Giving Days are some of the most exciting, productive fundraising events that nonprofits host each year. These periods of intense fundraising last just 24 hours, generating urgency and rallying the community to help reach your goal.
Your organization may have upcoming plans to host an annual giving day on a day of your choosing or on a traditional day such as Giving Tuesday. To ensure the success of your event, you need all the help you can get. There’s one powerful source to turn to that can help push your giving day past the finish line: your nonprofit board!
Nonprofit boards typically have experienced professionals or community leaders with backgrounds in fundraising, event planning, and other community-building activities.
Board members are already on board with your cause, but as a fundraising manager, it’s your job to engage them in your giving day, too. Here are a few top strategies to boost board buy-in and get members involved in your giving day:
- Choose a giving-day event type that best aligns with your priorities.
- Highlight the value of Giving Days.
- Get your board involved in fundraising.
- Plan engaging virtual events for the day.
At Boardable, we’ve seen organizations successfully increase buy-in with board engagement strategies that combine our board management software with outreach and educational efforts to get members up-to-speed on the importance of Giving Days. As you work through this list, keep in mind how these strategies will work best for your specific organization. Let’s dive in!
1. Choose a giving-day event type that best aligns with your priorities.
Organizations turn to Giving Days because they’re highly effective. GiveGab saw an astonishing $20.7 million raised on the GiveGab platform during Giving Tuesday 2020. Over 4,000 organizations leveraged GiveGab to host a variety of events that quickly raised much-needed funds.
Within the parameters of a giving day initiative, your nonprofit has a few choices for the type of event it can host. These include:
- Regional/locally-based Giving Days: These are hyper-focused Giving Days based within the boundaries of your community or region. With this type of event, you can engage the local community on a deeper level and get them invested in the success of your fundraising campaign.
- Statewide Giving Days: These fundraisers allow organizations to leverage the power of a statewide network of other nonprofits to maximize their impact. These Giving Days benefit from a wider donor pool and increased promotional opportunities.
- Nonprofit network Giving Days: These Giving Days happen on the national level with affiliated chapters or branches running their own localized events. Every group within the larger cause joins together in achieving a common goal.
- Single nonprofit Giving Days: Plenty of organizations can host their own Giving Days without the involvement of any other organizations. These events allow nonprofits to tailor every aspect of the event to their specific needs and desires.
So, what does this have to do with your nonprofit’s board? Your board members are some of the top decision-makers within your organization, and often, their activities help drive your mission forward. As a result, you must align your giving day with your board’s goals and vision.
By choosing a giving day-type that’s most appealing to your board, you can secure their support and entice them to get involved. For example, if your board wants to focus on strengthening relationships with other organizations in your state, you can pursue a statewide giving day plan to foster a sense of community with other nonprofits.
Consider your fundraising goal for the day as well as your board’s desires to choose an event type that will excite your members and align with your overall strategy.
2. Highlight the value of Giving Days.
As mentioned above, Giving Days have a unique ability to harness the power of your supporter base to drive a large amount of fundraising in a short period of time. In fact, this page of fundraising statistics states that 27 million adults in the United States participated in Giving Tuesday last year. As top leaders within your organization, your nonprofit board members can play a major role in spreading the word about your giving day and sharing ways for supporters to get involved.
To get your board more invested in your annual giving day, be sure to emphasize the importance of their role in the organization’s success. Equip them with all the information they need to be effective contributors, including:
- Information on how to promote your giving day event to their networks of friends, family, and colleagues.
- Statistics about the importance of your annual giving day for your specific organization. This could be the percentage of total annual funds that have historically come out of the event or what the funding will allow your organization to do, whether it’s to help more people or keep a program or project going.
- How to effectively tell their own stories of why they got involved with your organization and what your annual giving day means to them.
You can even encourage board members to volunteer for one of your organization’s events ahead of your giving day so that your projects and programs are fresh on their minds. By equipping your board with all the information they need to get involved, you’ll help decrease barriers to engagement and make them more comfortable with their giving-day roles.
