As holiday magic slowly enters the air, you may notice the general public is in a, well, lighter mood. That can only mean one thing – the season of giving is upon us!  As a theatre, there are ways to leverage that contagious holiday cheer to strengthen your organization, both financially and as a brand. 

What Is Giving Tuesday? 

With Giving Tuesday on the horizon (Nov. 28), now is the time to start planning your fundraising and marketing strategies to reach the best possible results. What began in 2012 as a single day dedicated to promoting acts of kindness, has since evolved into a year-round movement that inspires millions to share, work together, and thrive in the spirit of giving. It serves as a powerful reminder of the spirit of generosity and charity during the holiday season. Learn more about the movement here!

5 Tips to Leverage the Season of Giving 

Employ Holiday-Specific Digital Marketing Strategies 

Your theatre isn’t the only one looking for donations around this time of year, so make sure your strategies on social media and other digital platforms are compelling, concise, and specific. After all, social media should be your absolute best friend during any marketing and fundraising campaigns. A few ways to utilize digital marketing strategies on your socials include:

Empowering others to raise the money for you – Bring in local influencers, other creatives, and like-minded individuals to help raise money for your cause. By broadening the scope of people talking about your fundraiser, you’re sure to get more donors than ever. Encourage peer-to-peer fundraising, crowdfunding, and other fun competitions. 

Make your appeals specific – Year-end fundraising is incredibly common, and in an oversaturated market, you need to stand out. Let your donors know exactly the kind of things you’ll be using their donations for. Giving a specific motivation for donation makes things feel more urgent, personalized, and important. 

All in all, it’s important to leverage social media as a resource to keep your supporters engaged throughout the campaign. 

Participate in Giving Tuesday Yourself

One way to put your money where your mouth is? Participating in Giving Tuesday or making donations yourself will surely inspire others to donate to your cause.

And while you may be limited on resources, remember that Giving Tuesday isn’t just about financial donations. Consider spending the day volunteering with a local nonprofit or providing in-kind donations to other theatres.

Additionally, you can spend time on Giving Tuesday celebrating your donors. Why not take the day to recognize those who support your mission – like donors, volunteers, sponsors, grantees, and vendors? Show off their work and make them feel appreciated!

Optimize Your Donations Page

Now is the time to make sure your donation page on your theatre or show site is operating at its maximum potential. Optimizing your donation page is an essential part of your fundraising efforts, as most people prefer to give digitally. Your online page should, therefore, streamline the giving process for your supporters to enhance the experience. 

A few rookie mistakes to avoid on your donations page are:

  • Too many questions on the donation form; keep it short and sweet
  • Too many hoops to jump through when accessing the form; it should be the first thing patrons see when they get onto your website 
  • A slow loading time – Make sure your website cache is clear and ready to handle an uptick in traffic
  • Excessive use of images or text – Don’t overwhelm donors with a variety of images, GIFs, or lengthy pleas/appeals
  • Lack of a mobile-optimized donation page – Let’s be honest, most people will be donating from their cell phones if they’re on the go. Make sure your donations page is optimized for both desktop and mobile
  • Lack of confirmation – Once people donate, they should immediately get an automated, well-crafted confirmation email 

Utilize Gift Matching

Gift matching is an excellent incentive for other businesses, sponsors, and community partners to get involved with your fundraiser. 

Essentially, when a company promises a matching gift, they’ll provide an additional donation to the organization their patron/employee/colleague has donated to at a predetermined ratio. (Usually 1:1). In this case, your business sponsors and community partners can provide matching gifts to your theatre and encourage their patrons to donate to you, as well. 

Spreading the word about matching gifts and encouraging donors to up their numbers during Giving Tuesday can drastically increase your revenue. And don’t forget that large sites like Facebook and Paypal often have matching campaigns on Giving Tuesday. In the past, they’ve matched up to $7 million USD of Giving Tuesday donations. Harness that power! 

Make It A Challenge

A fundraising challenge can be just what you need to give your theatre an extra boost of publicity, while also bringing the community together. By challenging your patrons and donors with an achievable goal, they will feel more motivated to raise money and make a difference. 

Some fun challenge ideas include:

  • Sporting events, like cycling, running, swimming or walking 
  • Polar plunges
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Social media challenges; after all, the ice bucket challenge brought in millions of dollars in its first 30 days alone!

How On The Stage Can Help

If you feel like you haven’t yet hit your end-of-year projects for fundraising, it’s not too late to get there. Remember, last-minute fundraising efforts are better than no efforts at all, and On The Stage has the perfect guide to help. 

Guide to Last-Minute Fundraising

On The Stage’s Guide to Last-Minute Fundraising is designed to set the stage for fundraising success, whether you’re planning an event for next month, next week, or tomorrow. 

In the guide, you’ll find:

  • An in-depth look at fundraising strategies
  • Creative strategies to expand your reach
  • Best practices for events and campaigns
  • And more!

On The Stage Fundraising Suite

And if you’re looking for an even more comprehensive answer to your fundraising woes, OTS’ Fundraising Suite is an all-in-one solution for your theatre. With the suite, you’ll be able to take control of your theatre’s financial destiny. Here are some things you can do:

  • Launch campaigns
  • Track one-time and ongoing donations
  • Manage and grow donors
  • Access reports
  • Increase self-funding 
  • Foster a sense of community 
  • Set goals and track progress with easily accessible dashboards and reports

Equipped with a fundraising suite that does it all, the only limit is your imagination. If you’d like to learn more about On The Stage and how it can help elevate your theatre, book a personalized demo today.

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