By Jordan Lappin
As summer is winding down, now is a great time to start planning a Giving Day for your nonprofit organization. Around the holiday season, you have likely received an email from a nonprofit organization to remind you that Giving Tuesday is approaching and that you should consider donating to that organization. However, if you are unfamiliar, Giving Tuesday falls each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and the day has become a national Giving Day throughout the United States. The idea of a “Giving Day” is that if a large number of people all give a little, these small donations can make a massive impact. Some organizations have organized their own Giving Days outside of Giving Tuesday. Many universities and academic institutions have adopted this idea and have a day separate from Giving Tuesday dedicated to raising money for the future of their school.
How does this relate to small nonprofits though? On Giving Tuesday, it seems like all the attention is on bigger organizations who have the means of spending a significant amount marketing for this day. This is why you should consider starting your own Giving Day specifically for your organization. A Giving Day for your nonprofit is a great way to shed light on your organization and leverage your local community for fundraising. So how do you set up a Giving Day?
Choose a date.
When choosing a date for your Giving Day, consider your revenue cycle. Is there a time of year when you are tighter on funds or when you could use more money? Perhaps you should plan your Giving Day in the months prior. Is there a time of year when you are less saturated with work? Maybe then would be a good time. A great strategy for choosing your date is recognizing times of year when you are stretched thin (whether that be financially or with your time) and plan your giving day accordingly. Once you’ve considered a few times of year when you could have a Giving Day, take a look and see if there is already a holiday or significant event that you could tie your mission to.
Create a goal.
Create a goal that is realistic and achievable, but not too easy. For example, if $10,000 is easy for your organization to raise, but $25,000 is overzealous, perhaps $18,000 is a goal that is achievable but will certainly take a lot of generosity from a number of donors. When you are thinking about your goal, the amount of money you are raising is certainly a big piece of it, but you can also consider the number of donors you want to have or to engage a matching donor. Having a specific target number of funds or donors gives the community an incentive to come together and collectively reach the goal.
Making sure that your donor base knows that you are having a Giving Day is key success. You should utilize and prioritize your email communication and social media in order to do so. Here is an effective communication strategy you can use:
In addition to email communication, you should definitely utilize your social media platforms! All of the communication that you make via email can be reconfigured in a creative digital way. Using social media is a great way to remind your donor/volunteer base without flooding their inbox. You also might grab the attention of people in your community that you might not have on your email list.
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Jordan Hannan and Jordan Lappin