How to Plan Your Gives Day Marketing
- July 11, 2018
- Gives Day Best Practices, Gives Day Marketing, One-Day Giving Campaigns, Social Media for Gives Days
Marketing outlets and social media are a huge presence in our lives, but what’s the best way to utilize them for your Gives Day? How can you hit that happy medium between giving donors and nonprofits all the information they need, yet not inundating them with too much information?
To help you build a successful giving event, follow our tips and timelines for spreading the word through social media, newsletters, personal collaborations, and a myriad of other effective Gives Day marketing channels.
6 MONTHS OUT
When your Gives Day is six months away, it’s time to start networking like crazy! Check out our specific ideas for leveraging community pride and propose as many collaborations as possible. People might be non-committal this far out, but plant the seed now and you can come back later with specific ideas that will entice them to act.
Make a list of all the influencers, organizations, politicians, community groups, schools, and other non-profit organizations that you want to be involved in your Gives Day. Compile their contact info and divvy up who on your team will reach out to each one. Then brainstorm around specific ideas for collaborating. We find that many people in this industry are well-connected and don’t even realize it—that goes for your employees and volunteers, as well!
When you speak with potential partners, share some initial info and ideas to gauge their interest: who you’re reaching out to, the time of year of the event, the structure of the event, who you’re considering for corporate sponsors, involvement from other organizations, your reasons for holding the event, etc. These conversations will help you build rapport in the community and enable you to solicit excellent ideas for marketing and promotion. In addition, when a partner feels as if they’ve contributed to the buildout of the program, they are more likely to be engaged in that program in the future.
An important piece of Gives Day marketing is getting featured in local publications. Research newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and podcasts based in your area. Check their submission guidelines to see how far in advance you need to send a press release to be featured. Start working on your release, including collecting quotes and stats when necessary. If you’re feeling stuck or looking for tips as you reach out or write about your Gives Day, make sure your writing style speaks to your non-profit audience.
Put your initial ideas on paper: start working on a paragraph that summarizes why you’re collecting donations. You’ll use this later in newsletters, news releases, blogs, on your website, and when pitching to collaborators or partners, as mentioned above.
Collect photos and videos of past giving events and what they have accomplished. Reach out to past partners and nonprofits asking for more, and prep them to take photos and videos at this year’s event. Visual content like this is pure gold when marketing your event.
3 MONTHS OUT
When your day is three months away, start pinning down endorsements, partnerships, and collaborations. Map out specific ways your partners can get involved in marketing for your day, meeting for in-person conversations whenever possible. Hold registration events for non-profit organizations who will be participating. Ensure you have sample marketing collateral (flyers, social media posts, table tents, email templates, news releases, posters, etc.) available that your nonprofits can leverage to easily get the word out.
Share these sample marketing pieces as a “Marketing Toolkit” once your nonprofits have signed on. Include a timeline for when they should engage in marketing activities.
Send out your press release to local magazines, newspapers, radio stations, and podcasts. Magazines and newspapers specifically plan far in advance, but you don’t want to send a pitch way too early and risk it falling off their radar. Three months out is typically the sweet spot. (Don’t forget to check their submission guidelines at the six month mark to be sure!)
Send an email to the nonprofits, partners, endorsers, and sponsors with the paragraph you’ve written summarizing your Gives Day. Encourage them to copy and paste it to their websites, and include the link to your Gives Day website. Demonstrate the exposure your partners will gain to increase their motivation in addition to the good they’ll be doing by helping out with marketing your giving event.
1 MONTH OUT
Make sure the nonprofits involved are on board and excited. Per The Chronicle of Philanthropy, last year’s Colorado Gives Day raised $37 million, much of which Director of Online Giving Dana Rinderknecht credits to the involvement of nonprofits. Get nonprofits excited by reminding them how much the Gives Day can benefit their organization and by providing everything they need to market on their own channels. Reinforce the earlier shared Marketing Toolkit with additional tips for posting on social media, reaching out to local businesses for sponsorships, and sending email newsletters of their own. For the more tech-savvy, you can create template graphics (with text and photos) for people to include in their email newsletters or post on their social media feeds.
