By Scot Kersgaard, JVA Consulting
Last year, 1440 nonprofits raised an average of $14,500 each on Colorado Gives Day, for a total statewide give and take of $20.9 million. This year, 1600 nonprofits will participate in the December 9 event, says Community First Foundation Manager of Online Giving Dana Rinderknecht.
There is no predicting how much money will be raised or how many people will give, but it is easy to understand that organizations that put some real time, effort and imagination into Colorado Gives Day do substantially better than those for whom it is an afterthought.
Rinderknecht says having a year-round strategy that is integrated into a nonprofit’s overall fundraising plan sets the most successful organizations apart from the rest.
Still, she says there are definitely things organizations can do from now, right on up to and through Dec. 9 that can make a difference.
“One big thing is to get your donors to get their friends to give,” she says.
She says nonprofits might want to encourage staff, board members, volunteers, donors and other friends of the organization to set up their own Fundraising Pages, which are mini websites that individuals can create through the Colorado Gives Day website, which they then direct friends and other people through social media, email and other means.
She says lots of nonprofits have contests to see whose Fundraising Page gets the most donations. “You can have boards compete with staff with the team that raises the most getting breakfast from the other team, for instance,” Rinderknecht says.
“The gamification of giving is one of the biggest trends we are seeing in online donations,” she says.
Another big trend, at least with Colorado Gives Day, is trading donations, where person A says to person B, “I will give to your favorite causes if you give to mine.”
She says intra-generational giving is big on Colorado Gives Day, where parents or grandparents talk to their children and grandchildren about the importance of charitable giving and encourage them to participate in giving on that day.
“You need to make sure everyone knows you are taking part in Colorado Gives Day, and you need to get people excited about giving,” Rinderknecht says.
On Colorado Gives Day itself, she says, it pays to begin working the phones early, not just encouraging people to give but also calling to personally thank those who do give.