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Achieving your Giving Day Goals with GiveGab’s Engagement Team

Posted by Katie Thomas on Oct 18, 2021 10:38:08 AM

In this episode of Giving & Gabbing, we chat with two members of our Engagement Team, Molly Heslin, Relationship Management Team Lead, and Aimee McManus, Sales Enablement Manager. Our guests discuss the importance of goal setting, ways to make your Giving Day stand out, and guidance on growing your impact year-over-year.

GiveGab has powered over 500 Giving Days since its first in 2015. During this time, we have had the privilege of working with incredible fundraising thought leaders who have developed creative ways to maximize awareness and engagement during their Giving Day.

Our Engagement team is able to use these experiences to further support future and current Giving Day hosts. In their roles, they guide our partners through strategies and features, offer sound advice, and help them reach their Giving Day goals. Our guests, Holly Heslin and Aimee McManus are passionate about the level of support they provide our partners and feel a lot of pride when they see Giving Days on GiveGab begin to flourish.

"I think one of the favorite things about Giving Days for me is just seeing...talking about strategies with different partners and talking through how things, ideas, or concepts can be lifted and shifted and reapplied to fit into that new framework." - Molly Heslin

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Molly H and Aimee agree that the first, and more important, step to planning your Giving Day is to develop strategic goals. Once you have a clear end goal in mind, the rest of your Giving Day plan will begin to fall in place. Your team can begin to make decisions and developing ideas for your Giving Day driven by the thought "How will this help us our goal?"

Just as no two Giving Days are alike, either are their goals. Some of our Partners aim towards creating as much impact as possible with a monetary goal, while many partners are focused on raising awareness with a specific donor count in mind. Others, simply want to do better than their previous year across the board and center their strategies around overall growth.

We have also seen a lot of more personalized and specific goals begin to develop from our Giving Day partners such as receiving a gift in all 50 States or reaching a donor count that surpasses a University's founding year. Whatever your Giving Day goal is, GiveGab's Engagement Team is there to help you reach it. 

"The most important part of actually doing that goal setting is sitting down and saying, you know, how will this Giving Day serve our larger strategy? What are the two or three most pressing problems that I want to solve for my organization and my community through this Giving Day?" - Aimee McManus

planning-1With your first Giving Day under your belt, Molly H, or another knowledgeable member of our Relationship Manager, will work with you, alongside your Project Manager, to dive into the success of your Giving Day. Your Relationship Manager can determine trends and patterns within your Giving Day and offer new tools and features that will allow you to continue growing the impact of your event year-over-year. By having a greater understanding of your Giving Day's uniqueness, our teams can develop personalized strategies to leverage the momentum you have begun to generate.

If you're looking for ways to generate more engagement, they may suggest offering livestream content through GG Live, and if your focus is on getting your community more involved with your Giving Day, Business Fundraisers could be just the trick! 

"I think even in the first year, there is...you’ll start to see the personality of the Giving Day coming out. We’ll have that debrief with your Project Manager and we’ll start looking at stats and even in that first year, we might just start to see inklings of what might be really special about this day." - Molly Heslin

Aimee also highlights the importance to also developing long-term fundraising goals. Running a Giving Day is not a sprint, it's a marathon. With so many factors that can influence and impact your campaign, it is important to keep your focus on the bigger picture. This will naturally take pressure off as you plan each year, allowing space to try new things and to get creative. 

"So I think that’s also an important thing to kind of get your internal team together, get your Project Manager’s insight, and really think about, you know, what is the eventual outcome of this Giving Day? Where does it, like...where is gonna be in 10 years, in 15 years, and really thinking about how your goals each year can drive towards that as well." - Aimee McManus

The support you receive in growing your Giving Day doesn't stop with GiveGab's Engagement team. You also have a large network of Giving Day hosts to lean on for guidance and expertise. Our Giving Day Leaders Network centers around collaboration and encourages each member to learn and grow among each other. In this exclusive group of thought leaders, you have the opportunity to crowdsource strategies, goals, and creative ideas.

