min read

cartoon of ipad with giving hand

What’s a giving day?

A giving day is a 24-hour giving event that occurs once a year. It focuses on one simple thing: reaching as many supporters and raising as much money as possible in one day. Over the years, giving days have produced many success stories and have raised millions of dollars across industries.

But don’t be fooled: just because a giving day only spans a short time frame does not mean it’s a “set it and forget it” type of event. One important factor in making a giving day successful is promotion, and that includes promotion during the event. You need to encourage donations throughout the entire day, from launch to the set up of your thank you page.

Read on to learn some key ways to promote giving day during crunch time!

Have your donors post an “unselfie”

Taking the opposite idea of a selfie, self-promotion, the unselfie was born. Ask your donors to take an “unselfie” holding up a piece of paper with the hashtag #unselfie and the hashtag #givingtuesday or #givingday along with the name of your organization and initiative. An “unselfie” lets your donors use on their social capital for the good of the cause and you can reach out to different constituent groups to keep this flow going throughout the event. 

The “unselfie” is a win-win situation. Your donors will love it because they get to show family and friends what they support, especially if you let them tie it to a cause or campaign of their choice.  Plus, every share is a chance to promote your mission, vision, and impact to people it may not have reached before. Encourage your community to promote giving day for you!

cartoon of coins increasing

Announce the amount raised & the number of donors who have given

Track and record the amount you’ve raised every hour and the number of people who have helped you raise it on your social media sites, your email blasts, etc. Set milestones and stretch goals in advance to use as triggers for releasing pre-designed materials that reflect your progress and get your community revved up to participate!

Make sure to always reference what goals you’ve hit as well as where you’re headed. Giving donors and potential supporters a goal to move towards should help you keep momentum throughout your event and have great content to promote giving day.

If you have a web presence (which we highly recommend), you can show this as a rolling number on your leaderboards that can fluctuate every time a donation is received. These numbers can also be tied to individual stories or campaigns to create a gamification element and a little healthy competition between teams or departments.

Use a Countdown

Do you ever get those “deal ends in [insert certain amount of time here]” emails that stores send out? These emails make you believe that if you don’t jump up and buy something right that second, you’ll miss out forever. This is because the human brain has been trained to be motivated by deadlines.

It’s been proven that people are more likely to take action if they sense urgency or if something requires immediate action. Put this countdown on your main giving page, all your social media accounts and send out an email blast that includes a live timer. Still don’t think countdowns work? Check out some real examples here and apply this to your plan to promote giving day.

Feature a human interest story on a donor who gave and the reason why

Before your event, line up one or two people you know are advocates for your organization to give and share their story. Put together a short blurb with hero shots that can be shared across emails, your local news outlets or campus affiliates, social media, and any other applicable channels. Make sure you point back to their personal profiles and have set them up to be updating their own narrative as the event progresses.

These stories are a key element in making your giving day more human and personable as well as creating a social proof for giving. Make sure to pick donors that give at amounts that will inspire smaller and larger gifts alike so that you can appeal to donors with use cases that are similar to the monetary impact they’re capable of making. Especially with smaller amounts like $10-$100, it’s critical to show that every penny makes a real difference.

People are motivated by other people but more importantly, they are motivated by people they can relate to.

cartoon of phone, a way to promote giving day

Make reminder or thank you calls

Picture this, you donate to an organization and soon after you get a real person calling you and genuinely thanking you. Not asking you for more money. Wouldn’t that inspire you to affiliate yourself and support this organization in the future?

Set up a small amount of volunteers to make reminder calls to long-time donors beforehand and then make thank you calls to all who have donated throughout the day. Here are some steps to let donors know you appreciate them. By showing gratitude, your donors are more likely to help you promote giving day to their own networks as well.

This simple outreach strategy and omnichannel approach is a major key to creating long-term relationships with donors. The bottom line is: your donors want to know that you care about them as an individual and that they weren’t just a number.

Sign up for our #GivingTuesday Playbook!

Want more in-depth insight on how to plan and execute a successful giving day? The team at Community Funded has put together a killer #GivingTuesday Playbook that covers everything from assembling your team to creating a stewardship plan! The playbook has 8 individual guides that will prepare you for your big day. Below is the link to the first section: Assemble Your Team. If you sign up for the whole enchilada we’ll deliver every section right to your inbox.

Katie Haystead

Katie Haystead

Senior Vice President, Partnerships

With over a decade of experience working with K12 schools and higher education institutions’ fundraising efforts, Katie Haystead now oversees the partnerships team at Community Funded. Her passion for partner success and satisfaction aligns with Community Funded’s priorities and Katie’s unique background is well suited to manage the day to day operations of our partnerships team as well as new market acquisition.

Prior to joining the team at Community Funded, Katie served many roles within the Fundraising Division at Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Her experience ranges from working onsite and remotely with clients executing phonathon programs, developing annual giving strategies, onsite consultations and also developing multichannel strategies allowing for strong synergy between annual giving channels and creating strong major and planned gift pipelines.

Katie is based in Metro Detroit and is a graduate of Central Michigan University, where she worked for the phonathon for 3 years while working towards her History Major.

Kim Jennings

Kim Jennings

Senior Generosity Strategist, Generis

Kim Jennings, CFRE is a skilled fundraising leader who believes in the power of Christian education to raise up thoughtful, strong, committed leaders who can make our world a better place for all.

Kim Jennings

Todd Turner

Director of Digital Strategies, Generis

In addition to his 11 years overseeing Chuck Swindoll’s Insight Living Ministries communications department, Todd Turner has worked as a digital strategist for faith based organizations across the globe..

Kim Jennings

Jennifer Perrow

Senior Generosity Strategist, Generis

Jennifer is a skilled fundraising and communications professional who helps ministries articulate vision, communicate mission, and raise abundant funds to advance Kingdom priorities.