GiveNOLA Day Connects to their Roots for Giving Day Success
- May 14, 2019
This blog was originally posted on 5/1/2019.
GiveNOLA Day has wrapped up, and their event was a huge success! In total, they raised over $5.9 million from 50,000 unique donations for 752 nonprofit organizations, beating last year’s total by 10%.
GiveNOLA Day established a unique precedent by setting a goal for scheduled donations. To support this, CiviCore built a custom ticker specifically for scheduled donations. The leaderboard displayed progress towards the $50,000 goal and helped ramp up engagement in the community. The GiveNOLA team not only hit their goal, but doubled it! GiveNOLA Day counted over $100,000 in donations before the giving event even began.
Thanks to this initiative to boost scheduled donations, GiveNOLA Day started up 30% from their 2018 event. As the day progressed, The Greater New Orleans Foundation saw success in many areas of their giving day, particularly in peer to peer fundraising. A total of 361 committed individuals created a peer to peer page for a nonprofit they believe in. In total, the donations collected through peer to peer accounted for 3.6% of GiveNOLA’s donation total.
The CiviCore team is thrilled with GiveNOLA Day’s success this year. We look forward to seeing all the good the New Orleans community will do!
Today marks the beginning of the giving season for the greater New Orleans area. Starting last night at midnight, scheduled donations went live for GiveNOLA Day, a 24-hour giving event hosted by the Greater New Orleans Foundation. GiveNOLA Day is in its 6th year running and is one of the largest giving events on the CiviCore Giving Platform. Last year GiveNOLA raised $5.6 million for New Orleans area nonprofits. How do they do it? They keep it smart, simple, and connected to their community.
Giving Day Features: Scheduled Donations, Peer to Peer Fundraising, & Prizes
Donors can schedule donations for GiveNOLA Day between May 1st and 7th (the latter being the day of the event). By having such a short period for scheduled donations, the GiveNOLA team encourages people to act now. This year they’ve even set a goal for scheduled donations of $50,000 on May 1st! CiviCore has facilitated their goal by building a custom ticker just for this purpose.
To engage the community around their $50,000 goal, the GiveNOLA team is participating in a local event called Wednesdays at the Square. By participating in this event, which is a concert series with strong attendance—it is New Orleans after all—GiveNOLA leverages the existing audience and gets more bang for their buck in terms of engaging the community. Between acts at Wednesdays at the Square, GiveNOLA will project their custom-built ticker onto a screen behind the stage, allowing the audience to see in real time progress towards their goal. Plus, GiveNOLA will be set up to accept donations at the event, as well.
This kickoff event is just one of the events GiveNOLA facilitates to engage their community in the giving day.
The prizes granted during GiveNOLA Day follow mantra of keeping the event focused on the community. Nonprofits are sorted into two size categories, large and small. In each category, there are 10 opportunities to win some extra cash. The first is for raising the most money. GiveNOLA awards 1st through 5th place prizes for the top 5 organizations in both categories, offering a total of $39,000 in prize money split between 10 nonprofits.
The second opportunity is for attracting the most unique donors. The top 5 organizations in both size categories win prizes for having the most unique donors, leaving an additional $39,000 up for grabs in total.
For nonprofits who don’t meet either of these requirements, they still have a chance to win some extra cash. Each hour, GiveNOLA randomly selects two nonprofits, one large and one small, who have received a donation of any amount the last 60 minutes. This organization wins an additional $1,000. By pulling a winner every hour for all 24 hours, GiveNOLA offers $48,000 in supplementary donations!
To give participating nonprofits the best possible chance of attracting donors (and winning prizes for doing so), GiveNOLA Day hosted two optional training workshops prior to their day of giving. They offered both workshops twice on the same day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, so as many nonprofit representatives could attend as possible.
The first workshop, which they held on April 2nd, focused on using social media for online fundraising. Presenters spoke about developing “a successful online fundraising campaign that engaged and inspired potential and existing donors.”
The second workshop focused on nonprofit success beyond just the New Orleans-based giving event. On April 16th, GiveNOLA presented on retaining and upgrading donors. They spoke about the donor cultivation cycle, advising nonprofit administrators on how they can use GiveNOLA as a way of growing their network, and engaging donors beyond financial giving.
Kristen Craig, Nonprofit Leadership & Effectiveness Associate at the Greater New Orleans Foundation, emphasized that the team’s goal is to empower nonprofits beyond the giving day itself. “Our goal is to host workshops that are relevant to nonprofits that have participated in GiveNOLA Day before and nonprofits that are brand new to GiveNOLA Day,” she says. “We also want our participants to leave the workshop with skills that they can take beyond GiveNOLA Day.” Kristen says the workshops are intended to strengthen the skills of nonprofits in their region, which strengthens the community as a whole.
One way for nonprofits to engage donors beyond the 24-hour giving event itself is through peer to peer fundraising. With peer to peer fundraising (also called peer to peer campaigns), committed donors who want to support a specific nonprofit create a personalized campaign page, made unique with photos or videos, a fundraising goal, and a story about why they’re creating the page. They share the page with friends and family in order to reach their fundraising goal, which exposes the nonprofit to an entirely new network.
Peer to peer fundraising has been a huge advantage for GiveNOLA. According to Kristen, “This feature has definitely widened our reach because donors, volunteers, and board members, among others, are creating fundraising campaigns and sending their unique URLs to their networks for a nonprofit they really care about!” She says that the community engagement facilitated by peer to peer fundraising has made a significant impact for their giving day.
The connections built during a giving event are not over once the 24 hours are up. When nonprofits need volunteers, campaign creators are an excellent group to tap into. People who have supported an organization with peer to peer fundraising are passionate about staying involved, and are often likely to donate their time throughout the year.
As of May 1st, GiveNOLA has 248 active peer to peer campaigns with fundraising goals ranging from $100 to $15,000. Whether these campaigns reach their goals or not, the awareness gained by sharing pages among individual networks is huge for GiveNOLA.
Spreading the Word—NOLA Style
To get the word out about GiveNOLA Day, the Greater New Orleans Community Foundation leans on the thing their city is most famous for: music.
They created several PSA videos with local celebrities—and they did an incredible job. The videos are professional yet relatable and truly capture the spirit of New Orleans. Audiences see the PSAs on local TV networks and on social media, where the GiveNOLA team has encouraged nonprofits to share them liberally.
In addition to social media training, GiveNOLA provides nonprofits with tools and information to create a strong marketing campaign. “This includes our produced PSA’s, pre-made graphics, workshops and webinars, and the GiveNOLA Day Store,” says Kristen. “The GiveNOLA Day store partners with a local printer and allows nonprofits to customize template postcards and thank you cards as well as order t-shirts and yard signs.”
By empowering nonprofits to reach out to their networks and promote their fundraising goals, GiveNOLA day has a grassroots feel from start to finish. Check out GiveNOLA.org to stay up to date with their progress and get inspired.
Did you know that the CiviCore Giving Platform runs school giving events in addition to community giving events? If you need a fresh idea for a school fundraiser, check out the school giving page on our website and don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.