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Every Day Can Be a Giving Day

If you look at any of the 365 days in the year, chances are that there are dozens of specific ‘giving’ or ‘awareness’  days’ associated with specific causes. From #GivingTuesday (the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving) to World Mental Health Day (October 10), giving days are dedicated fundraising campaigns that unite communities – both local and worldwide –  around charitable giving.

These giving days are about engaging with existing donors as well as identifying new supporters. On average, 40% of awareness day participants are new donors. This number represents an exciting opportunity for nonprofits to broaden their donor base. Most giving days feature some sort of fun, exciting component to draw attention and start a social conversation.

As your team is planning an awareness day, think about the topic or cause that you want to draw attention to. Giving days can be cause-specific, such as World Autism Awareness Day, or community sponsored and competitive, such as a school district-sponsored fundraising competition.

When you’re looking for a date, check whether there are any similar giving days already on the calendar, or if there is a particular awareness week or month that makes the most sense for your organization.

While setting up a giving day can seem overwhelming at first, it is surprisingly simple if you have the right tools and resources in place.

Here’s a winning 3-step strategy for establishing your awareness day:

  1. Do Research

  • Go online and see what else is out there in your local and regional community. Are there any current giving days that your cause can join and share in?
  • If you need to create your own, do research to find a campaign that works well with your team and goals. From there, customize an approach to make it yours.
  • Jot down campaign ideas that you want to include in your awareness day. How will you appeal for donations? How will you gain new social followers?
  1. Create a Plan

  • Start planning in advance, to give your team time to get everything in place, and  your supporters time to prepare for your awareness day.
  • Create a communication plan that establishes an engagement cadence with donors, what kind of social media involvement you’ll need, and how you’ll educate and collaborate with supporters.
  • Plan day-of logistics and any event details if you plan on hosting a party, auction, or activity in conjunction with your awareness day.
  • Select and set up youronline fundraising platform to make it easy for donors to engage and quickly make donations online.
  1. Time to Execute

  • Start sharing and promoting your awareness day at least three weeks prior to prepare your audience and garner support.
  • Kick off your awareness day with a huge social push (on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) and ask supporters to share with their networks to extend your reach.
  • Share real-time progress reports with donors via email or text message to highlight the progress and success of your campaign.
  • Afterward, call out and thank donors individually for a job well done and start laying the groundwork for next year!

Learn from example

Whether you’re looking at global campaigns (like Red Nose Day Actually, which created a high-budget movie sequel that was released on the awareness day) or local campaigns (anything from local high school giving days to parks department campaigns), it’s all great inspiration.

Keep in mind that your awareness day can be as involved or as simple as you want. Some nonprofits simply set up a donation microsite, share a few social posts, and watch the money roll in. Other times, awareness days involve an entire day of family-focused activities followed by a lavish gala or charity auction. Regardless of how your team decides to proceed, there is no wrong answer.

Taking the guesswork out of awareness days

Spinning up these awareness days doesn’t have to be hard. All it takes is the right dedication of time, resources, and solutions to make your awareness day run smoothly from beginning to end.

As your team starts planning your next awareness day, think about how you’ll combine technology and personal engagement in new, creative ways.

Not Done Learning! Get more OneCause Awareness Day inspiration.

Interested in more Awareness Day material? Check out our other resources to help you create your next campaign!

Blog Post: Getting Seriously Silly – What Nonprofits Can Learn from Red Nose Day

eBook Download: Awareness Campaigns: A Guide For Fundraisers

Blog Post: How to Launch an Awareness Campaign: 9 Steps For Success

Blog Post: Expert Tips to Maximize Your Nonprofit’s Awareness Month

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