Giving Tuesday. Colorado Gives Day. One Island Giving Day.  Arizona Gives Day. New York Gives Day. Illinois Day of Giving. Giving to the Max Day. All – and there are many more --  are founded with a single goal of bringing awareness to the importance of philanthropy and giving back to the local community.

The Giving Tuesday idea is simple, piggybacking on the post-Thanksgiving sales cycle of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday”. The other state-wide giving days simply pick a date – ranging from sometime in October to early December – and are generally championed by a community foundation which provides an online portal and often, an incentive fund.

So what can you do to make the most of this? After all, many nonprofits rely on year-end giving for a large portion of their philanthropic budget. 

Some simple ideas:

  1.  Plan ahead. It’s just about impossible to mount a successful giving day effort without beginning to plan as early as spring or early summer. 
  2. Pick a financial goal. Do you want to raise $10,000 or $50,000? More?? Make sure the goal is feasible and not pulled out of thin air.
  3. Create a communications plan using all possible channels: your newsletter, social media, your website, your blog and email blasts.
  4. Do you have an online giving portal on your website? It’s essential.
  5. Segment your donors and prospects by their P2G score (lower is better) and giving history.
  6. Make it personal. Engage your board and other key volunteers to send the message to their friends and colleagues.
  7. Plan a live event and on the day, tweet out your results as they come in. Make sure it’s fun and festive. If you can get one of your corporate donors to help underwrite it or if you can secure donations of food and drinks, so much the better.
  8. Be thankful. Show your gratitude using all your communication channels and share your results. Consider a simple You Tube-type video communicating the thanks of your team and those you serve.
  9. Steward your donors, new and old. Be sure to get all gift acknowledgement forms out within 48 hours. Set aside an entire day to do so and make it a team effort.

For more tips, as well as some planning guides, visit your sponsoring community foundation’s website, https://www.givingtuesday.org/organizations#block--the-complete-toolkit , www.razoo.com/givingdays and http://givingdayplaybook.org/planning -- a service of the Knight Foundation

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