Get More Out of Your Giving Day
By Rhen Hoehn, Director of Marketing
Days of giving can be a boon for your fundraising efforts, but they can also be a big waste of time without the correct approach.
A well-executed giving day begins long before the day itself. It actually culminates with that day of giving.
Here are four tips to maximize the return of your organization’s day of giving:
- Use the day as a reason to make major asks
The primary benefit of a day of giving is that it provides a reason to ask for a gift by a certain deadline. Use this as a reason to approach major donor prospects who are ripe for an ask.
Look for a “challenge donor” to provide a matching gift that doubles all of your other giving day donors.
Then, approach several other major gift prospects to ask for gifts to go toward the giving day and the match.
For example, you may secure a $5,000 matching gift and three $1,000 “lead” gifts to go toward it. With 60% of your matching challenge gift raised, you can focus the day of giving on raising the last $2,000 from your broader list.
Seeing this indicator of progress ($3,000 of the $5,000 challenge gift already raised) your constituents are more likely to jump in and make a gift. Donors like giving to successful projects.
- Start well before the giving day
Don’t wait until the day of the giving day to advertise your fundraising goal and ask for gifts. Begin prepping your constituents with communications in the days and weeks ahead.
Some larger giving day organizations, such as #iGiveCatholic on Giving Tuesday, open up their giving portals two weeks ahead of the day of giving.
For the best chance of getting your message in front of the most constituents, and motivating those people to make a gift, start asking for and accepting gifts in the week or two before the actual day of giving.
- Do Not Imply Your Impact
Tell prospects the story of your organization and the impact that it makes. Do not expect that they infer your impact on the lives of the people you serve. State it explicitly.
At the same time, remember that your organization is not the hero of the story in your communications. Your donor is. Your communications should reflect this fact.
Take a few minutes to read the parable of the Good Samaritan. If we can use this parable as an analogy, what character would represent your organization?
You are the innkeeper. You are performing the services that restore the beaten man to health.
But, your work is only made possible by the money given by the Good Samaritan, who, in this analogy, is your donor.
Your prospects likely do not know how your organization is funded. They may not have ever even considered the question.
It is your job to let them know that the good work you do is only made possible by their generous giving.
- Be willing to push at the end
If you approach the end of your giving day and you have seen some progress but are still short of your fundraising goal, consider making a push.
In our experience, this push works best when at least two-thirds of the goal amount has already been raised.
This might look like two or three emails, accompanied by social posts, the afternoon and evening of the giving day.
This is more than many organizations are comfortable with, and you will see some email unsubscribes from a push like this. However, if you already have momentum toward your goal, you will likely see responses to each email, boosting you toward the finish line.
Let your constituents know exactly what is at stake with the subject line of each email, with a format such as:
“Only $1,500 left to go, 4 hours remaining!”
“85% of the way there! Just 2 hours to go!”
Again, we understand that this might seem like a lot, BUT we recomment you give it a try. This final push conveys a sense of urgency as you close out your giving day.
Are you ready to make your giving day plan?
If so, we invite you to request our “Giving Day 101” guide below.
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