By Cindy Presser Benedek and Marnie Gontovnick, Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa
In 2020, the team at Camp B'nai Brith in Ottawa ran a successful online Giving Day campaign. You can find more details in this webinar about their Giving Day experience
This article shares their top 6 takeaways for making that giving day a success.
1. Be prepared and stay organized!
The campaign was 24 hours long. However, a lot happens in those 24 hours that make it simply impossible to execute if you have a small team. Preparation is key. Months before the day, we put together a plan of action, which included our marketing plan and timelines, programming for the giving day, email templates, marketing material, social media posts, and our stewardship program. Having our messaging and social media posts completed in advance made the execution much easier and significantly less stressful! Believe me, not everything went as planned, but it truly helped having a template to work from of instead of starting from scratch.
2. Set yourself up for success.
People want to be a part of a winning team. The most difficult decision we had to make was the campaign goal. What if the amount was too high and we didn’t reach it? What if the number was too low and we left money on the table? We kept receiving the same feedback: find a realistic amount that you “know” you’ll reach. We ended up choosing a number that made sense for our campaign, which was $85,000 - to honor our 85th anniversary. And we reached it early, but that was okay. We increase our goal two more times, and people continued to give! People love being a part of a winning team. We learned that it is much more important to go with a meaningful number rather than going too high and not succeeding.
3. Get your community involved!
We asked alumni from different generations who are still well-connected with their camp friends to join our fundraising committee. We held two Zoom meetings where we updated them on the campaign and asked for feedback when needed. Their main job was to champion the day of the campaign. We sent them personalized marketing materials and messaging that they could share on their personal social media pages. This helped spread the word of the campaign tremendously.
4. Pre-solicited donations are key!
This is probably the most important takeaway from the campaign. Running an online campaign is scary. What if you don’t hit your goal? This never has to be a worry if you are prepared for the day by setting yourself up with pre-solicited gifts. Weeks before the campaign, we began asking our major donors for offline gifts for the campaign. Going into the day with already secured gifts that we were able to apply to the campaign on the giving day guaranteed our success.
5. Find a matching donor.
People love good deals! If you can find a donor to match all gifts made up to a predetermined amount, it will further increase engagement and donations. People are more likely to give when they see their dollar double or triple. We used Giving Gateway’s Raise Days platform which showcased the match when each person donated. This was key as, when donors were at the checkout, they were able to understand their full impact real-time.
6. Have a strong and consistent message.
It is important to have a consistent and strong message throughout the entire campaign. Your community needs to know to what they are giving, and why. We shaped our campaign message around our financial assistance program, which resonated extremely well within our community.