The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County hosted their first Giving Day with Mightycause to raise funds to initiate a new endowment. Through direct support and engagement of their peer-to-peer fundraisers, and strategic matching grants, they raised over $70,000 in just 24 hours!

Community Foundation Giving Days

Community Foundations are a central part of the fabric of local regions. They bring together local nonprofits and causes, they spark philanthropic efforts throughout their community, and they often highlight and promote special initiatives that are particularly relevant and important to their area. Recently, Giving Days have become an important part of a year-round strategy of raising funds and awareness about the great work that these local foundations do in their community. Many foundation Giving Days bring together nonprofits all across their state or city for a marathon of fundraising with prizes and events.  

Community Foundation

Some others, like the event hosted by the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, bring together a group of individuals for a marathon of giving.There are lots of unique ways that Community Foundations, and nonprofits, can host a 24 hour Giving Day for a focused and exciting twist on the average fundraising campaign. 

Thrive by 5 Giving Day

The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe county had a big task ahead of them. The goal was to raise $1 million to establish the Lewis Fund for Early Childhood Education endowment to support young learners in their community. Their generous donor, Eliot Lewis, helped to establish this fund with a $100,000 gift to support early learning initiatives. This was a great start, but it was up to the Community Foundation to raise the remainder of the funds. They decided that the best way to launch the public phase of this fundraising drive, to engage their community and start spreading the word about the effort, was to host their very first Giving Day.

The Thrive by 5 Giving Day, as it came to be called, aimed to engage committed individuals to start their own peer-to-peer fundraiser for raise money for the Community Foundation, and this endowment campaign in particular. These peer-to-peer fundraisers, or “Early Learning Champions” as they were called, were tasked with helping to spread the word and act as ambassadors for the launch of this campaign. With an initial goal of $25,000 the campaign kicked off.

Thrive by 5 Giving Day

Strategies and Results

In just 24 short hours, the Community Foundation had far exceeded their goal, raising over $70,000 through nearly 500 unique donors. All told, they had 26 peer to peer fundraisers that committed their time and energy to make the campaign a success. Each of these early learning champions really made their mark on the campaign, the average fundraiser got over 20 donations to their campaign, and raised an average of $2,500.

How did they make their first Giving Day such a success? They started by hand selecting and recruiting individuals, and asking them to serve as an early learning champion as a part of this effort. These individuals came from a range of different sectors and interests, but all had a vested interest in support early learning efforts within the community. Once these individuals signed on to the campaign, the Community Foundation took the lead in building their peer-to-peer pages on their behalf. Using the template provided in the Mightycause Team Fundraising tool, the Community Foundation was able to quickly and easily spin up pages for each of their participants. With unique features available like customizing the fundraising page url, or the thank you message that is sent to donors, the Community Foundation was able to ensure that each participant had a truly personalized page to share with their networks of supporters.

The Community Foundation also provided a $1,000 matching grant to each participating peer-to-peer fundraiser, to both help bolster the success of each participant, and to give the participant an incentive to share with their donors. This became a central message for each fundraiser, “Help me raise at least $1,000 and your donation will be matched dollar for dollar!”. Making this match available to each participating fundraiser was a really effective strategy for the Community Foundation to leverage further support for each campaign.

Learn More

Looking for more information about how to host a Giving Day for your Community Foundation? Download our Giving Day Playbook, or contact us at to connect!

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