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4 Tips to Optimize Your Giving Day

Giving days and donor challenges have become increasingly popular for organizations to implement into their fundraising strategy. It’s vital to the success of your giving day or challenge that all of your communications stand out – whether that be through direct mail, email, social media, or any other channel. Giving days are a great way to engage donors, raise money, and create awareness about your organization and the impact of philanthropy. A giving day takes a lot of time, strategy, and preparation to execute it effectively. Optimize your giving day with 4 tips to take your giving day to the next level.

Let’s review 4 tips to optimize your giving day strategy:

PLANNING: A static element for each organization that has reached success is planning. Planning in advance will help your organization reach its goals. In your planning, some of the components you might want to consider are:

  • Benchmarking and how the goals of the giving day align with the organization’s goals
  • Internal support from your senior leadership
  • Leadership donors who might be interested in helping or participating
  • A network of supporters and advocates to help with outreach before and during the giving day on their social channels through word-of-mouth
  • External solution providers to help with various components
  • A timeline of initiatives
  • Promotional messages and through which channels you plan on executing

There are a lot of moving parts to a giving day and having strong advocates, leadership, and organizers convening to plan the before, during, and after initiatives is critical to the success of the giving day and beyond.

BRANDING: Branding your giving day makes it easier to spread the word about the day and distinguish it from other organizational giving initiatives. To successfully brand your giving day, you need to create a name and brand for your giving day that aligns with your organization’s mission. For example, you might want to focus on…

  • A special holiday – Pi Day: 3.14 (March 14th)
  • An athletics challenge – March Madness: Organization Name Madness
  • A new name for giving day – Rally Day, Founder’s Day, Drive for 125
  • Your organization’s founding year – 1810: 1,810 donors in 1,810 minutes

Depending on what your organization’s mission is and why you’re holding the giving day, you can create a name and then a brand. Many organizations create a brand for their giving day while staying within their organization’s overall branding. However, a logo is developed along with messaging, graphics and other branding elements to make a lasting impression when spreading the word.

DIRECT MAIL: When you have an event, you likely send a save-the-date or invitation, inviting someone to attend that event. This is no different than what should happen with your giving day. It’s important to get the word out through different channels so your donors know everything they need to know about the day. Answers to these commonly asked questions should likely be answered through the channels your organization plans on using:

  • What is a giving day?
  • When is the giving day?
  • What should I expect?
  • Who is involved?
  • How do I get involved?
  • Why is this being held?

Similar to pre-giving day communications, don’t forget about post-giving day communications. You want to be sure that you follow up with your donors and let them know about the results of the giving day, in addition to thanking them for their participation.

Remember, know your audience and how they like to receive information. Some of your potential donors might want something tangible to remember what they need to do for the giving day or what their impact was following the day, whereas others might prefer electronic communications leading up to and following the event.

EXTERNAL PARTNERS: It’s okay if you feel overwhelmed planning a giving day – maybe you’re doing it all by yourself, or maybe you manage a team and delegate tasks. Whatever the case may be, it’s okay to look for external partners to help you execute your giving day. There are resources that can help with your communications and execution.

BCG Connect knows how busy you are and all of the tasks you have to prioritize to optimize your giving day. That’s why we make your job easier by being a reliable partner so you can focus on those priority tasks, while we focus on our expertise providing you with creative direct marketing solutions. Connect with us to learn how we can help you identify, acquire, and retain your donors!

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Ashley Worrell
NEC Madness Case Study

Case Study Download: NEC Madness Yields Successful Results

“One of our goals for our FY17 Annual Fund was to increase participation rates among alumni. Our plan was to create a competition that could flow across channels to engage the largest number of alumni, faculty, and staff as possible. BCG CONNECT worked with us from the brainstorming phase to the execution of the project. They connected us with another school who had done a similar campaign, designed a bracket logo and mailer that served as a solid foundation for our challenge, and created some great social media graphics that were flexible and useful throughout our two-week campaign. BCG CONNECT was helpful in both developing and designing the concept and content for our NEC Madness campaign. Looking forward to working with them on our FY18 projects!

                  -Genevieve Andress, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, New England College

In preparation for New England College’s (NEC’s) FY17 annual fund, they partnered with BCG CONNECT for their annual giving direct marketing campaign. One of their initiatives was a March participation challenge with a goal of 400 donors.

Participation challenges are a great way to engage donors and raise money simultaneously. It brings out the fun and competitive spirit in individuals while supporting a great cause. By incorporating a theme into a challenge or giving day, constituents can really captivate themselves into the event and participate in something entertaining that they can relate to.

New England College’s challenge took place in March of 2017 and took the theme of March Madness by being branded as NEC Madness. Most people associate March Madness with the “basketball-packed” month full of strategic brackets and friendly competition. By having a challenge branded as NEC Madness, BCG CONNECT aligned with that theme and designed a bracket logo, mailer, and social media graphics that were enticing to constituents.

Did NEC reach their goal of 400 donors? How did they do it? What was part of their campaign? Download the case study to get these questions answered and learn how NEC generated successful results.

As a leading provider of creative direct marketing services, BCG CONNECT can partner with you to optimize your campaign creatively and strategically – connect with us to learn more!

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BCG Staff Writer