In this episode of Giving & Gabbing, GiveGab's Engagement Team discusses:

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  • How their passions and roles at GiveGab play into their interactions with partners
  • Why goal setting is one of the most important things to do at the start of a Giving Day project
  • Examples of most popular and unique Giving Day goals our Engagement Team has seen
  • How you can go above and beyond with your Giving Day with Premium Features
  • Ways to measure the success of a Giving Day campaign
  • Advice to Giving Day hosts looking to grow the impact of their event year-over-year

 

Check out the full interview with Aimee McManus and Molly Heslin on Achieving Your Giving Day Goals by:

Reading the interview transcript

Watching the live interview video recording

 

Listening to our Giving & Gabbing Podcast episode

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Podcast episodes include nonprofit communication and marketing strategies and interviews with fundraising professionals from across the nonprofit and education sectors.

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Interview Transcript

Molly M: Hi everyone, I’m Molly and I’m the Product Marketer here at GiveGab.

 

Jackie: Hi, I’m Jackie, I’m GiveGab’s Sales Ops Coordinator, and welcome to today’s episode of Giving & Gabbing! In this episode, we are switching things up a bit and we’re gonna be interviewing a few of our very own members of our Engagement team.

 

Molly M: We are so excited to bring on our colleagues today, Aimee, our Sales Enablement Manager, and Molly, our Relationship Manager and Team Lead!

 

Jackie: Our Engagement team specializes in providing support to our current and future Giving Day partners. They help our partners determine their Giving Day goals and which tools will help them achieve fundraising success. GiveGab has helped run over 500 Giving Days since 2015 and our relationship management team is able to use those experiences to guide our partners, offer sound advice, and help them reach their goals. Throughout this interview, we’ll be discussing how to set achievable goals, make your Giving Day stand out, and offer some advice on how you can grow the impact of your event year over year.

 

Molly M: And with that, we are ready to get started and talk to Aimee and Molly today. So welcome both of you, I would love for you all to introduce yourselves and really just share with us about what you do at GiveGab and how you interact with our current partners and even some of our prospective partners.

 

Molly H: Sure! Well let me start by...thank you, thank you for having us back, it’s always great to be on the podcast. My name is Molly also, I’m a Relationship Manager here at GiveGab. I’ve been here for just about two and a half years. I like to say that my role is based on supporting our partners in the Giving Day off-season when they’re not working directly with their Project Managers and are not exactly in the trenches. I get the pleasure of, rather than working with a small bit for a long amount of time, is working with a lot of them for just a little bit of time and it allows me to hear and learn a little about what everyone finds important and keep that focus on the high-level strategy and what those end results are.

 

Aimee: Thanks so much, Molly! Thank you guys so much for having us. My name is Aimee and if you’re listening and you’ve used GiveGab before, you might have seen me in the little blue chat bubble or on the PM side of things. I’ve been at GiveGab for nearly three years now, coming up in October and I spent the first two years of my tenure at GiveGab on the Customer Success team, supporting our customers directly. I recently shifted over to our Engagement team as a Sales Enablement Manager and my role now is to really support our team in helping prospective and current partners and customers really get the absolute most out of GiveGab and realize their goals through partnering with GiveGab. And before partnering, or before coming to GiveGab, I worked in the higher ed fundraising space and I really wanted to continue to something where I could make, you know, a positive impact and really feel like I was making a difference through my work, and I love that I can do that at GiveGab with our partners and with our team.

 

Molly M: I think that’s one of the things that makes GiveGab really special. I think all of us and I think you’ll hear it through our conversation today, love giving back to our communities, no matter where we’re located. We oftentimes, a bunch of us have experience and backgrounds working in the fundraising space before coming to GiveGab, and I think we work so well with each other, I mean, Aimee, you’ve worked across different teams, Molly, you work directly with a lot of our partners, and it really helps us not only understand our specific jobs but understand our partners’ needs and what they’re experiencing in their communities and I think because we work so closely together and with our partners, it helps us help them be more successful. And that really leads me into thinking about, you know, what are some of the things that you all have learned from our partners that has really resonated with you since working at GiveGab?

