Setting Up a Successful Giving Day Planning Guide
Every organization can benefit from using a giving day planning guide to help guide their intentions before starting their campaign. Whether it’s your first year participating in a giving event or you’ve had multiple years of experience, taking the time to set up a clear plan at the beginning of your fundraising journey is a must-do on your checklist.
What is a Giving Day Planning Guide
A planning guide is a great tool to use as you begin the preparations involved for participating in a giving event. This guide helps you review your organization’s goals, set your intentions, and plan for your upcoming event. It serves as your roadmap to success. It provides you an opportunity to assess team roles, evaluate your capacity levels, set fundraising goals, and determine where you plan to focus your campaign efforts.
The giving event you are participating in will likely have a planning guide in its resources for you. Reference this as a starting point which you can then adapt to your organization’s needs.
Giving Day Planning Guide – Step by Step
Step 1 – Build your team
Select a point person for your campaign. This person will be the go-to contact through the whole process. If you plan to have multiple team members working on the event how do you plan to divide up the tasks? Taking the time to figure out your team’s capacity will help you determine how much time and resources you have for the campaign.
If you are the only one working on the campaign, determine where and how you can best spend your energy during the event and planning process. Consider reaching out to volunteers who can take on smaller tasks. These tasks can range from phone calls to donors, passing out flyers to local businesses, or even creating social media templates to support your marketing efforts. Every bit helps, especially if you are a small team.
Step 2 – Determine your focus & set your goals
Take the time to reflect on why you are participating in a giving event and what you are trying to achieve through the event.
What is the focus for your campaign? What is your message going to be to donors? If you are fundraising for something specific like new shelving or better lighting you will want to let donors know. Be sure to consider both monetary and non-monetary goals – like a new donor count, incorporating peer-to-peer fundraising, securing sponsorships, etc. as you plan your campaign.
If you previously participated in the giving event, reflect on the prior event’s results. How did you do with the goals you set previously? Last year’s results can help guide your strategy for this year.
Step 3 – Enlist fundraisers
The most successful organizations enlist peer-to-peer fundraisers to help raise awareness and money for their cause. In most cases, organizations that utilize peer-to-peer fundraising typically end up raising more money than those who don’t.
Peer-to-peer fundraising encourages individuals to fundraise on your organization’s behalf. They solicit donations and help support your campaign by reaching out to their own networks thereby allowing you to reach more donors during the campaign.
Anyone can be a peer-to-peer fundraiser for your organization. Consider asking employees, board members, volunteers, or any highly engaged individuals close to your organization. Take it to the next level by setting up a team fundraiser if you have a large group who wants to add some friendly competition. Take advantage of built-in features like creating a “fundraiser template” that pre-fills most of the content for your fundraisers to ensure a seamless onboarding.
Step 4 – Engage your board
Engaging your board is an essential part of fundraising success. At the bare minimum, you will want to send your board members information on how they can support your campaign. Include some language around fundraising efforts and a direct link to donate so they can share with their network.
If your board members are enlisted as fundraisers for your campaign, consider setting up a team fundraising page for them. With Mightycause, team fundraising pages are able to include a leaderboard to encourage friendly competition. Gamification can go a long way in motivating your board to stay engaged during your fundraising campaign.
Other ideas for board engagement include having them reach out for sponsorships. Be sure to consider what skillsets your board members come with when thinking about what tasks they may be able help with. Do you have a board member who is great with social media and marketing? Consider asking them to help support in that area of your campaign.
Step 5 – Secure sponsorships & matching grants
Sponsorships can come in all shapes and sizes. Some sponsors are able to provide a match for your campaign. These gifts are essentially a large donation that your organization receives and then uses the gift to drum up excitement to bring in other, smaller donations. Setting up a matching grant from a sponsor helps motivate other donors to give during your campaign. Matching grants can be a single gift from a company or business, or a group can come together to provide the gift – like your board or a group of volunteers all chipping in. Learn how to secure a matching grant here.
It’s important to also consider that sponsors might not all be able to donate money, but many might be able to donate in-kind. Examples of this could be providing printing services, marketing support, advertising space, etc. Don’t cross in-kind gifts off your list – be sure to offer them as an alternative way to support your campaign and come prepared with some suggested options.
Take the time to list potential sponsorships and match grantors that you can reach out to and check out our Matching Grants ebook for more information.
Step 6 – Determine fundraising channels
Marketing your campaign will be key to getting the word out to donors and supporters. Think about how you will advertise your campaign to connect with donors and remind them to save the date.
If you use social media, go where your largest audience is. Do most of your supporters come from Facebook? Spend your resources doing outreach on Facebook. No social media presence? You can email or send direct mail to reach supporters. A traditional ‘save the date’ postcard is a fun way to remind your network about your event.
Consider how you can incorporate a virtual or in-person event for your campaign as well. While most fundraising will take place online during the giving period if your organization has a physical location you can encourage in-person donations. Consider hosting an on-site event for this period. Set up an iPad to give donors the option to give on-site to your campaign during any early giving windows or during the day-of.
What other ways can you drum up excitement around your campaign and get the word out to your supporters?
Step 7 – Plan for post event
Now is a great time to build a plan for post event to ensure you thank your donors and supporters in a timely manner.
You’ll want to consider a plan for onboarding new donors as well. Will you mail them a postcard thanking them or plan to make individual calls?
Preschedule any social media posts or emails that will go out immediately after the even. This will help close the loop on your campaign. You can fill in supporters on your event goals and let them know the final totals from your campaign.
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