10 Reasons Your Nonprofit Should Participate in a Community-wide Giving Day
Community-wide giving days, typically put on by your local community foundation or civic organization, grow your donor base, increase donation amounts, and introduce yourself to a broader audience in the community and beyond. The set time frame and matching funds and prizes made available by the sponsoring organization also heightens awareness, builds media and social buzz, and creates a sense of urgency to give NOW.
Below we explore the top 10 advantages of participating in a giving day, which will help you communicate the benefits of involvement to stakeholders.
1. Grow exposure.
Local and national giving days do the impossible–they attract audiences across all your key channels, including the media, individual donors (large and small), and corporate sponsors–in a single campaign. By participating in one, you can funnel the exposure toward your organization and its efforts.
2. Energize your house file.
An annual giving day event is the perfect time to reenergize your contact list. You should use an email newsletter, direct mail, social media, and other communication channels to deliver the news about your participation and details about prizes and incentive dollars up for grabs.
You should also share a goal for the giving day; donors and supporters are more likely to give if they have a target to aim for. While this may seem like a lot of work, your community sponsor, likely the foundation, will provide tools and templates that make outreach easy to plan and implement.
3. Access incentive dollars, prizes, and matching grants.
Participation in a local giving day grants access to pools of money you’d otherwise not have. Community foundations typically award incentive dollars and prizes, as do corporate sponsors. Many times, you can leverage a sponsor’s or major donor’s matching dollars to further your efforts; their gifts can help you reach available general prize pools.
4. Motivate major donors to offer incentive funds.
In addition to communicating with your general house file, you should personally pursue existing or potential major donors. They will be more likely to offer a matching grant or other prize if you’re involved in a larger effort and have access to incentive dollars.
5. Engage and inspire your volunteers.
You don’t want to miss out on engaging your volunteer audience. They help a giving day event succeed and make your organization shine. You should always give them ways to participate and distribute communication plans for social media and other outlets.
The more informed they are, the better empowered they will be to communicate your message and make a difference. Volunteers care about your organization. While they support you financially or not, the opportunity to spread the word about your awesome organization and its giving day goals is one they’ll get excited about and involved in.
6. Customize ready-made marketing materials and tools.
One of the best things about a community-wide giving day is that you don’t have to reinvent the proverbial wheel when it comes to marketing. The foundation typically provides materials that can be customized to fit your brand. They also are likely to offer other tools and resources, such as trainings and workshops.
7. Leverage cutting-edge technology and online resources.
Technology can be expensive. But by joining a local giving day, you get to leverage best-in-class giving platforms, tools, and educational resources—without breaking the budget. It’s a great method for activating younger donors who prefer online giving and for experiencing what newer giving platforms can do for you.
8. Amplify impact through participating with the larger, local community.
Giving days are about community and collaboration, not competition. Everyone participates and celebrates each other’s wins. The general cheer encourages people to get involved and give. They like seeing organizations that work together for the greater good.
9. Learn from and collaborate with others.
A giving day always is someone’s first rodeo. If it’s yours, you needn’t worry. Other organizations will assemble around you and share what worked—and didn’t—for them. You may also find complementary organizations that lead to collaborative giving day efforts and future joint programming.
10. Raise more funds to reach more people.
Money is important. It keeps your nonprofit going and enables it to have a greater impact in the community. Giving days are designed to generate those funds by rallying the community and motivating everyone, from the youngest to the eldest, to get out and give. And what’s more important than a one-time donation? Recurring donations! Giving days can bring in up to 30% new donors that you can nurture into repeat donors.
Giving days are good for your nonprofit. They boost awareness, join you with the local community, and increase donations. If you want to see the results for yourself, get started by finding out if your community hosts a giving day. If there isn’t one already, reach out to your local foundation, United Way or even a group of nonprofits, to discuss how you can get one started!