 

Aimee: Yeah, I can start on this one Molly. I think for me, something that’s struck me through our work with partners, now on our Engagement team, is just how much opportunity there really is to grow your day and how naturally that growth really does come once you’ve done your first year. So it’s a lot of work to get a Giving Day off the ground, and I’m not gonna like, sugarcoat that, it’s a lot, but once you’ve got that year under your belt, that two years under your belt, you can really start to reuse collateral, really start to feel more comfortable with the flow of things, you know what to expect. You’re really a lot more used to running that Giving Day and you really have that opportunity then to grow and that opportunity is exponential.  Instead of focusing on, you know, getting used to running the day and training your campus partners or organizations, prepping all your materials, you can focus on, you know, securing more match dollars, getting more sponsorships, focusing on getting more organizations or campus partners to participate, and growing the reach of your day. And I just love how, you know, a first-year Giving Day really sets that foundational base, and then you can just keep layering on top of it as you go, and it’s really not like you’re ever starting from scratch except for, again, that first year, and even with GiveGab, we just have so much support, it’s the best, um, but I’m just always really blown away by that growth that we do see and I think, in fact, on average, Giving Days with GiveGab grow 72% year over year so again, it’s just like, something that comes naturally, easily, organically, and you’re never alone in it or starting from scratch with it. Molly, I’ll hand it over to you.

 

Molly H: Yeah, yeah I agree with everything you just said Aimee, and I love that you always have those stats in your back pocket and that’s what makes you just like, so good at your job. Really one of the things that resonate with me about our partners, coming in and really not being from the fundraising space, I had this, maybe unfair view, that once you’ve seen a Giving Day you’ve seen a Giving Day, and that is simply not true. I think, especially as you go into that year 2 and year 3 and year 4 as Aimee mentioned, no two Giving Days are the same. They’re not cookie-cutter, and they’re all successful in their own ways. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t inspirations we can take from one another, I think one of the favorite things about Giving Days for me is just seeing...talking about strategies with different partners and talking through how things, ideas, or concepts can be lifted and shifted and reapplied to fit into that new framework. And talking to our partners and hearing how those gears turn of well, how can we make that work for us? Um...just based on what’s important to them. That’s definitely something that’s resonated with me all this time.

 

Molly M: I love that you say that because I so agree. I think that both of you are so right. No Giving Day is the same as another Giving Day, and I come from the background of running a giving day and my favorite part of being a part of the GiveGab network on the other side is just talking with other partners, just like you all get to do and just like we get to experience all the time is...everybody has all these ideas and these solutions to change their community in profound ways and Giving Days are an outlet in which you can do that. And if it’s engaging more people in philanthropy, if it’s, you know, engaging younger people in your community for the first time and having them give back if it’s engaging businesses and alumni in different ways, I just think it’s so exciting to learn from your peers and to have these honest conversations about what you want to achieve because I think there’s so much you can do and so much you can learn from each other, and that’s what helps your Giving Day grow year after year.

 

Jackie: Definitely so many awesome points there, and you’re right Molly that Giving Days are so multifaceted and there’s so much more to it than just raising dollars. So, yeah, Aimee and Molly, let’s start a conversation about how do you sort of get started with setting some of those goals and how do you really get into, um, how you’re going to create that impact on the community for the Giving Day? So, could you talk a little bit about why goal setting is one of the most important things to do at the start of the Giving Day project?

