Have We Reached Peak Giving Day?
Pulling off a successful giving day is not easy.
If we’re talking about a massive giving day, like Giving Tuesday, then it’s you against every other nonprofit, mission, and cause. Standing out and getting donors to give requires budget, people, an amazingly coordinated playbook, and the right leaders calling the shots.
Hats off to the amazing fundraising pros who continue to inspire increased volume every Giving Tuesday.
If we’re talking about an individual giving day, the day your nonprofit has set aside to rally donors, then it’s you against the daily routine. Not to mention the countless other causes that have started using their own online giving days in the last decade.
Likewise, hats off to the talented fundraisers who pull this off on an annual, bi-annual, even quarterly basis.
What is a Successful Giving Day?
In a recent LinkedIn post, Louis Diez, who has emerged as an Annual Giving influencer with the Donor Participation Project, pointed out the giving days generate some problematic results:
Creates a glut of donors that we can’t steward well
According to my feed, everybody's giving day is a HUGE SUCCESS! Yet, if I look at VSE (benchmarking data for higher ed giving), most institutions are losing donors each and every year.
Behaviors driven by excitement and urgency are harder to maintain (there is research on this), so we're training our donors to do the wrong thing (impulse gifts) for the wrong reasons.
The key to winning the giving day ‘game’ is to not become reliant on it.
We’ve all experienced the high of a giving day, and the fall from the spike of activity. Will you be a victim of that fall? Will you be seeking the next big spike? Or, do you have sustainable fundraising strategies that help you maintain gift volume and donations year-round?
If you have a sustainable fundraising strategy, you’re winning. You’re likely even winning over those who are touting their ‘Hugely Successful’ giving day on social media.
By nature, Annual Giving programs can’t declare an official success until the end of the fiscal year. The way to win is to maintain a consistent, steady, and genuine drumbeat of giving throughout the year.
Annual Giving Success is About Sustainability
At Givzey, we recognize that giving days will always be one strategy in the playbook of Annual Giving. However, we help our nonprofit partners identify sustainable giving practices, like adding Give Now, Pay Later (GNPL) and flexible giving options into every campaign that they run.
Including GNPL into your giving day strategy gives you a one-day boost that increases gift sizes and creates an immediate path to recurring giving.
But, taking a step further, including GNPL in your campaigns throughout the year means that every single day, you have an opportunity to increase gift sizes. Every single day, you have an opportunity to create a pool of donors who are likely prospects for recurring giving. Every single day, you have the opportunity to improve the donor experience in a sustainable way.
The day of giving may not be going away anytime soon, but critical opinions on the practice are beginning to emerge. Those who find sustainable ways to boost every campaign they run will become less reliant on annual and bi-annual giving days to reach their real goals at the end of the fiscal year.