So, you’re in the thick of it now! As if getting those annual appeals out, making phone calls to major donors, and ensuring your website donation pages work is not enough, you also need to think about #GivingTuesday and maybe even a local giving day.
Don’t get me wrong – giving days are great opportunities to engage donors and highlight philanthropy. Where I live we have Colorado Gives Day that has raised $182 million since it was created by Community First Foundation in 2010. It has become a staple of the nonprofit toolkit here in our state.
But no matter how impressive the giving day stats are, you don’t want to make a giving day the center of your strategy. You want to build relationships between your organization and the donor, not between the donor and a website.
Giving Days are really just an option. It’s a way for donors to give if they are into the excitement of it, or if they like to give to all the organizations they support in one go. Sometimes it’s a way to activate volunteers or inspire board fundraising. I’ve also felt for years that it might be a way to convert event donors. (Here’s a blog about that idea, too.)
So, if a giving day is not the center of your fundraising strategy, how do you make time for it?
Here’s the thing: if you have a fundraising plan for year-end, you probably don’t need an entire separate strategy for giving days. What you need is to take inventory of what you’ve already got going on in your plan and piggy-back off that.
We’ve put together a quick worksheet together to do just that and you can download it by clicking here.
You’ll no doubt generate your own ideas with this worksheet in no time, but here are a few examples of simple things you can do to let people know about their giving day options this season without a lot of effort:
1. Add it to your Ways to Give page.
2. Put it as an option on your direct mail reply devices.
3. Add it to your donor and volunteer e-newsletters.
4. Remind donors about it at any events you have.
5. Include messaging in your social media (along with a great image).
6. Create a eye-catching postcard or buckslip to leave at the front desk or tuck into non-solicitation mailings.
7. Create short-and-sweet language for board members to pass on to friends via e-mail or social media.
These are all very simple ideas that require limited resources. You can think up your own if you use our Resource Inventory for Giving Days in our always-free toolbox.
The skinny? Make the giving day work for you, not the other way around!
For most organizations, a giving day provides a sense of urgency and a feeling of connection for donors to each other. It’s a fun way to make a donation. But it’s the relationship you build with the donor that is really going to pay off in the long run, so try to keep your efforts in perspective.