By Rebekah Josefy, Director of Implementation

With just under 100 days to go, you’re probably starting to feel the pressure to get a head start on your Giving Tuesday strategy and preparing to start checking off action items from your task list. 

You’re writing your appeals, you’re recruiting social media ambassadors, and working on securing a matching gift! You’re feeling good about it. You’re doing great so far. And I applaud you! (Honestly, I hope you have the ‘extra delight’ hack turned on in Asana and have magic unicorns zooming across your screen to help you successfully and sufficiently celebrate every step.)

But, in the midst of all the productivity and organized chaos - have you paused to consider where you’re actually sending your donors - both by mail and digitally? Before you check that next item off the to do list or approve your final edits to be sent to the printer, I have a few questions to propose.

1.) Where are your links pointing? (Go take a look. I’ll wait!)

What I mean is: do your printed, direct mail appeals just include a link to your organization’s home page? (i.e. What about your emails and text messages? And all of those cleverly crafted social media posts...are they all linked back to a generic giving page? ( If so, I’d encourage you to start over and move backwards, which may feel somewhat non-intuitive. However, before you begin working on the traffic lights, you need to have a road built. 

Start with your donation page. This will pave the way for the remainder of your messages that direct people where to go. You can have the most robust digital marketing strategy, but if you’re leading your donors to a clunky and generic giving form that doesn’t match the rest of your communications, you’re setting yourself up for low conversion rates and setting your donors up for confusion and frustration. Poor street construction interrupts momentum and can lead to traffic jams and accidents - or could even cause someone to take a different route entirely. Instead, you want to send your potential donors to an instant donation page that mirrors the same messaging that inspired the donor to give in the first place! This creates a smooth path and a seamless experience for anyone driving your way.

2) How many clicks does it take to make a gift on your website? (Really, go try it!)

Follow-up questions: Can you complete a gift in 30 seconds or less? How many steps are involved in the process? Are you requiring potential donors to create a log-in? Are you asking for extraneous contact information or requiring donors to complete fields that are unnecessary? 

It’s time to remove all friction. Minimize the number of clicks it takes to get to your digital fundraising page. Better yet, embed your online giving form directly on your Giving Tuesday page, or even on your homepage, instead of sending your donors to a third-party website to complete the transaction. Not sure where to start? We can help.

3) Is your online donation form mobile-friendly? (Pull out your phone and check!) reported 29% of all online donations were made through a mobile device on Giving Tuesday in 2018. Make sure you are catering to mobile giving in order to not lose out on these gifts. 

And, if you only have ONE donation page, it’s time to add a few more items to your plate. I know you have less than 100 days to get everything done and it feels impossible - but, trust me, this is a valuable key step in the process. Build each component of your campaign a separate donation page. Not only will you create synergy in your communications to your donors, but this way, you’ll also be able to track which emails, which tweets, and which stories brought in the most support and had the highest conversion rates. These communication channels are the traffic lights that lead people down your road, and you need to know where they’re coming from.

Bonus homework: What about your receipts? Do they specifically thank the donor for making a gift towards your Giving Tuesday campaign and reiterate your goals and the impact of their support? Or are you sending them a generic receipt? Customize. Everything. 

If you have any questions, need help with your Giving Tuesday efforts, or just want to connect, email Rebekah at


Rebekah Josefy, Director of Implementation at Custom Donations, specializes in strategy and execution of digital fundraising efforts for higher ed and non-profit organizations. Rebekah is passionate about using technology to support the great work that fundraisers are doing, and help them continue to raise funds more efficiently and effectively. Rebekah acts as the liaison to unite fundraising practitioners and technology solutions. 

Custom Donations allows higher ed and non-profit organizations to easily and securely accept donation payments directly through forms embedded on their own websites. We offer the ability to completely customize our mobile-friendly forms to successfully optimize any organization's fundraising efforts through recurring gifts, one-time gifts, directed giving, sponsorships and more, while fully using their own organization’s branding.