 

Molly H: Yeah, I’m, um, I’m really excited that you ask this, Jackie. Definitely, goal setting is one of those things that I am most passionate about. And when I talk about goals, I really don’t like to talk about the numbers, especially at the onset. You know, if you’re an established Giving Day, and you have a benchmark of what you’ve done before, I think that’s great, but coming in on that first year, as Aimee mentioned, we have all of this support, we have all of this data, we know how to slice and dice it to see how you compare and we do that at the Giving Day Leaders Forum. What we can’t show with that data is what’s important for you on that Giving Day. So when I'm talking about goals, I want to know what will make you sit back at the end of the day and say that was a successful day? And that’s what changes for...across our Giving Day partners, are small-dollar donors more important to you? Are new donors more important to you? Is that gift count, showing the repeat generosity of your donors, is that the most important thing? Once we as a team at GiveGab have an understanding of the most important aspects of the day to you, the rest comes.

 

Aimee: Yeah, I totally agree, Molly, those are such good points. It’s super important to just really look at those goals and start doing that goal setting before you even really start thinking about working on the rest of your day. Because as Molly said, there are just so many different things you can accomplish through your Giving Day, and in order to truly succeed it’s important to pick just a few areas to focus on while you’re planning so you don’t get overwhelmed, you know, drive yourself crazy trying to meet all these different metrics or goals. And to me, the most important part of actually doing that goal setting is sitting down and saying, you know, how will this Giving Day serve our larger strategy? What are the two or three most pressing problems that I want to solve for my organization and my community through this Giving Day? And then once you’ve set those goals and you know those problems, that’s when you can really work backward and identify the strategies that will help you reach success and reach those goals. And not to toot our own horns again, but that’s where our team at GiveGab really, like, shines I think, because in all stages of working with us, you know, whether you’re a new partner, a prospective partner, a seasoned partner who’s been with us for years and years, you know, every time we work with you, every time you launch a new Giving Day, a new initiative, we say, okay, what are your goals? How can we help you reach those goals? What are we gonna do to support you in executing those strategies that are actually going to move you towards success? And that’s, you know, really important because the strategies that underlie those goals are going to look really different depending on what the goal is, so.

 

Jackie: Yeah, thanks Aimee, that’s tremendous, the way that you explained how we kind of get that process started at GiveGab and I think people can see how that ultimately is such an effective strategy to, um, build the sort of timeline around what the goals are. And um, yeah, I feel like tremendous is becoming a word of choice lately, I don’t know, but...like you said earlier, every Giving Day is unique, right? Even a Giving Day in the same region from year to year can be unique so in your experiences, what really makes a Giving Day stand out?

 

Molly H: Jackie, I could go on and on on this one for sure. Um...a Giving Day, at the basic level, I think, stands out by amplifying the unique aspects of the community it serves. Talking about those higher education institutions, the community foundations, hospitals even, what they’re doing to amplify their voices. That unique brand is absolutely crucial to make it easy for your donors to recognize the day and what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. I love hearing about some of our longer-standing Giving Days because they’ve truly become events in their community that everyone looks forward to and has marked in their calendars. And that’s something that everyone across the board strives for. This is a little random, but mascots always really delight me. We see these animated characters, just really hyped with all of this energy, in all of our spaces, and I guess really, it’s just about the story you’re telling, what the day is about, who it’s for, and what your impact is.

 

Aimee: Yeah Molly, I love the way you brought up that unique storytelling and what you said, highlighting that uniqueness of your community and telling your story. You know, the past year and a half have obviously been challenging for all of us and especially organizations that rely heavily on those in-person events and meeting with donors, supporters, volunteers, etc. in person to really tell that story and get their kind of uniqueness across. So, something that’s made Giving Days stand out to me are all the different livestreams and virtual methods of engagement that our partners are starting to leverage or have been leveraging that actually make me feel personally a lot closer to the day itself, many miles away. I remember sitting and just watching the livestream for Amplify Austin Day, I literally wasn’t even working, I was just like enjoying myself watching this livestream. I was eating dinner and just having a good time, um, you know, I think they were doing things like they were personally interviewing participating organizations, they had a DJ, they had like a live art class at one point, and it was just so cool and it was also really elevating their community and giving that exposure, and it just stood out to me so much and another example of that is, our partners at Community Shares of Wisconsin, they live broadcasted drag bingo during the Big Share and had their community participate in that. So that is just like such a fun, unique way to really engage to show the colorfulness of your community and to highlight those who might not be highlighted or have the opportunity to be highlighted in an in-person event. And those are just a few examples but I think, you know, doing that also helps you grow your day and get those new donors and widen your reach as well so I think there’s a lot of benefit to that too.

