Improving Your Giving Day Marketing in 2025

Theresa JubertSenior Client Solutions ConsultantJuly 7, 2024

While giving days are no longer a new concept, the way we engage with our donors is constantly changing. We had an awesome spring giving day season here at RNL with clients using our ScaleFunder platform. Let us show you what we deemed “fire” this season so you can take your giving day to the next level in 2025.

Team effort and organizational buy-in

A major key to a successful giving day is making sure your leadership and campus understand that this is an all-hands-on-deck initiative. Your marketing efforts will not be successful unless you have a team behind you to help push the word out and support the day. Giving days are a team sport!

First, meet with campus stakeholders to break down any barriers and build bridges. Understand what the priorities are for your campus partners and help ensure that your giving day supports those priorities.

Ideally, you’ll need support from your college’s central marketing and communications department. You’ll need their help pushing the word out through email and social media. This is a multi-channel, multi-segmented campaign that requires a team effort—a few social posts or one email will not suffice.

You also need support from gift officers and advancement leaders who can help assist in securing match and challenge funds—this may take months, so start having these conversations now. Donors are 27 percent more likely to give when presented with a match, so we need these match and challenge funds to help encourage and increase participation. Imagine your likelihood of securing a gift would be magically increased by 27 percent if you did just one thing… you would want to do the thing!

Finally, we need the support of volunteers to help us spread the word. It’s absolutely essential to train, educate, and even incentivize your ambassadors. Educating your ambassadors is made easy with RNL ScaleFunder because you can communicate directly with your ambassadors through the platform, and your client solutions consultant (CSC) can help provide a training for your ambassadors. If you offer prizes and have competitions for your ambassadors, that is going to help increase engagement.

Omnichannel engagement and messaging

Although we consider giving days to be digital campaigns, omnichannel engagement is absolutely essential to your success. If you’re wondering what the RNL ScaleFunder CSCs recommend when it comes to omnichannel engagement, here is a pretty basic outline of what a bare-bones outreach plan should include:

  • save-the-date postcard
  • pre-event communication through email
  • day-of communication through email
  • pre- and day-of phone outreach
  • digital ads
  • a texting component

Great, you have all the bases covered, but what about your messaging? What is going to entice your donors to give? Here’s a quick list of what we recommend to get you started on developing your Giving Day messaging:

  • A gift of any size is helpful. Make sure your donors understand that you simply want them to participate at the level they are comfortable, it doesn’t matter the gift size.
  • Communicate tight deadlines and urgency. Part of what makes giving days successful is the sense of urgency to participate now before it’s too late. Your messaging should incorporate a deadline and a sense of urgency.
  • Use peer advocacy and social proofing. Activating and empowering your networks to spread the word about your giving day is a major key to success. If a trusted source introduces the donor to giving day, they are more likely to participate. That’s the concept of social proof—sort of like a yelp review. If your networks are backing something and believe in it, you’re willing to back it and believe in it, too.
  • Game theory is still a key messaging strategy. This is especially great for getting your campus partners on board with the day. It can help create some friendly competition and boost participation.
  • Nostalgia is another common tactic for giving day messaging. Pulling on those heartstrings and reminding donors of their time on campus can really motivate them to give.
  • Convey your excitement! A giving day really is a day to celebrate your organization. It’s an overwhelmingly positive event and celebration—a tradition on campus like homecoming—so lean into that excitement and share that celebration with your donors.

Ready for a record-breaking giving day?

RNL Giving Day Powered by ScaleFunder combines the most powerful giving day platform with strategic assessments, omnichannel marketing, and stewardship to make your giving day a major success and increase future giving.

RNL Giving Day Powered by ScaleFunder

Try these ideas from the best giving days in the country

Our RNL ScaleFunder partners run some of the best giving days in the country. Below are a few examples we thought were particularly hot this year—we hope they provide some inspiration for you.

Early giving promotions are becoming increasingly popular with our RNL ScaleFunder partners. The University of South Carolina promoted “hats off to you” for early giving, where a gift of $18.01 landed donors a limited-edition baseball hat. An early giving promotion helps encourage social sharing and creates some buzz and excitement for your day.

Blog on Giving Days in 2024: Example of University of South Carolina Giving Day Message

We have the data to show that segmenting your communication for Giving Day helps increase donations. Emory University sent out a pre-giving day survey to better gauge the interests of their donors. When you send your donors relevant content, you’ll increase your conversion rates- more engaged donors and more donations. It’s a win-win.

Blog on Giving Days in 2024: Message for Emory University Giving Day
Blog on Giving Days in 2024: Message from Emory University about their giving day

We had a plethora of entertaining videos as part of spring giving day season this year. Take a look at Cleveland State’s hilarious and engaging video here. But not all giving day videos need to be funny in order to be entertaining. Washington State University took a more serious approach with their giving day video this year, and it drew in quite a crowd! As mentioned previously, nostalgia is a great way to entice your donors to give.

Blog on Giving Days in 2024: Video message from Washington State University

And we may sound like broken records over here, but arming your volunteers with resources and making it as easy as possible for them to participate is an A++ strategy for success. We were wowed by the resources our partners at Alpha Gamma Delta pulled together for their giving day this year. They included sample posts and email messaging for their ambassadors, as well as a guide to help their match and challenge sponsors promote the day. 

Blog on Giving Days in 2024: Message on giving day ambassador strategies from Alpha Delta Gamma
Blog on Giving Days in 2024: Message on matches and challenges from Alpha Delta Gamma

Learn how you can have a fantastic giving day

Want to find more strategies for having the best giving day ever?

About the Author

Theresa Jubert

Theresa provides strategic leadership for RNL digital giving partners, maximizing their success with crowdfunding, giving days, and our digital giving solutions. Theresa leads our client solutions team to provide support for RNL Digital Giving powered...

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