Jennifer Perrow, CFRE Senior Generosity Strategist
When planning a Giving Day for your organization, it can be easy to get tied up in ideas or strategies that just don’t work. We’ve distilled down a couple of falsehoods about what a Giving Day is . . . and isn’t. We’re not going to make you guess which ones are myths and which ones are truths. Instead, we’re going to tell you the truth about Giving Days from the start, and what you should be doing.
1. Giving Days Must Happen on Giving Tuesday (November 30, 2021)
This is FALSE. In fact, when you participate in the “official” Giving Tuesday, you are competing with thousands of other non-profit organizations to get the attention of your donors.
Instead, choose a day that has meaning for your organization or a day that fits well with your development calendar.Consider selecting the day your school was founded, or choose a day that many of your volunteers and staff can really focus on the event.
2. Creating a #cleverhashtag for social media will make people flock to your website and give
This is FALSE. While creative social media can boost participation and enthusiasm for your event, it is not enough. You must communicate before, during and after the event in a variety of ways.Email messages, postcards, letters with a giving envelope enclosed, phone calls, and videos will all boost your results.
3. You can only accept gifts during the 24-hour period of the Giving Day
FALSE. If you are participating in a local or national Giving Day (such as Give Big Seattle), make sure to check the rules. It's true that there are often “prizes” to be unlocked during that 24-hour period for gifts given through a particular Giving Day portal. In most cases, gifts given specifically toward this event via check can also count toward your totals. And if you’re running your own Giving Day, you make the rules!
4. You can raise twice as much money by securing matching gifts prior to the Giving Day
This is TRUE. If your goal is $30,000, aim to raise $15,000 from lead givers (board members, major givers) before the event begins. Make sure you heavily promote the matching gifts so givers know they can “double their money.”
5. Giving Days are a great way to onboard new givers and retain/upgrade existing givers
TRUE. Asking people who love your organization to invite friends to join them on Giving Day, or emailing people on your list who have never given, is a great way to expand your network.Getting people who have recently responded to another appeal to make a second (or third) gift is also a win—people who make more than one gift are more likely to “stick” with your organization.
Still not sure if a Giving Day is right for you? Schedule a free consultation with one of Generis' Total Advancement Solutions Strategists to learn more.