How to Use Local Giving Days to Boost Your Donations

It’s a special day here in the hometown of Nonprofit Hub—it’s Give to Lincoln Day!

While I haven’t exactly been showered with gifts (it’s still early) the community has rallied around hundreds of nonprofit to help raise money and awareness.

Giving Days are a great way for nonprofits to rally together and get the public to help out their favorite nonprofit (or two). They are something that has worked well during the last few years, with events like #GivingTuesday and Give Local America (which raised $68 million earlier this month).

One nonprofit can’t drive these events; it takes a community to put on these days. However, it’s easy to take advantage of the benefits. In fact, Nonprofit Hub is taking part in Give to Lincoln Day this year. Here are some lessons we learned in this process.

Jump Through the (Probably Small) Hoops

Many giving days will have an orientation you should attend to get your name on the roster. Don’t skip these. You’ll learn cool features of the page (like donation boosting or how to make donations ahead of the day). Then, setup your donation page to include the proper information so you’ll have a link to share with the world.

You should update the donation page with text to showcase your mission and photos or videos to help convey the amazing work that your organization is doing. The goal is to make the page informative, yet inspirational.

The Power of the Group

Although these types of events aren’t our main source of revenue, it is something. Thanks to the work of the Lincoln Community Foundation, they can be more than just the amount your donors pledge. LCF provides a pool of money that participating nonprofits will receive a proportional share of at the end of the day. And thanks to the way it is set up, this usually covers the processing fees taken out of a donation.

Find a Way to Stand Out

More than 300 nonprofits are participating in the event here in Lincoln so it can be easy to get lost in the crowd. Take time to plan your appeal and give plenty of incentive for potential donors to jump into action. Also, for your loyal base, give them instructions on how to share on social media to help your reach increase exponentially.

As with all your fundraising, you message can make a big difference. You want to engage your audience and encourage them to make a donation.

For example, here is what we sent out to friends of Nonprofit Hub in an email with the subject line of “An Unusual Request of Your Help.”

We’re nonprofit professionals just like you.
Please consider a small gift on the Give Day in our hometown.
Every day, Nonprofit Hub strives to provide useful and insightful content to help you make a difference in the world. In addition to online education, we also opened a nonprofit-focused coworking space to encourage collaboration and growth in the nonprofit community.

On May 28, Nonprofit Hub is participating in Give to Lincoln Day. Like many other giving day events across the country, this is a 24-hour event where hundreds of nonprofits from our hometown of Lincoln, Neb., will band together to help raise money and generate awareness in the community. It’s pretty cool to see the excitement and energy that generates from this event, not to mention the financial boost that helps all these nonprofits do great work.

Since we are also a nonprofit and because we often write about our own experiences, we thought we’d participate. We know many of you are nonprofit professionals raising funds for your own cause. But if you enjoy what we do, we’d love it if you showed your appreciation for our efforts to produce outstanding content by making a donation to help support the mission of Nonprofit Hub.

It doesn’t have to be huge amount. Even a $10 donation makes a difference. You can’t buy love, but we’re willing to sell you our appreciation and gratitude.

We’re not making this a habit to knock on your door. But consider this our annual ask for a cup of sugar to help bake a cake.

Why should you donate to Nonprofit Hub? Your gift will allow our staff to focus on providing more high-quality content through articles, our bimonthly magazine and webinars, all of which we offer at no cost to you. Plus, we won’t have to do a car wash. It was a long, cold, pale winter.

Thank you for your continued interest in Nonprofit Hub.

Insert huge ask button here.

It’s might seem like a normal ask, but we tried to make it a little more lively and match our wild and crazy persona. We received notes with several donations saying how a certain line or two made them laugh and because of that, we earned a donation. (People like cups of sugar and our pale legs, I guess.) In addition, we also included a few ads on our website that clicked through to a landing page that included similar language.

As someone who lives in Lincoln, my social media feed is filled with people promoting their favorite nonprofits and causes. So the key is to plan ahead and get out in front of the rush.

Start asking around to see what your community does for group fundraising. A giving program might already exist, and if it doesn’t start the charge to make a difference for your community.


Lincoln Arneal

Lincoln Arneal was a Senior Editor at Nonprofit Hub who brought loads of real-world nonprofit experience to the team. He was the past executive director of a nonprofit that provided leadership development to junior high and high school students. He looked to bring the insights from his time forming, developing, and running a nonprofit to help others in their quest to do good. Lincoln also had a legal background and had written for various newspapers (covering high school sports) for the past 15 years. He could be followed on Twitter at @NPLNK.

May 28, 2015

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