If there’s one thing we love most—besides alpacas in hats—it’s a special occasion. The planning, the anticipation, the friends and family … you can’t beat it. In the nonprofit world, we have our very own special-occasion events, and they’re called giving days! These fabulous fundraising events rally supporters around your cause for one day only.*
While Giving Tuesday is the superstar of giving days everywhere, you can hold a giving day for any reason, on any day of the year. The secret to success lies in promoting it properly so that everyone knows it’s happening and wants to be a part of it. And one way to add some powerful oomph to your next giving day is with a campaign-specific microsite.
Need some convincing? Let us break down the many benefits of creating a standalone site for your next giving day campaign. While we’re at it, we’ll throw in some ideas for giving days and tips for bringing it all together.
*In an existential sense, what even is a "day"? If your campaign calls for it, it's fine to stretch giving days to more than 24 hours, but the point of a giving day is that it's a very short time of very intense giving. If you’re really close to your goal, send out a quick email update extending the deadline and asking supporters to step up their giving day game, please and thank you!
10 glorious giving day campaign site benefits
A campaign site is a powerful tool. It allows you to focus in on a single goal, issue, or event; collect specific and actionable data; and dive into details without cluttering your main site. (Want to learn more about campaign sites? Check out our fundraising campaign site guide for all the deets.)
Having established the undeniable value of a good campaign site, we can now turn our attention to giving day-specific microsites. By building a self-contained giving day site, you can grow your reach and up your impact, leading to your most successful giving day yet.
1. Get creative with brand
Itching to break out of the box when it comes to your everyday branding—to flex those creative muscles and give your supporters an exciting new experience? Well, now you can! With a giving day microsite, you can break (subtly!) from your everyday brand to create a singular experience. Now, we’re not saying you should use wingdings and animated fireworks (we're partial to animated confetti, thanks), but you can certainly showcase your giving day campaign’s special flavor through a unique logo and name.
2. QR code it
QR codes have been around for a while, but they’ve really come into their own over the past couple of years, when we didn’t want to touch menus because ew, plague. By creating a giving day microsite, you can send supporters right to your spiffy page, whether they’re an honest-to-goodness paper letter, surfing social sites, or skimming emails. Then, they can learn more about this exciting new campaign and donate directly on the big day.
3. Play around
If you want an effective fundraising strategy, you want to collect all the relevant data and put it to good use. But sometimes, it’s hard to know what works and what misses the mark because you don’t want to mess up a good thing by rolling out new impact cards to thousands of supporters. Enter the giving day campaign site. It’s only here for a little while, so you can use it as your own personal fundraising laboratory. If something works, take it to the big screen—AKA your homepage.
4. Tell a transfixing tale
Your supporters know what’s what when it comes to your nonprofit. But why is this night different from all other nights? Sorry, that’s a Passover question. What we mean is: why is this giving day different from all other days? A giving day microsite gives you the internet real estate to tell a compelling story that converts, exactly as you want to tell it.
5. Text to spread the word
Most of your supporters are on their phones for approximately 18.7 hours a day. That makes text-to-give a prime fundraising tactic. But let’s be honest: when you get a donation ask with a link to that same ol’ donation form week after week, you might stop clicking, right? With a microsite, however, you can create a sense of urgency, then link them directly to your stand-out, stand-alone mobile-friendly giving day site.
6. Don’t mess with success
No one likes a cluttered, confusing homepage that takes 14 clicks to get anywhere. You want your all-important homepage to be clean, relevant, and user-friendly. Linking out to every individual giving day campaign won’t do your user journey any favors. A giving day campaign site keeps your main site perfectly streamlined and impeccably polished.
7. Plan an event
One great way to hype up your giving day and up the level of community involvement is to host a giving day event. And since you have a stand-alone site, you’re well positioned to sell tickets, register guests, answer questions, and check everyone in one convenient online location.
8. Count it down
When it comes to your giving day campaign, transparency is key. In addition to explaining why this day is so important, you want to build momentum by showing your would-be and current donors how the campaign’s going. With a stand-alone site, you can add progress bars and donation feeds, creating an interactive experience. Want to really spice things up? Display how many meals your supporters’ have funded or how many rescue bunnies they’ve saved.
9. Get live updates
Making updates to your homepage every hour? That’s a bad move strategy-wise, SEO-wise, and everything-in-between-wise. But with a giving day campaign site, you can update your site without a care in the world, giving your supporters all the latest and greatest information on how the campaign’s doing, what it will accomplish, and more.
10. Make peer-to-peer easy
Want to spread the word about your giving day and majorly boost revenue? Sounds like you need to peer-to-peer it up, friend. Luckily, you can add P2P fundraising to a microsite super-duper easily, encouraging supporters to create their own fundraising pages on your site—and keep the party going post-giving day.
Bonus! 11. Debrief and follow up
After the big day, you can use your site to amplify your impact and thank your supporters. Update that progress bar, celebrate your success, and share photos and video to keep the good feelings going.
Giving day ideas
While we love a good Giving Tuesday campaign, we also know that some folks find the competition a bit … intense. If you’re looking to diversify your giving day roster, here are a few ideas to get you started. Ask your supporters to give in order to:
- Honor a special client, staff member, or donor.
- Observe a cause awareness day (for example, World Wildlife Day or World Health Day).
- Celebrate a new season.
- Finance a new program or partnership.
- Respond to global news related to your cause.
- Take advantage of a matching gift.
- Enter a 24-hour raffle (if it's legal where you are.)
- Enjoy a special date (think Leap Day or May the fourth).
Tips for the best giving day ever
You’ve got the spiffy site and the creative ideas—now, you just need a few tips to execute a giving day that’s a slamming success.
- Prepare in advance. Even though your giving day only lasts 24 hours, you need to get everyone hyped and ready well in advance.
- Schedule it out. Make a plan for the weeks leading up to your giving day, for the day of, and a follow-up strategy. How often will you post on social media? When should you send direct mail? Who’s responsible for what? Write it all down and schedule social media posts in advance.
- Set clear goals. Set a solid goal for your giving day, so that everyone’s excited and on the same page.
- Incentivize donors. A giving day is the perfect opportunity for a matching gift challenge, an online auction, or a one-day raffle. Anything you can do to up the ante will pay off.
- Coordinate communications. You want to cover your bases with emails, text engagement, social media, direct mail, and site updates. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress by coordinating everything ahead of time and donors will feel secure as they move through a consistently-messaged journey.
- Use your network. You’re not alone in the wild world of giving days. Enlist board members, volunteers, and local businesses to help spread the word and support the big day.
- Be on top of tech. Before any big campaign, you want to ensure all your i’s are dotted and all your links are working. Don’t leave anything to chance.
- Get your messaging straight. Know your strategy for engaging with major donors, potential donors, and new donors. After all, this isn’t about a single day—it’s also an opportunity to gain new donors and create lasting relationships.
- Make plenty of coffee. You’ll need it!
- Celebrate the successes. Rejoice in every milestone and keep your supporters updated on your progress. When the big day wraps up, be sure to let your staff know how much you appreciate them. Maybe buy a cake or let everyone go home early.