Top 10 Tips for a Successful Gives Day
- September 5, 2018
- Gives Day Best Practices, Gives Day Marketing, Gives Day Social Media, One-Day Giving Campaigns
Nothing makes us happier than when our clients host a successful gives day. To help you garner the most success possible, we’re sharing our top 10 tips so you can boost donations, increase exposure, and best utilize social media.
1) Hold multiple giving event kickoffs for nonprofits and the community
For foundations hosting giving events with multiple nonprofits involved, ask your biggest nonprofits or organizations to hold kickoff events in various areas of the community. The Siena/Francis House Homeless Shelter, a nonprofit that participates in the Omaha Gives Day, hosted a great kickoff event last year at their headquarters. It built up exposure and excitement for the event, educated members of the community about all the great work that they do, and included tours of the facility and introductions to the staff. Not only are people more likely to donate as a result of these events, but it shows other nonprofits the benefits of being part of the giving event.
2) Engage the community in your gives day
Your community is your biggest ally in hosting a successful gives day. Make sure they hear about the event and are motivated to contribute. Check out our specific ideas for rallying your community in our recent post: 7 Ways to Rally Your Community for Gives Day Success.
3) Get nonprofits invested and involved in your giving event
With several nonprofits involved in a foundation’s giving day, anything is possible. Make sure each organization is engaged and has everything they need to connect with their individual audiences.
Throughout the day, highlight specific nonprofits who are working hard to promote the day and engage their audience by sharing their social media posts and photos. Jill’s House, a nonprofit involved in Do More 24, posted an adorable video thanking all their donors after raising over $140,000.
4) Be specific: who and how are donors helping your gives day?
Donors want to know that their money is going towards something good—the more specific you can be, the better. Nebraska Humane Society, another organization involved in the Omaha Gives Day, shared a story about a puppy who had been hit by a car and needed to have one of her legs amputated. They shared information about her, photos, and how donations went towards her recovery. This made donating to the Nebraska Humane Society an incredibly meaningful and personal act.
5) Keep score: transparency and progress are key to your giving event!
Keep your audience up to date with leaderboards and frequent social media posts. Put tickers on the site that show progress in real time. Post progress toward matching donations and any prizes that have been sponsored by local organizations or the foundation. Congratulate the 5 nonprofits raising the most money and encourage donors to “vote” for their favorite by donating. Any methods to show activity, community interaction, or progress make the event more fun and drive better nonprofit and community engagement.
As stated above, social media is a great way to share progress throughout your giving event. Our recent post, How to Use Social Media for your Giving Event, provides 5 hot tips on how to use social media for your giving event.
6) Facilitate matching donor gifts and employee matches
Many companies offer matching gifts, incentivizing employees to make charitable donations by offering to give the same amount. These effectively double the donation received. Hundreds, if not 1000’s, of large companies match donations; you can find a fairly comprehensive list here. In addition, private donors and community businesses will often support a matching donation to drive publicity and greater participation. Plan to seek out community businesses, large donors, and other supporters well in advance of the event for these matching gifts. The potential when you tap into them is limitless.
7) Go corporate in your giving strategy
Big corporations are an unparalleled source of sponsorship and support for a successful gives day. According to Fortune 500, the 200 most charitable companies include heavy hitters like Walmart, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Target, and General Mills. But there are many others out there you may not have heard of—regional banks or private companies—that are just as generous and sometimes more invested in their local communities. Even those companies that don’t donate money might donate in-kind goods and services. Their deep pockets can translate into your nonprofits serving the community in abundance.
8) Give thanks to your gives day donors
Make sure your donors know how much you appreciate and lean on their support in hosting a successful gives day. In this lovely video, the Communities Foundation of Texas highlighted a couple that donated to 236 nonprofits during the North Texas Giving Day. (Wow!)
Even if you don’t have the resources to create a high-quality video, take a photo of your team and post it to social media with a caption thanking everyone for their support. Prompt people to use a branded hashtag for your day, and keep an eye on it so you can share posts (especially photos) from nonprofits and donors.
Nothing beats a personal touch. Each donor should receive an automated “thank you for your donation!” email message. In addition, have your giving event team and volunteers spend a day or two making calls and sending personal emails after the event. Enlisting the help of your management team and Board of Directors — especially for larger gifts — is always a good idea. This personal display of gratitude goes a long way toward driving recurring gifts.
9) No press is bad press when it comes to a gives day
Write a press release to send out to local publications with the intention of getting more exposure before your day. Even if you can’t get coverage beforehand, you can still get media attention after the event. This article in the St. Louis Business Journal came out after Give STL Day was already over, but helped them garner attention (and possibly even some post-giving event donations). This post from our client, Holly McFarlin, from the East Texas Communities Foundation, lays out excellent best practices for getting the media’s attention: 5 Quick Ways to Leverage the Media.
10) Set yourself up for success for your next giving event
The days immediately following a giving event are when donors, nonprofits, and your community will be feeling the excitement of what they’ve accomplished. Capitalize on this by reaching out with thank-you emails and posts and by collecting photos and testimonials from donors, nonprofits, and those who directly benefit. The more you can do just after your event, the better prepared you’ll be to make next year’s giving event even bigger.
Want more support? We’re happy to help. Contact us to make your next gives day the best one yet.
Author: Ali Weeks