Giving Day Platforms: 5 Essential Software Features

Nonprofit giving days are increasingly becoming an effective fundraising strategy. With hundreds of pre-scheduled ‘Awareness Days’ in a calendar year and more popping up every month, nonprofits are now finding ways to leverage giving days to increase their fundraising reach.

Dedicated giving days are incredibly successful fundraising opportunities for nonprofit groups, which is one reason why they’ve become so popular over the years. One thing to remember, as a nonprofit in a crowded fundraising field, you won’t be the only giving day on the calendar.

So how do you standout?

In order to attract donors on your next giving day, a digital fundraising component should be a cornerstone of your campaign. From online donation software to mobile-optimized fundraising pages, to peer-to-peer solutions, and text-enabled giving features, there is an incredible number of solutions available for nonprofits.

In this article, we’ll walk through the five main features of online donation software and discuss how nonprofits can leverage these features to successfully power your giving days.

  1. Create custom giving day fundraising pages.
  2. Encourage peer-to-peer fundraising.
  3. Offer a mobile giving day fundraising option.
  4. Plan in-person giving day fundraising events.
  5. Choose a comprehensive suite of giving day software tools.

Create custom giving day fundraising pages

1. Create custom giving day fundraising pages

Giving days thrive because of the power of social networking, social sharing, and social promotion– all which take place in the same place most of the world now communicates – online.

Today’s nonprofits can no longer ignore the power of online donation platforms. To reach the new world of donors who increasingly give online, nonprofits must have a digital and online fundraising strategy that encourages supporters to donate anytime and anyplace.

Enter giving days. Giving day campaigns occur online and are time sensitive. Literally the giving occurs in one day – 24 hours. And they are a great fundraising vehicle to create urgency, excitement and fast giving for your cause.

But in order to have a successful giving day, you need an easy-to-use online giving page. Your giving day fundraising page should be customized and personalized with campaign-specific images, messaging, and goals.

Some features to add to your custom giving day fundraising page include:

  • Embedded forms that allow donors to donate directly within your platform.
  • A secure, SSL/PCI-compliant payment processing system that gives both donors and your team peace of mind that donor information is safe.
  • Customizable donation levels to encourage larger gifts throughout your giving day.
  • A giving day-specific leaderboard to rally support and highlight your top donors.
  • Customizable Calls-to-Action Buttons to grab attention and signal where donors can click to give.
  • A real-time social wall collecting social media mentions and posts throughout your giving day to share with supporters.

Encourage peer-to-peer fundraising

2. Encourage peer-to-peer fundraising

In an online giving day campaign, your top supporters and donors are tasked to spread the word of your cause and garner donations from people who might not have ever heard of your organization or mission before. The most successful giving days harness the power of peer-to-peer fundraising and supporters’ social and professional networks to gain new donors.

Your supporters themselves can create individual donation pages to raise awareness and donations. Peer-to-peer fundraising is great for giving days because it encourages social sharing, fast donation timelines, and a hint of competitiveness, which can often spur on more donations!

As you’re looking for the perfect giving day online platform, keep the following features in mind:

  • Social media integration and feeds

Social media integration and feeds make it easy for supporters to share their individual donation pages with their followers.

  • Gamification functionality

Gamification both motivates and rewards donors to keep them engaged and maximize incoming donations.

  • Customizable micro-donation pages

Customizable micro-donation pages let your donors personalize and update with their pictures, stories, and more.

  • Scalable technology

Scalable technology allows for as many or as few peer-to-peer supporters as you need.

Offer a mobile giving day fundraising option

3. Offer a mobile giving day fundraising option

As nonprofit fundraising goes more and more online, there is a need for innovation. Remember, modern nonprofit donors are like modern consumers: they want to be connected constantly. They expect to have their fundraising, missions, and causes at their fingertips. Being mobile in your fundraising means that when a text, email, social post, or invite from a nonprofit or peer comes in, they can give in an instant!

In order to capture and capitalize on quick, fast donations, your team should have a solid mobile fundraising strategy in place for your upcoming giving day. In 2018, 17% of all #GivingTuesday donations came in via a mobile device. Many potential donors will be coming to your giving day via mobile or social media in the first place, so making sure you have a fully mobile-optimized platform in place is key.

Two other mobile optimized channels for effective giving days are Text2Give functionality and Online Giving Solutions.

  • Text2Give: Text-enabled fundraising solutions make donating during a giving day a streamlined donor experience. You simply need to create a shortcode, advertise it through all of your traditional, digital, and social channels throughout your giving day, and wait for potential donors to text your team directly. Donors will be automatically directed to a fully-mobile donation page where they can engage with your giving day campaign – all without ever having to log into a webpage.
  • Online Giving Solutions give nonprofits the ability to create a brand new microsite — or add a fundraising-specific form to their current site — with just a few button clicks. Online giving tools should include donor engagement functionality, such as social sharing, social engagement features, progress tracking, gamification, and a variety of donation form options for flexible giving (e.g., inline, modal, etc).

Plan in-person giving day fundraising events

4. Plan in-person giving day fundraising events

While most giving days take place online or over digital channels, some nonprofits choose to schedule their giving day fundraiser in tandem with an in-person event to really maximize the fundraising potential. This could be anything from hosting a black tie gala for your top supporters to celebrating with a family-friendly 5k run/walk to raise awareness.

When hosting events alongside giving days, a creative way to engage supporters is via Ambassador Fundraising campaigns. These fun campaigns have loyal supporters compete against each to see who can bring in the most donations in 24 hours.

Whatever the event, hosting nonprofit events alongside your larger giving day campaign takes organization, which is why a best-in-class event fundraising platform is so important.

With everything from selling tickets online to managing seating charts to procuring and promoting auction items, a full-service event management platform can make your entire giving day event that much easier. Nonprofit events are often a source of stress and anxiety for organizers, but with the right solution in place, they don’t have to be.

Automated event fundraising platforms are especially helpful for giving day events because they enable last-minute appeal donations in which attendees try to hit a specific fundraising goal at the event to help set the giving day campaign over the top. What better time to encourage a frenzy of donations than on a day specifically dedicated to frenzied donations?

Choose a comprehensive suite of giving day software tools

5. Choose a comprehensive suite of giving day software tools

While all of the features listed above are critical to any successful giving day, they also serve different functions and purposes. Instead of having to work with multiple platforms to accomplish all of their goals, nonprofit teams should look for a single, integrated solution to meet all of their giving day needs and more. From online donations to mobile responsiveness to event-ready fundraising solutions, finding the right platform for your organization is key.

In most cases, a nonprofit giving day only comes around once a year. In order to give your supporters the best possible experience (and to drive as many donations as possible for your organization), look for a single, comprehensive solution that combines all of the necessary features your team needs with additional functionality that you might be able to grow in to.