 

Jackie: Definitely, definitely. And, um, you're right, absolutely right, I was watching the Big GIve San Antonio live stream yesterday that just happened, and it really was just such a nice, you know, way to...I was kind of, you know, working in a spreadsheet and I could have that on the side. It just filled me with some sense of positivity and energy to kind of get through the afternoon time when you kind of need some caffeine, it was like my caffeine that day, which is amazing. Yeah, so we’ve mentioned live streaming, that might be a component of this, but how do you kind of get deeper below the surface and beyond just we want to raise this amount, we want to get this many donors, we want to accomplish whatever goal it is, how do you go above and beyond for your Giving Day?

 

Aimee: Yeah Jackie, that’s such a good question. For me, I think above and beyond, and what that looks like just evolves as you grow your day. Your first year, if you met your online dollar goal and you get 500 new donors, I think that’s pretty above and beyond. You know, for later years, I would say branching out and trying new strategies and new things like business fundraisers or live streaming, or building on your livestream, finding new sponsorship dollars or opportunities or match/challenge incentives, or even, you know, incorporating more in-person events as things do begin to open up, I think all constitute as ways you can go above and beyond and innovate with your Giving Day.

 

Molly, I’d love to hear your thoughts, both Mollys, on this.

 

Molly H: Yeah, I was actually thinking, Molly, I’d also just really love to hear your thoughts as the one who’s actually done this.

 

Molly M: Yeah, um, do you think we’re confusing people with how many Mollys are on our podcast today? [Laughing] It’s my favorite part of working at GiveGab is all the Mollys. Um...but, I think one of the things that I always approached running a Giving Day with was to really lean on the support that GiveGab provides and utilize the expertise of my Project Managers, of my Relationship Manager. I mean, I would start planning every Giving Day by...I used to work with Molly on the other side so I would go to Molly and I would say, okay so, this next year, we want to engage more of our community foundation fund holders. Tell me what we can utilize on the platform that can help me do that. Because I had a vision, and she knew the actual procedure and the technology behind the platform to help me meet those goals, we could work together. And it was like, you know, it wasn’t...we were a team at the community foundation and GiveGab was a team at GiveGab, it was like we were one in-sync team. And by being in sync and by having those really honest conversations and by being ready to work together, we were able to really achieve so much more.

And so, what I think is important is saying things like that, saying our goal is to engage more fundholders, and then our team can say, well, did you know that one of our payment options is, you know, allows donor-advised fund giving? I love seeing, you know, a lot of our higher education partners utilizing our premium feature of the gift heat map, where they’re really trying to engage alumni across the US and so you can see gifts coming in from California, from Ohio, from Florida, from Wisconsin, like you get to watch that in real time on your dashboard and it’s a great way and so, you know, when they say, we want to engage more alumni, we need to reconnect with some of our alumni who just haven’t...don’t live in the same city as our university anymore, and by doing a gift heat map, you get to see that in action and you get to say, oh you know what, I remember graduating with my friend Jackie and now Jackie lives over here in Montana so I’m gonna call her and make sure she gives back to our university today, it’s just stuff like that, where we can connect our partners to meet their goals with the platform features that we offer, I love seeing that. I have, of course, some favorite features. We’ve talked about live streaming, I think that GiveGab Live does such a great job at helping you interact with your community through live streaming while also showing the momentum of the day and having the live stats incorporated. I just think that there’s so much you can do and once you really get beyond the building...the initial building stages of your Giving Day because Aimee, I think you mentioned it in the beginning, growing a Giving Day is hard work. It is hard work, but you’re not doing it alone, so once you kind of understand and get through your first year, your second year, you can really take full advantage of all of the features that GiveGab has to offer to really grow and expand what you’re able to do and the impact that you’re able to make on the people that you serve.

