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If your nonprofit is like most modern charitable organizations, you’ve probably started thinking about taking advantage of a dedicated Giving Day in the upcoming year. Giving Days are a rising way to engage new donors, give your charity a jolt of excitement, and increase donations.
Giving Days allow nonprofits to reach brand new donors (and keep them engaged) through means like social and Peer-to-Peer Fundraising, which are fast becoming methods that nonprofits rely on to attract new supporters.
This nonprofit guide will explore everything you need to know about planning and executing a successful giving day. We’ll answer some of your top questions, including:
While Giving Days have always been an important part of nonprofit fundraising strategy, they’ve become especially popular in recent years thanks to social media and social networks. Giving Days are dedicated days that bring together fundraising, supporter engagement, social networks, and awareness to create a highly targeted, multi-channel campaign.
Giving Days are popular with schools and alumni associations, traditional charities, and even larger nonprofit groups. Giving Days are virtual, and since they often don’t have events or physical activities associated with them, nonprofits of any industry and size can easily add them to their fundraising calendar!
One of the most well-known Giving Days is #GivingTuesday, which happens right after Thanksgiving and engages people around the world to give back to charity.
The formula for Giving Days’ success is their time-sensitive nature. Donors have one day – just 24 hours of giving – to support your cause and reach goals. This time-boxed theme creates urgency, excitement, and can provide a jolt of adrenaline to any campaign.
Many charities use Giving Days as a chance to showcase personal donor testimonials about what connects people personally to a cause or to share stories about the impact that has been made, thanks to the generous support and contributions from donors. Nonprofits can even run contests, giveaways, and other two-way engagement campaigns to draw in support and create competitive giving opportunities!
Giving Days are also a great way to raise awareness and attract new supporters to a cause. With the right planning, marketing, and social campaigns, Giving Days can catch on quickly and even go viral.
Giving Days have become even more powerful with the involvement of social media and the evolution of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising campaigns. These campaigns rely on donor networks and social sharing to spread the word and motivate individuals to get involved with a cause through the use of hashtags, personal testimonials, microsites, and more!
In order for a Giving Day to be truly successful, supporters and donors need to know that it is happening. This requires serious planning and a clearly defined fundraising strategy. Here is your comprehensive checklist to planning and executing a successful Giving Day campaign:
It’s important to choose a Giving Day that holds special meaning or value to your cause. Many philanthropic causes have dedicated awareness months or days (such as Breast Cancer Awareness Month or World Mental Health Day).
If there isn’t a day on the calendar that fits with your mission – pick one! Anniversaries, special dates for your cause, historical days, you name it. Do quick online research to see if any other local charities or groups are also hosting a Giving Day, or if there is a larger awareness movement you can join.
How are you going to connect with your supporters? How will you drive new donations? These are important questions to ask as they make sure you have tactics in place to both attract and capture your Giving Day donations.
If you’re going to run a Peer-to-Peer campaign as part of your Giving Day, you have to create the right content and information to ensure things run smoothly:
Because Giving Days are focused 24-hour periods of fundraising, having a good marketing and communication strategy in place is key. You want to be able to take advantage of every second of the day. Here are a few things to think through as you begin planning:
Once your plan is in place, contact your most loyal supporters to have them help spread the word or set up Peer-to-Peer donation pages. Make sure that all critical information is clearly outlined on your website and online donation page. Set up any online tools you’ll use on the day and test them out to make sure everything is working. Test them through the eyes of your donors and supporters to make sure the giving experience is easy and intuitive.
Finally, work with local media outlets to schedule press releases and advertising and make sure your Ambassadors and influencers have everything they need to help spread the word and promote the campaign to their networks!
Nonprofits can choose to host fundraising events to coincide with Giving Days as a way to thank donors and create even more excitement and momentum.
On the actual Giving Day, kick things off with a big social media push across all channels. Don’t be shy about over-communicating! Include your Giving Day hashtag in all posts, and ask your followers to share with their networks. Additionally, it’s a good idea to send out an email to let your supporters know the Giving Day has officially started.
Keep people updated throughout the day by posting status reports, personal testimonials, and other donor-created content. Share posts from donors that offer emotional messages or personal stories about why people are connected to your organization. And again, be sure to leverage the social influence of your Ambassadors by making sure they’re geared up to tweet, post, and broadcast throughout the campaign!
After a Giving Day, follow-up with donors to thank them for their support and generosity. Also, make sure you let people know how much money you were able to raise! Let your donors know what you plan on doing with their donations and how you will use the proceeds to drive change.
You can also share engagement numbers, such as how many people donated or how many mentions a hashtag had on social media.
In a recent study we conducted on social fundraising, we found:
Since many of these individuals are likely to be new supporters, it’s important to make sure that they’re thanked properly and are reminded of the difference they’re making so they continue to support your cause! Remember – building a strong relationship from the get-go is what it’s all about!
Giving Days are true digital campaigns, which means they require fundraising software to help reach the most donors and maximize gifts. Here is a quick checklist of the essential software functionality your nonprofit needs for your next Giving Day:
All nonprofit fundraising software is not created equal. Giving Days require a level of flexibility and customization that not every solution can provide. With the OneCause nonprofit fundraising platform, nonprofits can personalize every single aspect of the Giving Day donation process, from custom-branded giving pages to personalized and fully secure text-to-donate functionality.
Giving Days are the perfect way to grow donations, reach new donors, and facilitate donor engagement. Take a tour of OneCause today to see how we can help take your next Giving Day to new heights.