3 Ways to Level Up Your Giving Day

Theresa JubertSenior Client Solutions ConsultantJuly 8, 2022

Giving days are a big part of your annual fundraising plan. Most organizations now host an annual giving day, whether it’s a special campus event on a day you choose, participating in #GivingTuesday in November, or even hosting multiple cause-based days. Giving days offer tremendous opportunity to gain attention, engage volunteers, and energize your entire community.

Giving days have evolved, and so have the strategies. I recently unpacked some of these trends in a webinar, and here are three key strategies you can employ immediately to boost your special day.

Give your donors multiple chances to ‘win’ on your giving day with challenges, matches, and leaderboards.

Matching challenges aren’t new to fundraising, but coordinating numerous challenges in concert, along with leaderboards and donor walls that automatically update, has really grown with giving day technology. After you’ve secured your challenges and incentives, allowing donors to see the ways their gift will be amplified at checkout is key. Having a platform that auto-updates the total based on all the utilized matches also saves your team time and keeps things straight when gifts are flying in. With this technology in place, you can do new and innovative things.

How to Level Up Your Giving Day: Boise State Broncos Give
Check out Boise State’s Broncos Give for a great example of full community involvement and a full suite of challenges (which also won them a CASE Circle of Excellence Award).

A really great example of this is the “power hour,” a time during the giving day where donors vote for a specific campus area with their giving. A donor, or the advancement division, offers a prize to the groups that secure the most donors (often, to any giving area). The University of California, Berkeley does a great job with this, engaging campus organizations to help boost giving day excitement.

How to Level Up Your Giving Day: A New Type of Leaderboard
Multi-level challenges that are specific to key areas of support, colleges, and student organizations have grown in popularity.

Work with gift officers on your giving day to amplify excitement for big gifts

As we shared in our recent webinar, the average online gift for giving days in FY22 was $148. And while 72 percent of the donors made a gift in the online portal, that represents only about one-quarter of total giving. Seventy-six percent of dollars on giving days came through offline methods (like big pledges or through DAFs). These often represent the sources of challenges, matches, and giving day incentive gifts.This means that giving days have really become a mini-campaign that begins 300+ days prior to the big day, as you work with gift officers, campus leadership, and your volunteers to secure these commitments that will be announced on the big day.

Fundraisers have quickly realized the real value in major donor engagement during giving days, in three ways. First, challenges give gift officers a great opportunity to propose a mid-level gift (say, $10,000, a common challenge amount), and ask a donor to take that step up in giving. That can be crucial to build trust for a much larger gift. These gift opportunities also help gift officers tactfully move a donor forward with urgency. The gift has to be documented by giving day. And finally, when a donor agrees to be social in giving—offering their money but also their personal support and network, it makes giving more engaging, sticky, and surely will lead to bigger gifts over time.

Make it easy to give with integrated digital wallets on giving day

How to Level Up Your Giving Day: Payment Providers

For your online givers, it has to be easy on giving day. We’ve shared before the power of the digital wallet—where donors can give through any payment tech installed on their device like Paypal, Venmo, and Apple Pay. This allows gifts in as quick as 30 seconds.

These key strategies come together into an incredible donor experience and make it easier for your team to administer a giving day. Integration is key, from gift officers to multi-level challenges, to all the gift processing on the back end. And the institutions that have coordinate giving days as a community effort have seen massive donor response, often booking half or more of their annual donor total in a single day.

Pulling off that level of excitement and activity takes careful planning, great technology, and probably a little help. The RNL ScaleFunder team has a ton of experience, and examples to share that can help you level up your giving day. Contact us today and we’ll set up a time to talk so we can share what we’ve learned this year to help boost the success of your FY23 giving day.

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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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