Engaging current and new donors is import for any nonprofit organization and as Americans become more deeply entrenched in the web, so does fundraising. Soliciting donations online can be a great way to lower costs or expose your organization to a larger pool of donors, but it can also make finding those donors more difficult. In the past few years, the Giving Day, or Day of Giving, has grown in popularity and become an additional way to grow fundraising.

What is a Giving Day and How Do They Work?

A Giving Day is a 24-hour online fundraising challenge designed to bring together groups of people around a particular region, cause or issue. They are often run by community foundations, but not solely, and though foundations organize and host the event, organizations must promote themselves.

Typically, donations are handled through a sponsoring foundation’s Giving Day webpage. Of course, no donations are turned away, however; and some gifts may be received through Facebook or the organization’s own Online Donation Software, such as Sustainer.io. Those gifts would also be counted toward the goal. The event usually kicks off at midnight with a large group of verified nonprofit organizations. There may be periods throughout the day when donations are matched (sometimes even doubled or tripled) and when organizations and donors can win prizes for symbolic events throughout the day.

Promote Like It’s an Event

Giving Days are events and you should promote them like one. Be sure to release a reminder once or twice daily for a week prior to remind and prepare your donors. Releasing one post the day of does not relay the importance of the event, nor does it give you the chance to raise as much as possible. And remember these announcements should be posted on your most visited social media accounts.

Understand the Rule of the Drive

To maximize donations, be prepared to post and post often! Understanding the format of the Giving Day is important. Research and learn if there are prizes for donors. Are they awarded per day or hour? Can organizations receive bonuses for benchmark successes like most raised during a period or first donor of the hour? Will there be matching? Mention these benchmarks throughout the day to raise more money and incentivize donors to participate at no cost to you!

Highlight Your Services and/or Issues Constantly

Every post should include reference to the issue your nonprofit highlights and/or services that you provide. Constantly reminding potential donors about who they will be helping, why your organization is necessary or what service you offer, shows that you are active and worth supporting. It does not need to be long, a single sentence is fine, but it should be there.

Be Unique and Include Photos

Each of your posts on social media should be unique. Don’t be generic! If you are active in your community, that must be reflected in your communications to donors. Posts with pictures have more engagement than those without, which means every single post you publish should contain one. Sit down and write out every service your organization offers and every issue you work for, then match up as many photos and stories as possible to those topics. In addition to the benchmarks posts mentioned above, you should have a nice collection of posts for the day.

Say Thank You

Remember to offer thanks to those who have donated throughout the day within posts and in the comments. It’s not only good manners, but also shows donors that you are paying attention and appreciate their contribution, and this, in turn, encourages other donors to contribute.

Good luck participating in your first or next Day of Giving. They are a lot of work, but are also a great opportunity to raise awareness of your organization and increase donor participation. Have a idea of how much you want to raise, use the strategies above to create a plan and put it into action.

What do you think of Giving Days? Let us know in the comments!

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