7 Ways to Rally Your Community for Gives Day Success
- June 28, 2018
- community engagement, gives day, local giving event, social media, social media for gives day
When running a giving event, boosting community engagement is key. Your community galvanizes energy and donations, helps you spread the word, and reaps the enormous benefits of the nonprofits receiving funding. Bump up your community engagement for your gives day with these 7 tips.
1) Get the word out
In preparation for your Gives Day, make flyers and post them in community centers, parks, churches, schools, coffeehouse bulletin boards, etc. Create an event for the day on social media, e.g., Facebook, and invite all of the nonprofits and community members involved. A week before, start a countdown and post daily.
Nothing beats sharing your enthusiasm in person: recruit volunteers to spread the excitement and collect contact information at farmers markets, 5k races, and other community events. Be sure to add the info you collect to your email list and keep people up to date.
2) Strength in numbers
No one has a successful Gives Day alone! Think about people in your area who have a great reputation and who people really listen to, and reach out asking if they’ll collaborate. Call on local politicians such as governors or mayors for endorsements, and reach out to regional celebrities, news anchors, or other influencers. Ask if they’ll mention the day on local TV or radio and post about it on social media. Better yet, try to pin them down for an interview or photo. Remind them that increased exposure not only bumps up donations, but also shows that they’re invested in the community’s success.
Partner with small businesses, asking that they sponsor the day in exchange for including their logo on your Gives Day website and on any promotional materials such as t-shirts.
Look for a corporate partner who can help get the word out. Many banks are local to a city, state or region of the country, and will help via direct donations, advertising, and sponsorship. Tap other regional corporations such as oil and gas in Texas or other regionally headquartered Fortune 500 companies.
3) Stir up some friendly competition
Nothing motivates people like the prospect of winning! Talk with small businesses or rival high schools about setting up friendly competitions to see who can get the most donations. You can incentivize this by offering a prize—maybe it’s that they’re a featured partner for next year’s Gives Day.
4) Stroll down memory lane
Remind people why they love living in your area. Utilize your social media presence to highlight unique events or institutions like the local zoo (and the newborn panda babies), the (in)famous pie-eating contest every year at the county fair, or the murals recently painted downtown.
When people appreciate how their community has supported them, they’ll feel connected and want a hand in its future.
5) Show not tell
It’s amazing how much more motivated people are to donate when they know what their money is going towards. Give specific, concrete examples of what donations will be used for and how those improvements will benefit the community. For example, mention that the (hypothetical) nonprofit Play Peeps is planning construction of a new playground, Bike Buds wants to restore local biking trails, and Garden Gals has plans for a community garden.
Use past successes as examples, showing what last year’s donations built or made possible.
6) Get the word out again
As your day nears, reach out to local publications and radio stations with a press release about the Gives Day, including information on how people can learn more and donate. Mention any impressive endorsements or partnerships to add credibility. Make sure you have a well-spoken representative on hand who is willing to be interviewed for an article or news/radio segment.
7) Keep ‘em up to date
During the actual Gives Day, use a physical or digital leaderboard to show progress. Post regular updates to social media or on community foundation-hosted blogs shouting out who’s winning in the local competitions. Ask nonprofits to post to the event page photos of their staff looking happy as donations roll in. Request that the politicians and influencers you partner with post on the actual day as well.
Above all, get creative! Your community is unique because of the wonderful people living there. When you show your genuine enthusiasm for helping foster growth, the support will follow. For more on running a successful community Gives Day, contact us!
Author: Ali Weeks