How to Use a Drip Campaign to Steward #GivingTuesday Donors
Wisely | How to Use a Drip Campaign to Steward #GivingTuesday Donors

…. and secure a second gift! 

It is a perfect time for nonprofits to go the extra mile for their new #GivingTuesday donors and work towards building a meaningful relationship. Last week we went over some ways to cultivate a relationship with new mid-level donors from Giving Tuesday. 

Our topic this week is an interesting strategy to steward #GivingTuesday donors and secure a second gift almost right away! It’s a wild idea, but it works. At year-end when people are celebrating the holidays, donors are filled with feelings of gratitude and generosity. 

You can use an email drip campaign to thank your #GivingTuesday donors for their gift and lean into their generosity at this time of year. 

What is a Drip Campaign?

An email drip campaign is a series of emails that are automatically deployed when a person completes a certain action, or trigger. In this case the trigger is making a donation to your Giving Tuesday campaign. 

This email series is typically between three and five emails that are sent over the course of a few weeks following the action. The goal of the email series is to further engage the audience so they are more likely to take another action in the future like make another purchase, or of nonprofits another donation. 

In the case of Giving Tuesday, the objective of this drip campaign is stewardship leading towards a second gift ask. But your nonprofit can use drip campaigns for many purposes like welcoming new donors or funneling new email subscribers to a donation ask. 

Setting up a Drip Campaign for new #GivingTuesday Donors

Set up your trigger 

If your donation platform and email platform are connected, you should be able to do this fairly easily. If you don’t have a connection set up yet between your donation platform and email marketing system you can use a connector like omatic or zapier to set one up. 

Once your email marketing platform is able to “see” when a Giving Tuesday donation comes in and start the drip campaign your email series is ready to go!

Make sure that during the drip campaign your #GivingTuesday donors are not receiving any other email communications from your nonprofit. If they are then they could be receiving too many emails or getting conflicting messages that would take away from your chance of securing a second gift. 

Tip: If you don’t have the technical requirements to set up an automatic trigger, just upload a list of Giving Tuesday donors after the campaign has ended. The downside is you won’t be able to send your email series immediately following a donation, but sending the series a bit later is better than not sending one at all! 

What to say in your email

When you write your #GivingTuesday stewardship drip campaign it’s important to keep your objectives in mind! Firstly, you want to thank and steward your donors, show them the impact of their donation, and future donations. And you’ll be well positioned to set up your donation ask when the time comes. 

  • The first email should be all about stewardship and saying thank you
  • Use different signatories for each email, introduce your senior staff members by sending the drip campaign emails on their behalf
  • Go into detail about your mission and impact, new donors who were attracted by Giving Tuesday may not know that much about your nonprofit Include emotional stories to show the importance of donations and emotionally connect your Giving Tuesday donors to your mission

Why Steward #GivingTuesday Donors with a Drip Campaign

The primary objective for this drip campaign is stewardship, saying thank you and showcasing your nonprofits impact is key in securing a second gift. Using an email series for this allows you to accomplish many small objectives within this larger stewardship strategy. 

  • Say thank you and reinforce that giving to your nonprofit was a good idea
  • Provide more information about your mission to show impact and build a relationship
  • Introduce key staff members like your CEO, Chief Development Officer and key programming staff who are doing the on the ground work
  • Secure a second gift before the end of the year

You can only accomplish so much with one thank you email or thank you letter, but as you can see, when you send an email series instead you can tell your new donors more about your mission over time and build a stronger relationship. 

Positioning for a second gift ask

Once you have finished stewarding your Giving Tuesday donors and cultivating a relationship by showcasing your impact it is time to make your ask.  Position your donation ask towards the end of the email series. Doesn’t necessarily have to be in the last email. 

If the donation ask is in your second last email, it leaves the last email open to some other ways donors can get involved in your nonprofit like volunteering or peer-to-peer fundraising. That way anyone who wasn’t ready to make a second gift gets an opportunity to get more involved in the mission and then think about donating again. 

Don’t forget that this audience has just made a donation for Giving Tuesday a few weeks before receiving this email –  make sure you acknowledge again how generous they have already been! 

At year end, with the tax deadline is approaching you can use the incentive of receiving a receipt for tax deductions to help motivate donors to make a second gift.  Include tax incentives alongside impact and mission driven messaging in your email body. 

Email drip campaigns are a powerful tool for your nonprofit to optimize your donors communications and stewardship. Once you have the hang of it you can set up multiple automated email journeys to cultivate donor relationships. Stronger relationships equal more revenue to support your mission!


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