There is no denying it – Giving Days have become a fundraising trend. It’s a unique opportunity for your organization to engage your donors, supporters, and volunteers…and raise some money!
What is a Giving Day?
Giving Days are short, usually 24-hour, intense online fundraising campaigns built to drive excitement and engage community members to rally around a common cause. These can be used as a great tactic to acquire and steward new donors, reactivate lapsed donors, and retain annual donors. A successful Giving Day takes the right planning, people, and technology.
The original and most famous Giving Day is #GivingTuesday and has since been embraced by nonprofits and higher education institutions to run their own campaigns. In 2019, $511m was donated on Giving Tuesday and the average gift was $105.
7 Tips to Have a Successful Giving Day
Successful Giving Days need foolproof strategies to help you surpass your goals. This is not just a one-day event and it can be quite stressful. There is a lot of planning that goes into the Giving Day. However, you can and will execute a great Giving Day to propel your fundraising forward with the right tools and resources.
To help you get the most out of your Giving Day, here are seven tips to help you maximize your donations and exceed your fundraising goals.Giving Days are a unique opportunity for your organization to engage your donors, supporters, and volunteers...and raise some money! It takes the right planning, people and technology to make it a success. Click To Tweet
Set a Realistic Goal
Start planning early. Setting a goal will not only help your organization measure success but will also help you raise more. I would set two goals, an attainable goal and a reach goal – then go for your reach goal! These goals can include total dollar amount, number of people who donate, average gift size, or number of people who engage with your social media posts. Whatever it may be, make sure you know what you want to measure.
Publicize this goal to your donors and audience. You can even include a progress bar on your donation page to track how close you are to your goal in real-time. Some people like to wait until the end to make a meaningful gift or have the last gift.
Get Active On Social Media
Most Giving Days are highly visible online. Giving Days are a great way to get your organization in front of new eyes. Use social media to boost your campaign, solicit donations, and acknowledge your donors.
Let your donors know about the Giving Day ahead of time. Create a social media and email schedule leading up to the event to encourage your donors to give and allow them to share with their network of friends and colleagues. Start posting 2-3 weeks before the Giving Day. Post regularly and often to get the excitement about the Giving Day.
Create a hashtag if there isn’t already one created. For example, Giving Tuesday Now has the hashtag #GivingTuesdayNow which will be trending throughout the big day. Get creative. Use stories, Facebook Live, pictures and more to attract people to your social media accounts. You can easily create branded social media graphics in Canva.
Create a social media toolkit to give to your staff, board members, volunteers, and key donors. They can share why they care about your mission with their network of friends and followers. Also, make sure there is an easy way to give once people land on your donation page. If you haven’t already, create a donate button on your Facebook page that leads directly to your Giving Day donation page.
Maximize Your Online Donation Platform
Not all donation platforms or pages are created equal. Branding for your Giving Day matters. Donors are more likely to give on a branded donation page versus an unbranded PayPal page. Set up a campaign page that is dedicated to your Giving Day. Make sure your Giving Day is responsive and easy to donate on mobile, tablet, or desktop. This is by no way a promotion but some donation platforms include Classy, GiveGab, Funraise, or Kimbia.
You must craft a compelling story of why donors should choose your organization. When you craft a story that pulls at the heartstrings, it is more likely that visitors to your campaign will invest emotionally and want to learn more. Text, images, and videos are a great way to capture a potential donor’s attention. Remember that donors are more likely to resonate with the story of an individual rather than a larger group.
Impact tied to a dollar amount will help garner support as well and will help raise more money for your mission. To motivate your donors to give, show them what their donation can achieve through specific examples. For example, if you are a homeless shelter, how much does it cost to provide one night or one month of shelter? If you serve kids, how much does it cost to provide a laptop and wifi so they can study at home? Could $50 provide books and school supplies for a student in your literacy program?
While your narrative can live on your donation page, you should weave the story into the whole donor’s giving experience. You will make it easier for your donors to relate to your mission and how they can make a difference. This clarity incites action and helps you raise more money for your mission.
Lastly, I would also suggest checking the transaction fees for the donation platform. Donors can be turned off by a high transaction fee because they want their donation to go directly to the nonprofit. If that is the case, does your platform have the opportunity to upload offline donations that will count towards your total Giving Day goal?
Leverage Peer-to-Peer Fundraisers
Drive engagement for your Giving Day through peer-to-peer fundraisers. People give to people, not organizations, which is why peer-to-peer fundraisers are an effective way to gain support on your Giving Day. Pay special attention to your peer-to-peer fundraisers. Be sure to equip them for success. Distributing a toolkit of various resources will help them be able to promote throughout the campaign. Provide written instructions, ideas for messaging, and images to help them build their fundraiser profile and share with their network of friends. A campaign timeline with key dates will help keep them on track with their asks. Simplified email, social media, and text templates are helpful to help fundraisers craft and personalize their asks. The more resources you provide your fundraisers the more return you will get.
Share, share, and share some more! Broaden your fundraising reach by sharing as much as possible online. Utilize and encourage your personal contacts and social media network to also share your posts. As mentioned above, make sure you and your fundraisers are actively posting about your Giving Day online. Also, encourage your Board of Directors, staff, and committees to do the same.
Secure A Matching Gift
Most Giving Days are highly visible online so this is a great way to reach out to companies to support through a matching gift. Companies love when you give them an opportunity to expand their audience and increase their brand identity within a community. Securing a matching gift can help amplify your overall giving. Plus, a matching gift will help your donors and potential donors get excited because their donations will be doubled – meaning their dollar will go even further towards helping you achieve your mission.
Thank Your Donors
This is one of the most important parts of your Giving Day – thank your donors. People like to be thanked. Thank them throughout the day. After the Giving Day is over start a thank-a-thon where you call to thank your donors as well as write handwritten thank you notes. You can also get a video with your ED or one of the people you serve to thank your donors in a more personal way. Whatever you do send a thank you that shows your gratitude. Stewarding your donors keeps them passionate about your mission and more likely to give again in the future.
Cheers to a successful Giving Day campaign! If you have any shared best practices, please comment below.