 

Jackie: Amazing, and you touched on...a couple of you have touched on this, the idea that you can start sort of small with a certain feature like live streaming and then you build on it the next year. What are some other ways that you can provide some kinds of advice like that for other Giving Day hosts that might be looking for ways to grow their event year over year?

 

Molly H: Yeah, I think even in the first year, there is...you’ll start to see the personality of the Giving Day coming out. We’ll have that debrief with your Project Manager and we’ll start looking at stats and even in that first year, we might just start to see inklings of what might be really special about this day. And I think really identifying those things, doubling down on what organically came up, whether it be peer-to-peer fundraising or the competition for prizes with your nonprofits or different areas just competing for that top spot on the leaderboard. Doubling down on those things while not being afraid to try some new things along the way. I really liked how Molly mentioned just changing their focus year over year was, like, we really want to get this new area more engaged with the Giving Day. We have...we’ve really, like, solidified and done a really good job with this but now we need to focus on this. And that’s all possible, you know, as Giving Days evolve, is to double down on what you’re good at but make sure that you’re keeping an open mind along the way of what might be something fun and new to try. We hear a lot of great stories internally, I think, especially on the Project Management team and the Relationship Management team and Marketing of course, but what I also really like about GiveGab is just how much our partners are so tightly connected, it is such a supportive network. Really, ideas are just exchanged all over the place, and just keeping an open ear and seeing what you might like.

 

Aimee: Yeah Molly I completely agree, I think just not being scared to iterate and innovate your day, especially keeping your eyes on those other days and peers around you, and repurposing strategies or initiatives in a way that work for your day, I think those are all really great ways to just try new things and see what works and go back to the drawing board and just keep innovating. I think another key to amplifying your impact year over year is just continuously growing and educating the team of supporters that you have behind you. You know, the more that Giving Day hosts invest in educating their participants, volunteers, campus partners, peer to peer or business fundraisers, or other internal stakeholders on their Giving Day goals and how those are all going to be an integral part of achieving those goals, the better off that day will be. So really if you start with that forefront of why we’re doing this Giving Day, how you can help with this Giving Day, and really bringing your supporters in on that and making sure they continuously feel involved in that, I think that’s only going to help you grow your day, it’s only gonna help you spread the word and really really advance your mission there.

 

Molly M: Transparency about your goals, I love that. I think when you’re transparent about your goals, with the people that you’re working with, but also the community that you’re serving and who’s helping you fundraise, you’re going to be more successful, so I love that. We’ve talked a little bit about some of...or some types of Giving Day goals. Do you all feel like there’s a most popular Giving Day goal that we hear from our partners? Is there a unique Giving Day goal that you’ve heard that you, you know, that you want to share with us today?

 

Molly H: I think far and away the most popular goal is just to do better than last year. Just…[laughing] just make sure that all of the numbers and make sure that you can point to something that says, we continue to do better. Um...and that’s very legitimate, I think no one wants to see...you know, that makes everyone happy. I...the unique ones are the ones that start to fall into that second level, I think the more granular, growing those different facets of your day. How do we make our prizes more equitable? You know, the same nonprofits keeping winning year over year. How do we engage with those smaller nonprofits? Or make sure that all of these areas are certainly receiving gifts? How do we keep donor engagement while focusing on the annual fund? I think those are the kind of questions and goals that get me really excited to talk about what we can do to help achieve them.

 

Aimee: Yeah, Molly, I don’t think I could say it any better. You crushed it.

