One of GiveGab’s company values is “We Walk the Walk.” To us, this value emphasizes the importance of holding the same passions as our Giving Day partners in making the world a better place by starting with our local community.
On May 20, 2020, we celebrated our 6th annual Giving Day, Giving is Gorges. This record-breaking year brought in $197,080 through the gifts of 1,535 generous donors for over 85 organizations serving and operating in Tompkins County, NY.
Since its inception in 2015, the Giving is Gorges campaign has raised over $750,000 for our participating nonprofits.
Giving Day Strategy
As many of our spring Giving Day partners can attest, this Giving is Gorges campaign was unlike previous years due to the impact of COVID-19 nationally and within our local community. Engagement and outreach strategies shifted from in-person events to finding creative ways to reach people online.
In response to COVID-19, we opened donations on givingisgorges.org for the entirety of May to provide our nonprofits with a reliable and secure way to raise funds during this critical time. We also prompted donors to make additional gifts to the Tompkins County Community Foundation’s COVID-19 response fund, providing resources to basic needs-based organizations.
To ensure nonprofits realized 100% of their donations made during Giving is Gorges for the second year, our financial sponsor, Visions Federal Credit Union, donated back any uncovered processing fees on donations collected through givingisgorges.org.
We are so thankful for our Financial Sponsor, @VisionsFCU. Through their support, we are truly able to create a community that cares in Tompkins County. A special thank you to Tim Strong, Community Development Manager for leaving this video message for us! ?? #GivingisGorges pic.twitter.com/iGSn2IyWna
— Giving Is Gorges (@GivingIsGorges) May 20, 2020
Generating Community Engagement
Creating an Online Voice
There was a significant increase in engagement from participating nonprofits as they harnessed the power of social media to spread the word about their organization’s involvement in the day. By providing shareable content, webinars, and our Tidbit Tuesday segments on Facebook Live, we prioritized empowering our participating nonprofits to push their efforts online this year.
Although we could not gather in-person to celebrate Giving is Gorges this year, we found fun ways to get our county excited about the Giving Day through offering over $5,000 in prizes, matching funds, as well as a special live stream event.
Prizes & Matching Dollars
Prizes were awarded to participating organizations, peer-to-peer fundraisers, and donors throughout the day of May 20, and the entire giving campaign. Due to our fiscal sponsorship with the Center for Transformative Action, we were able to connect with local businesses and organizations to provide additional in-kind prize funds such as store gift cards, luncheon tickets, and free strategy consultations.
We also had prizes randomly awarded to donors so that they could make additional contributions to a participating nonprofit of their choice to incentivize giving.
Our two grand prizes, “Most Dollars” and “Most Donors” celebrated the organizations that had the most engagement during the Giving is Gorges campaign and were highlighted on the site leaderboards! Organizations and donors could track how their organization was performing and could make CTA’s to ask supporters for help in climbing the leaderboards!
New this year, the Giving is Gorges team implemented two $1,500 matching hours. During these designated times, donations made online were matched up to $25 until the $1,500 match was met resulting in an additional $3,000 raised for our participating nonprofits.
We have seen a growing trend from our spring Giving Days pivoting their in-person events to virtual live streams to increase engagement during the day. For example, our partners at the Missoula Community Foundation held a live stream-athon for their day, Missoula Gives.
The Giving is Gorges team coordinated a live stream event with influential figures in our community, inviting them to co-host the virtual community-wide event! Casey Harris from the X Ambassadors and our own Ithaca mayor, Svante Myrick, interviewed leaders from three local participating nonprofits, Youth Farm Project, The Greater Ithaca Activities Center, and Community School of Music and Arts.
As the host and technology provider for Giving is Gorges, we’re proud and grateful for the way our local community came together in support of philanthropy this year. We are looking forward to beginning planning for our 2021 campaign and learning from our extremely knowledgeable and creative Giving Day partners on how to continue to grow our efforts.
“It’s not just that we have a deep understanding of how to run these giving events; we also know how it feels to run these giving events. It’s challenging and constantly changing and full of surprises, including being surprisingly fun.” – Charlie Mulligan, CEO