8 proven ideas for promoting Giving Days

8 proven ideas for promoting Giving Days




October 15, 2019

Last modified: 

January 19, 2022

If you’re involved in fundraising efforts for your school, chances are you’ve already been hearing a lot about Giving Days. With this year’s #GivingTuesday i.e. December 3rd fast approaching, it’s likely you won’t stop hearing about it any time soon.

How to plan your Giving Tuesday campaign

Giving Day was first introduced in 2012 and has since helped institutions around the world boost their fundraising efforts tremendously. A well planned Giving Day can entirely transform your fundraising approach by helping you acquire new donors, enrich the giving experience, and instill a culture of giving in your constituents. 

However, the success of a Giving Day depends not only on planning but equally on its promotion. While there are many ways to promote Giving Days, in this blog post, we’re looking at the 8 most effective ones that have helped our customers achieve Giving Day success. 

1. Make your donors believe in your cause

One of the best means for influencing donors is by carefully selecting a cause that they relate to and would most likely contribute towards. Making donors believe in your cause is pivotal to your fundraising efforts. Here’s how Archbishop Riordan High School targeted its alumni by asking them to contribute towards campus improvements.

Giving Day Facebook Post 2017

2. Create a catchy hashtag

If you’re on social media, you obviously know how hashtags can boost your marketing efforts. While #GivingTuesday is a generic hashtag that almost everyone follows during the Giving season, creating a unique hashtag, relevant to your cause is highly recommended. Using your own unique hashtag makes it easier for your community to share your posts on their network, and for you to effectively monitor and further promote your social message. Calvert Hall College High School made great use of a unique hashtag. Check the full post here.

Giving Day Facebook Post 2017

3. Plan ahead with countdown posts

You might have seen a lot of people use countdown posts as a part of their social media marketing plan. They have proven to be highly effective as they help serve as constant reminders for the upcoming event and also arouse curiosity.
Here’s how Scranton Preparatory School got this right.

Giving Day Facebook Post 2017

4. Provide donors with opportunities to actively engage with you 

A great way to capture the attention of donors is to create opportunities that influence them to actively engage. Unlike fundraising campaigns that are run over a period of time, Giving Days provide an opportunity to your constituents to donate to your cause within a 24-hour time frame. Other than the sense of urgency already being created, any low effort activities on your part can help channel your donors towards making a contribution. 

For the college’s 3rd Annual All Day Hall Day campaign, Calvert Hall College High School asked its followers on Facebook to show support by applying the All Day Hall Day filter to their profile pictures. Calvert Hall’s followers loved this approach and many took to applying the filter to their profile picture and pledging support to the Giving Day campaign. Here’s how Calvert Hall creatively provided an opportunity for its Facebook followers to actively engage & support the upcoming Giving campaign. 

All day hall day week

5. Incorporate videos into your social media marketing plan

As of 2022, videos are undoubtedly the most powerful marketing tool. 

People gaze five times longer at video than at static posts on Facebook & 71% of people have increased their online video viewing in 2018 alone.

As users on social media increasingly prefer the video format, it is a good practice to incorporate more videos in your giving day marketing strategy. Here are some ways in which schools have leveraged videos on their social media:

a. Give a passionate pitch to donors by linking your legacy

Creating a video that boasts of your school’s legacy is a great way of showing donors why their contributions matter. In this video, Calvert Hall College High School’s CAO/Director of Advancement, Joe Baker talks about all that Calvert Hall stands for and passionately urges donors to contribute to keep the tradition of the school intact. View the post here.

Facebook Post

b. Create a slideshow video capturing the essence of the campus & showcasing students and faculty members

If you’re worried that a professional video might be too expensive or time-consuming, a simple slideshow video is the next best thing! Including pictures of students and faculty members clicked on-campus in the video can be a great way to influence participation from donors. Calvert Hall created an amazing music slideshow video for its 3rd All Day Hall Day giving campaign.

Facebook Post

c. Go live during the event

Going live on the day of the event is one of the most commonly employed methods to promote Giving Days. This helps donors view real-time progress and get an inside picture on the events and activities planned during the day.

According to SproutSocial, Facebook users spend 3X more time watching a live video than a pre-recorded one.

Here’s David Lin, Director of Boarding at Archbishop Riordan High School going live on the school’s campus, during 2019’s Giving Day campaign. View the post here.

Facebook Post

d. Make updates fun 

When it comes to sharing updates about your giving day via videos, go beyond the usual formula of simply announcing these updates. Check out how Calvert Hall College High School created an awesome video, sharing updates from its 2018 All Day Hall Giving Day campaign.

Facebook Post

6. Showcase the team behind the cause

The team responsible for running your giving campaign definitely deserves a special shout-out for their endless dedication and hard work. There’s no better way to do this than showcasing their efforts for donors to see. This creates a sense of gratitude, and acts as a strong incentive for people to do their part by contributing towards a noble cause. Here again, Calvert Hall wins our hearts by creating a beautiful video dedicated to its passionate team members.

Facebook Post

7. Create an email outreach campaign that is relevant and personal

Email marketing continues to play a crucial role in the success of Giving Days for most schools. 

Here’s a look at how email marketing has been leveraged by schools to boost Giving Day donations:

a. Create awareness much ahead of the Giving Day campaign

While schools start planning their Giving Days much ahead, why don’t a lot of them recognize the need to market their campaign in advance? From the initial announcement informing potential donors about the campaign right down to the thank-you email to all participants, every email must be well-timed and carefully crafted. At the same time, be careful not to overdo it by sending too many emails. Take a cue from Scranton Preparatory School’s immaculate planning for the school’s Giving Day 2022 campaign.

Email Campaign
Scranton Prep’s email to alumni two weeks prior to the Giving Day campaign

b. Ask for early bird donations by providing incentives

In addition to generating awareness about the upcoming Giving Day via emails, another way of capturing donors is by informing them of incentives. By providing exclusive benefits to select donors, the chances of securing early bird donations significantly increases. 

c. Personalized email campaigns

Your approach to marketing a Giving Day can vary greatly depending on who you’re reaching out to. Long-time donors, for instance, are the most loyal of your followers and therefore, it is best to personalize your approach while asking for their contribution. Here’s how Scranton Preparatory School created a customized email invite for its Class of ‘79, asking for their support during the school’s Giving Day 2019 campaign.

Email Campaign

8. Leverage peer-to-peer fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising has proven to be highly effective for most schools. Emails or referrals from peers help create a personalized touch and act as a strong incentive for fellow alumni to contribute.

Scranton Preparatory School increased its Giving Day donations by 5 times with a peer-to-peer fundraising approach

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