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Skagit Valley Hospital

GiveBIG and then ThankBIG

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Next Thursday, June 23rd, King County residents are invited to make donations to local nonprofits through The Seattle Foundation’s website for our community’s first charitable giving day “GiveBIG.”  A share of every contribution will be matched with a “stretch pool” of funds provided by The Seattle Foundation and GiveBIG supporters. I can’t wait to see the results!

Giving days are growing in number (and contributions) around the country. Minnesota’s “Give to the Max” Day raised $24 million from 80,000 people in 2009 and 2010. Last year, the Colorado Gives Day raised $8.7 million for 530 charities, far exceeding its goal of $1 million.

Giving days maximize the fundraising tools and strategies that every campaign should employ: urgency (“today is THE day to give”), leverage (“your donation will go farther”), visibility (multi-modal approaches and community-wide messaging), and ease of giving (in this case, online giving).

The Seattle Foundation has provided a toolkit to nonprofits to help them encourage giving via communications and social media strategies (http://www.seattlefoundation.org/nonprofits /GiveBIG/).

Given this amazing opportunity, I hope participating nonprofits are giving the same thought and planning to how they will steward their donors and first-time donors who invest in their missions during giving day. Don’t forget to “ThankBIG”!

Here are some ideas:

  • Use all the same communications and social media channels as GiveBIG used to thank your donors and announce the results of GiveBIG giving for your mission
  • Don’t stop there! Put these dollars in the context of the impact they will have in the community and share personal stories that illustrate how donor investments are making a real difference
  • Continue to follow-up with donors regularly with impact updates and stories, using technology to find engaging ways to do this: videos, blogs, and social media channels
  • Consider a casual event to bring together donors to celebrate success. Find a mission-relevant opportunity or space, or ask well-known supporters host such a gathering
  • Follow-up with donors through phone calls or surveys to thank them for support and find out how they’d like to hear from you and other ways they might wish to support your organization

We’d love to hear from you. How will you make the most of GiveBIG?

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About the Author

Natalie Lamberjack

Natalie Lamberjack CFRE

Senior Consultant

Natalie dials into the needs of her clients by keeping a calm eye on the big picture view of the nonprofit sector.

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