3. Get your board involved in fundraising.
Your nonprofit’s board members aren’t just leaders and ambassadors for your organization. In some cases, they’re also some of your top donors and occasionally already have fundraising experience under their belt. Plus, some board members have connections within the community they can leverage for greater fundraising outcomes.
Since your board members are already top supporters of your cause, they’re eager to help out with fundraising. Enhance their enthusiasm by getting them involved in some convenient, simple fundraising ideas that can give your giving day a boost. Boardable’s list of risk-free fundraising ideas offers plenty of ideas that your board will love, including:
In peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, your organization selects a platform to create a central fundraising page. Then, volunteer fundraisers design their own pages and share them with their network of family and friends, spreading the word about your efforts and inspiring more donors.
How your board can help: Throughout your giving day event, your board members can create and promote their own fundraising pages. Since board members are usually well-connected in the community, they can be effective peer-to-peer fundraisers on your behalf by sharing their passion for your cause.
Matching gift drive
This fundraising idea can magnify the impact of giving day donations. In matching gift programs, companies match gifts made by their employees to eligible nonprofits, usually on a dollar-for-dollar basis. According to Double the Donation’s matching gift statistics, $4-$7 billion in matching gifts goes unclaimed by nonprofits each year, meaning that your organization may be missing out on some of these opportunities.
How your board can help: Along with checking their matching gift eligibility and cashing in on these opportunities, your board members can share resources and matching gift information throughout your giving day. Provide your board members with a few key descriptive phrases or infographics to share on their social media pages to promote these opportunities.
Your board members and donors will feel more fulfilled by playing a direct role in transforming singular donations into ones that have a greater impact.
Major donor outreach
Not only do major donors make up the majority of fundraising revenue for most nonprofits, but they can also play an integral role in your Giving Days. These are donors with an established relationship to your cause and a history of contributing large gifts. That means they can give your 24-hour fundraisers the stimulus they need to push you past your funding goals.
How your board can help: Many of your board members likely have personal relationships with your major donors. Encourage them to reach out with a quick phone call or handwritten note ahead of your giving day to thank them for their continued generosity and secure their support for the upcoming event.
With these three involvement ideas, you’ll give your board a central role to play in your giving day, transforming them into active participants. Don’t be afraid to turn to them for help on your giving day to push toward the finish line.
4. Plan engaging virtual events for the day.
To generate the highest level of excitement for your giving day, consider hosting an engaging kickoff and/or closing event to start it with a bang and thank supporters at the conclusion. Virtual events can boost board buy-in and also initiate greater participation from donors and other supporters.
Your board members are already hosting online board meetings, which likely makes them more comfortable with the virtual sphere. With your virtual events, you can get board members involved by seeing if anyone wants to be the emcee for the event and by asking them to help with event promotion.
Be sure to create an event that’s especially fun or unique to captivate your audience. A few ideas for the opening and closing virtual events are:
- A concert with a local or well-known musician (depending on your event budget).
- A tour of your nonprofit grounds.
- An inspirational guest speaker, such as someone your nonprofit has helped, who can share their story and encourage donations.
- A gala with keynote speakers and an auction or raffle.
- A competition such as a trivia game.
Since most in-person events are still on hold, a virtual event can be an effective way to offer your board and supporters a special experience outside of the typical giving-day activities. When board members see you’ve got a well-thought-out, engaging event planned, they’ll be more excited about joining in on your giving day plans.
Ultimately, your nonprofit board members won’t need that great of a push to get on board with your giving day. They already have a strong affinity for your cause and are always looking for new ways to help out. As long as you equip them with the information and tools they need to be successful, they’ll likely jump at the opportunity to participate and promote your cause.
Remember that a dedicated giving day platform and board management software can help you stay organized and on-task while engaging your board members in your giving day events. These tools keep everyone on the same page ahead of your critical annual fundraising event. Good luck!