 

[Laughing]

 

Molly M: I love that. I think it’s fun, it is...it’s really unique to hear everybody talk about their goals and I think, obviously, at the top of everyone’s mind is well, we wanna keep growing every year. But I think you get to really strategize and innovate with those other goals, so what is it that’s specific to your community? Um...and I think when you hear those goals, obviously lightbulbs start going off in your head. You know, we know that with a Giving Day, the none...no two are the same, and really each year builds upon the year before. So, you know, every year you might embrace something new, things are getting easier, one part of your Giving Day is going really well so you wanna invest somewhere else and so when you hear people talk like this, when you hear, you know, we wanna make our prizes more equitable, we wanna engage smaller organizations and make sure each cause area is receiving gifts. When you hear these types of goals, what are some of the amazing premium features that GiveGab has to offer that come to mind that you mention or you talk through to help those partners achieve the goals?

 

Molly H: That’s a great question, Molly, and something I can and I do spend my days talking about. Um...there are so many things that once you say something it’s like, oh well, this is what this other partner is doing. Size-based leaderboards come to mind as something that just is...levels the playing field and I think is something that everyone should have. It matches the prize functionality, too. And if you start thinking about year one on the platform and, you know, just how many basics, like Aimee mentioned earlier that you just need to wrap your head around, and even just getting your nonprofits onboarded, just how much more time you have to think about some of those extra things and where you wanna take the Giving Day. If we’re talking about community engagement, I’m going to talk your ear off about business fundraisers, because what better way to just amplify the reach of your message of your Giving Day? You know, if you’re starting to get more social media posts because of that extra reach and those businesses are getting involved with your hashtags. I’m going to talk about maybe helping with some of the more downloadable goodies that our Marketing team has available for you. And maybe extending tagboard, so you can show those off a little bit longer. And maybe it is time to do a live stream if you...if you are seeing that reach on social media. And of course, talking through all of those things and making sure that it does align with your base goal.

 

Aimee: Yeah, one other...I think, building on that Molly, one other premium feature that I like, love, and thinking about, especially from a higher-ed perspective, or an EDU perspective, is the gift heat map, and like, I think such a big goal that a lot of our EDU partners have in mind is just figuring out how to continue to engage alumni even though they may be all across the country, or even across the world and really thinking about what that looks like from a gamification perspective and how they can really entice alumni to make that gift or to reconnect with their school, their college. I love the gift heat map, it’s so interactive, it’s so fun to look at, and I’ve also seen a lot of really interesting things around it like matching and challenges and prizes with the gift heat map as well like, oh you know, if we get x amount of donors from x state, that will unlock, you know, $500 of prize funds or things like that, so I think that’s a really fun one as well.

 

Molly M: Oh I agree and I love interfolding incentives into...into your goals. That was always a really big thing that I loved working on, how we were able to achieve a more equitable prize pool, and again it was just about having that conversation, saying, hey, here’s sort of, like...not necessarily a pain point but an area of growth for our Giving Day, what are people doing? What feature can I leverage? Um, you know, what type of prize can I implement? And the greatest thing is when it can all be done on the platform and you can see it happen in person and that’s just...that’s always so exciting. I love a good match, I love a good match minute, I just love watching it, it’s fun.

 

Molly H: The match minute is so much fun.

 

Molly M: Oh, I could talk for hours on a match minute, I mean...you wanna talk about how to engage donors at any level? I mean, it’s amazing. It’s very cool, it’s very neat, it’s very exciting and in the moment which is what a Giving Day is all about. Um...but it’s just, you know, having these honest conversations, talking about what you want those goals to be, because, like you said, no day is the same, they’re all different, they’re all doing creative and innovative things, and you can adapt those and bring them to your own community for success. When we think about success, you know, success can be measured in a variety of different ways. And so, as you’re kind of, you know, you think through the whole sort of timeline of your Giving Day, you start by talking about your goals, you build and you implement your goals, the day happens, and then you kind of have the success point and you talk about in your debrief with our partners, because we find that really important. We learn a lot about what works well, what they can do to grow in the following year, how we can innovate ourselves and make the platform better and more intuitive, better for donor experience, all of that. And so when you’re having those conversations, how are our partners measuring success? How do they talk about that to their own communities?

