Community giving days have endless benefits for your organization. The best part? You don’t have to wait until November for #GivingTuesday to take part! Giving days are a 24-hour (or longer!) fundraising event aimed at rallying communities together to increase awareness, engagement and donations for nonprofit organizations.
Studies show that community giving days can pay off big time for your organization. The average giving day in a community raises around $1 million (cue the fireworks!). (Knight Foundation) Plus, giving days are cost-effective since events can be held virtually.
Many giving days don’t have events associated with them, which means nonprofits of any size and sector can easily add them into their fundraising calendars. Why hasn’t your organization taken advantage of giving days yet? Let’s take a look at the benefits of getting involved in a community giving day for your organization.
A Winning Example
Many community giving days are sponsored by a community foundation that will provide a proportional share of a match fund. For example, Give to Lincoln Day promotes philanthropy in Lincoln, Nebraska, and the surrounding county. Donations given to nonprofits in this area on Give to Lincoln Day also get a proportional share of a $500,000 match fund made possible by the Lincoln Community Foundation and generous sponsors. In 2021, Give to Lincoln Day received 29,469 donations for $7.9 million. A whopping 456 nonprofits participated!
Key Benefits of Participating in Community Giving Days
1. The urgency is already built into the campaign.
The host group is promoting the giving day itself for you, which means you don’t need to spend time explaining what the event is about (unlike most fundraising appeals!).
Remember—you only have 24 hours, and you’re technically competing against other nonprofits to raise funds. While it’s great that everybody raises money, the more you raise, the more of the community foundation’s matching funds that you’ll get. Instead of spending time explaining the fundraiser, you can spend time actually raising funds!
2. Increase awareness.
Community giving days generally help raise awareness in your community. While somebody may be coming on the giving site to donate to their favorite org, your nonprofit’s story will be right there, front and center as well! Educate your community by telling your story about the positive impact your organization has on the lives of those in your community. Wear shirts, hand out flyers and make phone calls to let people know about the giving day and spread the word.
3. Bring in new donors.
Since marketing for giving events largely comes from the foundations that host, you can bring in new donors in a much more cost-effective way. Plus, you’ll reach people in the community who have never heard of your organization before but who may already be donors to other nonprofits in the area. This is your chance to get in front of a new local crowd.
4. Be part of a larger conversation.
A community giving day is not just about your organization, it’s about bettering the entire community—and that’s a pretty special thing. You can be a part of the larger conversation dedicated to improving the community you know and love.
It also has its marketing perks. Ride the momentum and get media attention from local news outlets already writing about the event. Let them know about your nonprofit’s participation. Take advantage of social media hashtags and location tags for your community to help spread the word about the entire day.
5. Raise more money.
This is an obvious benefit, but it’s a pretty important benefit! Without donors, you couldn’t do the work you love. This is an opportunity to receive a proportional share of a match fund, which means you’re maximizing your fundraising efforts. With the opportunity for foundations to match, a community giving day is a win-win for everybody involved.
How to Raise More Money and Awareness on Your Community Giving Days
Giving days are a great way to boost support for your organization, from funds to brand new supporters and increased community awareness. If you’re ready to take the next steps to participate in a community giving day that truly gives back, download this checklist for making the most out of your community’s next giving day.