A key component of any successful Day of Giving is advocacy from organizational champions that help get the word out.
This can be staff, faculty, alumni, or past donors; the important thing is to reach out (ideally more than 3 months in advance) and identify who within these groups is willing to help tell your story and inspire their networks to action.
You can find these members through a variety of tactics: at donor or staff events where you can announce your upcoming initiative, through major gift officers who can ask for support using an existing relationship, through very tailored direct email aimed at your most likely advocates, and (most personally) a call from you or your leadership.
Try to follow this timeline to be prepared:
90 Days before Launch
Send your initial announcement to your network to warm up potential supporters.
2 Months before Launch
Send a ‘Save the Date.’
Use an electronic postcard – you’re hosting a big event!
1 Month before Launch
Send weekly or bi-weekly announcements if possible. Don’t fatigue your database, but it’s important to keep things top of mind. Segment and tailor messaging for alumni age groups to have better open and engagement rates.
Once your ambassadors are identified, you need to have a clear plan and documented timeline for what you are asking them to do.
This includes several elements:
Concise, templated social media posts with a clear call to action.
A distinctive hashtag to collect all social activity.
‘Pre-launch’ and ‘Day of’ email templates for ambassadors to send to potential supporters.
Image collateral to use in social and email promotion.
If you’re not sure where to start, follow the below template for a killer communications document:
Thank you for supporting [Giving Day Name]! This is an online fundraising initiative lasting 24 hours that encourages alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends to make a difference to [Institution Name]. Before our event and during from [Start Date] to [End Date], we’re counting on loyal and caring [Mascot Name] and their friends to spread the word and make an impact through giving to a wide range of worthy projects! Thanks for your help, we couldn’t do it without you.
Questions? Contact [Designated Support] at [Email and/or Phone Number]
1 Week before Launch
Announce [Day of Giving and/or Campaign names] on your social channels.
Share the [School/University] [Hashtag] and follow us on [Facebook Link] and [Twitter Link] to like and share posts.
Tag friends in your posts.
Email your personal network. You can also use [Email Template] if you’re not sure where to start.
2-3 Days before Launch
Download the official [Day of Giving Name] pictures from [Images Link]
Change your Facebook and Twitter profile pictures and cover photos to [Desired Image Link]
Continue posting about [Day of Giving Name] on your favorite social media channels and tagging friends in your posts.
Make your gift early at [Platform Link].
Day of Launch
Email your personal network that today’s the day! Again, here is an [Email Template] if you’re not sure what to include.
Post/share on social media throughout the day. Here are some templates we’ve created to help [Link to 3-4 Facebook and Twitter Templates]
Tag your friends and encourage them to donate and show support on social media.
If you know someone who made a gift, send them a personal thank you or social media shout out.
Day after Launch
Thank your network for participating via posts or via email.
Share the [School/University][Hashtag] Facebook and Twitter posts
Once you have created this and your champions have helped you reach your goal, make sure to show gratitude. Thank them first and foremost with a personal note acknowledging their impact. They will be there again to help next year if you do!