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Monday, January 24, 2022

Should a Giving Day Be Part of Your Nonprofit’s 2022 Fundraising Strategy?

There are countless methods for acquiring funding to support the important work your nonprofit does, and because all of them require you to invest time and resources, choosing the best match for your organization is crucial. For some organizations, Giving Days, annual fundraising events that aim to create a sense of urgency to drive donations, awareness, and engagement, have been a huge success. Hope for Haiti’s Hike for Haiti Challenge, has seen greater than 35x revenue growth over three years, bringing in $350,000 in 2021.

Why Giving Days? 

Relying on fundraising throughout the year, on Giving Tuesday, and/or during a series of events are all perfectly valid fundraising strategies, and you have likely tried them all. A Giving Day creates a ‘deadline’ for giving to your organization that may spur your supporters to take action instead of postponing, which happens even to well-intentioned donors. A unique Giving Day means putting the focus on your organization and cause, rather than vying for attention during times when all nonprofits are seeking to draw from the same pool of donations. Plus, a Giving Day event feels special and can be planned in concert with other fundraising tactics, like a Matching Campaign.

Giving Day Basics

If you want to create your own Giving Day, start here. 

Choose your day: Select a day that is significant to your organization, and doesn’t clash with other major giving events. A national or international day of focus that aligns with your issue area may feel appropriate. Avoid the end of the year and GivingTuesday. If you know of other organizations in your area with Giving Days, try to schedule yours for another date. 

  • Plan the day: Your event will be as unique as your organization and can take place in person, online, or in a hybrid format. For example, Hike for Haiti was inspired by the hike that the children the organization worked to support took to school each day and the desire to get the community engaged in physical activity. Hope for Haiti was sure to structure the event so that a broader international audience could participate from afar.  

  • Promote the lead up: In the months leading up to your Giving Day, be sure to include messaging about it in your correspondence to your nonprofit’s support network, particularly to previous donors. 

  • Go big on the big day: See your event through. Make sure those who attend and those who did not attend know why this event is important. You should be reaching your target audience on the Giving Day through all of your communication channels and reiterating ways for donors to participate from afar. 

  • Follow up: A key part of promoting a feeling of collective achievement is letting your supporters know what they accomplished. Share information about how much money was raised and what good your organization will be able to do with their support. This does not necessarily need to include specific numbers, but financial transparency is often appreciated. Close your message with an invitation for donors to join your Giving Day next year. 

  • Iterate: Hope for Haiti credits its growing Giving Day success to the adjustments it made each year based on feedback from participants and the changing world. Some of these changes were dramatic, including renaming the event and engaging in new technology. Read Hope for Haiti’s full Giving Day success story to learn more about these iterations. 

Fundraising resources are precious. Is 2022 the year for your organization to take the leap and try a Giving Day?

About the author: Clarissa Coburn is a Charity Navigator contributor. 

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