 

Molly H: That’s a great question. I think, some of those debriefs...I love debriefs so much, because it’s a great pairing of data but then also talking through that data. And sometimes that top-line number does not explain the story. So it really is still keeping it simple on just, do you consider this day a success? You know, if you just sit back and say, that was a great day, I’m so excited with how that ended up, that’s phenomenal. And I do love talking about those top-line numbers and data and talking about the stories behind them as well. Um...did a major sponsor drop out last minute? Yeah, that was a huge bummer, but look at how many smaller sponsors we got because of that. There are just so many different...so many different stories that tell a fuller picture. Um...did I even answer your question, Molly? I feel like I just got so excited about the concept of a debrief.

 

Molly M: You did! You did, I think you did, because there are different ways to measure success and I think we see that. We see people measure success by looking at the data that you can see on your dashboard, by talking through that, but also that piece of storytelling. And so it is...what constitutes success for your community, and for someone that’s being a better storyteller on their own, engaging, you know, three more business fundraisers, you know….Aimee, you talked about training your organizations. I think that’s a huge piece, and that is hard to translate to a number, but if you can engage over half of your organizations in a webinar or in-person training and then have them adapt peer-to-peer fundraising, that adds up. And so there’s a lot of different ways to cultivate how you talk about the success of your Giving Day, and I love that in a debrief, you get so excited because you can probably really sense the joy that a partner has when they wrap up that day.

 

Molly H: Yes, yeah, absolutely.

 

Molly M: Alright, well, I think that you know, there’s so much to talk about when we think about Giving Days, there’s so many different things that you can do and ways that you can strategize, and I love that our team gets the pleasure of working with so many partners, I love that so many of our partners have creative goals and they work with each other. Is there anything that you all can think of, anything that we haven’t touched on that you find really important about goal setting, about taking yourGiving Day sort of beyond, above, and beyond, even your own expectations, that you want people to understand today?

 

Aimee: Yeah, I think, just jumping in here, I think something that comes to mind is just also thinking about the larger context and picture of, you know, what yourGiving Day is going to look like five years from now, ten years from now, um...we’ve talked a lot about kind of year over year growth or two to three-year growth, but I think it’s also really important when you’re setting your goals when you’re looking at, you know, your measurement of success and your outcomes, how exactly, you know, those are shaping towards the larger strategy or larger vision for your Giving Day and what you want it to eventually look like. So I think that’s also an important thing to kind of get your internal team together, get your PM’s insight, and really think about, you know, what is the eventual outcome of this Giving Day? Where does it, like...where is gonna be in 10 years, in 15 years, and really thinking about how your goals each year can drive towards that as well.

 

Molly H: I couldn’t have said it better, Aimee, absolutely. Keeping an eye on the horizon, seeing those baby steps turn into big steps, and always having...always having your focus on that larger piece is absolutely crucial. I couldn’t have said it better.

 

Molly M: Yeah. Taking a Giving Day to an event that people look forward to every year, and I think you’re right, I think you can do that when you think about the long-term and the future and creating that brand recognition with your day.

 

Jackie: Wonderful! Before we close, I would just like to thank Aimee and Molly again for joining us today. We’re incredibly proud of all that our partners are able to accomplish and we love that our Engagement team is here to support them every step of the way. We look forward to learning about all the creative goals that you all will set for your next Giving Day.

Looking for more tools like this to take your Giving Day to the next level? Visit our resource library to stay up to date with our podcast, webinars, downloadable content, and more at info.givegab.com/resources.

Thank you everyone!

Topics: nonprofit community, Nonprofits, community engagement, Day of Giving, Giving Day, Giving Day Events, Giving Days, Virtual Events, Virtual Fundraising, Live streaming, Giving & Gabbing Podcast, Case Study, Fundraising Goals

Katie Thomas

Written by Katie Thomas

Katie Thomas is the Content Marketing Manager for the Marketing team at GiveGab

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