Explain how to leverage gamification features such as company matches, scheduled donations, leaderboards, matching campaigns, a running ticker of donations, donor-advised funds, volunteer pages, and other fun and easy methods to drive friendly competition and to track progress. These tools are known to significantly increase donations. (HINT: If you are not familiar with these methods, contact your CiviCore project manager to get you started.)
Create a Facebook event and invite all of the nonprofits, politicians, influencers, donors, and sponsors involved. Post only about twice a week (to avoid fatigue) with a photo and a tip on how they can make the day most successful for everyone. (Once the event gets closer, you should increase frequency. See below.)
1 WEEK OUT
Start a countdown on social media, posting daily on your Gives Day Facebook event page with a fun photo and caption reminding people why the Gives Day is important. Perhaps highlight 1 or 2 different nonprofits every day who benefit from donations, or post photos of what Gives Day donations have accomplished in the past so people feel inspired to continue the momentum. Keep posts light, cheeky, and short. Send an email to your partners and nonprofits letting them know social media posts have been made, and that they should re-tweet, “like,” share, or even “borrow” the verbiage to post organically on their own social media accounts. Part of your Gives Day Marketing Toolkit can include sample tweets and LinkedIn and Facebook posts.
Send out an email newsletter telling people you’re one week out, and remind them that they can schedule donations in advance of the live event.
DAY OF THE EVENT
The day of your event is the most crucial time to put your Gives Day marketing plan into action! Schedule an email newsletter to go out first thing in the morning. Include links to your donation page and simple instructions for how to donate. Remind people of why the Gives Day is important by listing a few of the nonprofits involved, specifically the ones known for doing the most good in your community. Post this same information on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
If there are nitty-gritty details or fine print about donations, have that content live somewhere else, i.e., a dedicated page on your website; avoid posting all of the details on social media or in an email so you can keep your solicitation content concise.
Keep people up to date all day long with digital leaderboards. If you’ve set up competitions or community goals, give regular updates on progress. Check in with your partners to be sure they’re posting on their channels as agreed. Ensure your site has a counter to show progress on funds raised.
Get creative with social media! Check out how these campaigns utilized Twitter, Instagram, video, and more to get the word out about their campaigns and raise the funds they needed.
After your event, let us know what worked for you, what didn’t, and how we can further contribute to the success of your Gives Day. You’re our number one priority, and we feel as strongly about your community as you do, so naturally, we want to help you run the most fruitful day possible!
Print out the Gives Day marketing checklist below to keep yourself on track.
Six month checklist:
- Compile a list of potential partners and their contact info
- Brainstorm specific ideas for collaborating
- Divvy up who will contact each potential partner
- Research local publications and their submission guidelines. Mark your calendars with when to send a press release to each.
- Start working on a summary paragraph
- Collect quotes and statistics for your press release
- Collect photos and videos of past giving events and those who benefit from the event
Three month checklist:
- Pin down specific details on partnerships, sponsorships, and matching gifts
- Hold registration events for nonprofits who will be involved
- Create sample marketing collateral and share as a Gives Day Marketing Toolkit
- Send your press release to local publications
- Email nonprofits, partners, endorsers, and sponsors with summary paragraph and link
One month checklist:
- Keep in contact with the nonprofits involved, and provide the assets they need
- Provide tutorials on leveraging gamification tools such as company matches, scheduled donations, leaderboards, matching campaigns, tickers, donor-advised funds, volunteer pages, etc.
- Create a Facebook event for the day
- Invite partners, influencers, politicians, nonprofits, sponsors, etc., to the Facebook event
- Post in the event once a week
One week checklist:
- Start social media countdown, highlighting nonprofits each day and posting photos
- Email partners and nonprofits asking them to share the posts
- Send email newsletter
- Open lines of communication with nonprofits. Ensure they know how to reach you with questions, support issues, etc.
Day of checklist:
- Send email newsletter first thing in the am
- Post on social media first thing in the am and throughout the day showing progress, updates. Encourage shares and likes.
- Keep leaderboards up to date
- Post updates on social media, especially around competitions/goals
- Encourage partners and nonprofits to post
Want more support for your giving event? Check out these extensive marketing resources from The Knight Foundation. And good luck with your Gives Day marketing! It will make all the difference in your overall impact.
Questions? Reach out to us! We’re always eager to help.
Author: Ali Weeks