At OneCause, we know that nonprofit fundraising requires a smart, strategic approach. That’s why we created a year-round fundraising platform that allows nonprofits to engage with more donors, save time, and raise more money to power their missions. If you look at any of the 365 days in the year, there are dozens of Giving and Awareness Days associated with specific causes. From #GivingTuesday (the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving) to World Mental Health Day (October 10), Giving and Awareness Days are dedicated fundraising campaigns that unite communities – both local and worldwide – around charitable giving.
These campaigns are about raising money for your mission, engaging with existing donors, and identifying new supporters.
This number represents an exciting opportunity for nonprofits to broaden their donor base and increase awareness of and support for their mission. But, regardless of your mission, captivating the attention of your audience (and then motivating them to give) can be a major challenge for nonprofits. That’s why we’ve compiled this complete guide! It provides all the basics that your nonprofit needs to make our next campaign easy and successful. Here’s what we’ll cover:
If your nonprofit is like most charitable organizations, you’ve probably started thinking about taking advantage of a dedicated Giving Day in the upcoming year.
These day-long campaigns bring awareness to your mission and empower donors to give online. It’s like creating a virtual army, mobilized for fundraising! Giving Days are increasingly popular with nonprofits who want to think outside the box and reach their supporters online.
While awareness campaigns (like Autism Awareness Month or Breast Cancer Awareness Month) target larger audiences for sustained periods of time, Giving Days narrow the focus to a single 24-hour period. This allows nonprofits to channel donations into one day – creating urgency and fun for the cause.
Giving Days can be standalone (unique to your nonprofit) or piggyback off the many local or regional Giving Days already in place. For nonprofits, these campaigns present an opportunity to activate volunteers, employees, board members, and supporters to donate to your mission and create focused impact.
The beauty of Giving Days is they are relatively easy to execute. Because they are online, they don’t carry the same logistical needs as a traditional fundraising auction or on-the-ground event.
Another unique advantage to Giving Days is they allow nonprofits to leverage mobile fundraising, social media, and ambassador fundraising to fully engage social networks and reach more supporters, anywhere and at any time.
But the benefits aren’t one-sided. Giving Days are also exciting and engaging for donors. Because there is a hard deadline associated with Giving Days, they create sense of competition and urgency to increase donations and meet giving goals before the clock runs out.
Like any successful fundraiser, Giving Days require planning and preparation. The biggest consideration: make sure you allow enough time to ‘hype’ and promote your campaign.
Planning in advance, optimizing your promotion and marketing plan, and prepping for the actual day can jump-start a successful campaign.
An Awareness Campaign is any time-bound, strategic campaign aimed entirely at increasing public visibility and awareness for your cause. For nonprofit organizations, this means planning a campaign to spread the word about your mission, explain why it matters, and show supporters how they can get involved.
In today’s social media focused world, hosting Awareness Campaigns is an impactful way to spread your mission and engage new audiences. In recent years, Awareness Campaigns have become one of the fastest-growing nonprofit campaigns. And for good reason – they work!
The main goal of an Awareness Campaign is to raise visibility for your mission. By spreading awareness of your nonprofit’s cause, you’ll grow your audience and create a stronger base of support to drive your mission forward.
However, it can be difficult to measure “raising awareness” as a concrete goal. This is why many nonprofits choose specific key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge the success of their awareness strategies. Common goals for Awareness Campaigns involve audience growth and digital engagement.
Generating donations isn’t a core goal of Awareness Campaigns. While your Awareness Campaign likely will result in increased donations to your nonprofit, fundraising shouldn’t be the central purpose. Keep the focus on spreading the word and showing a wider audience why your work matters – the donations will follow!
If your nonprofit wants to grow its audience and expand your base of support, an Awareness Campaign is the right move for you. Awareness Campaigns are extremely flexible. You can mix-and-match a variety of strategies and digital tactics to reach and engage your audience.
Common strategies include:
If you’re strategically thinking ahead, growing your audience a year or more before a major expansion project or capital campaign can help you build a stronger foundation for future growth – meaning one Awareness Campaign can benefit your organization for years to come!
There are hundreds of Awareness Days, but the most effective, impactful organizations are the ones that break through noise and engage with audiences on a deeper level.
Your campaign doesn’t have to sync up with a national awareness month, but it can help! For example, Breast Cancer Awareness is already top-of-mind for your supporters in October. That would be the perfect time for an organization who supports breast cancer research to do an Awareness Campaign!
When it comes to Awareness Campaigns, timelines are key!
To be successful, you need to plan out the right messaging, to the right people, at the right time. And to stand out from the competition, your supporters need to know as soon as possible when the campaign will be so that they can prepare.
Giving and Awareness Days have two main goals: raise as many donations as possible and increase awareness for your cause within a set time period. To truly drive results and optimize success, nonprofits need powerful fundraising software to spread their mission and drive donations.
That’s why choosing, implementing, and maximizing the right software is so important. Typical ways to leverage fundraising software to maximize awareness, engagement, and donations include:
Today, nonprofit engagement is all about being part of a community. Online and mobile fundraising brings people together in a social, mobile, and fun way that creates lasting bonds with specific Giving or Awareness Campaigns.
But because Giving and Awareness Days typically have a short window, supporters being able to donate whenever and wherever is key. The OneCause Online Giving Solution makes it easy for donors give, share campaigns details with their networks, and complete their donations in a few quick clicks. Whether someone is new to your organization or a regular supporter of the mission, an easy-to-use fundraising solution is the key to success.
As donor engagement has moved online, it’s become a socially motivated experience. Peer-to-peer campaigns harness the power of your donor’s social networks to drive donations, making them an invaluable recruiting tool for your Giving Day campaign.
Must have peer-to-peer software elements include:
Give your supporters the tools and technology they need and watch your next Giving Day or Awareness Campaign soar to new heights.
Giving Days and Awareness Campaigns only last for a short amount of time. Every second counts! Whether it’s to spread the word about your mission or a call for donations, Text2Give software can help you raise more money and reach more donors.
Look for a text donation platform that allows your team to customize your keywords, giving levels and other campaign details. Additional must-haves include PCI compliance for data security and an intuitive user interface for easy giving.
To help ensure your Giving Day or Awareness Campaign is a smashing success, we’ve put together the ultimate toolkit full of tips, tricks, and templates.
Let’s do this!
For most nonprofits planning Giving Days, social media can influence the majority of the new traffic and donors that engage.
By planning ahead, nonprofits can both drive donations and turn onetime donors into long-term supporters with social media marketing.
Here are social media best practices to keep in mind:
Press releases are one of the best ways to spread your message in an educational, credible way. For the biggest bang, schedule a few press releases throughout your campaign.
Don’t underestimate the power of traditional email marketing! Email campaigns can ramp up excitement for your Giving or Awareness Day campaign by sending specific information and details directly to your previous donors.
Just make sure that you’ve branded your email campaigns specific to the Giving or Awareness Day itself and not to your general nonprofit. This will help signify that there is a new event coming up. Additionally, include a clear CTA that promotes action. You can send emails before, during, and after your campaign to keep engagement at a high level.
With the strategies outlined in this guide, we are sure your team can host the most successful Giving or Awareness Day ever. OneCause can help! The OneCause Fundraising Platform makes giving modern, flexible, and seamless to drive deeper engagement and grow your fundraising. Take a look at this versatile all-in-one fundraising software that meets the expectations of today’s donor.