The Giving Day will be fast-paced, frenzied and exciting. Even though much of the action will be happening virtually, your job is to operate the command center that enables everything to run smoothly.
Your main objectives throughout the day are to promote the Giving Day relentlessly on all channels, reach out to key partners (e.g. community partners and select nonprofits), track data to understand what is happening on the site, respond to questions and deal with issues as they arise and recognize participants (e.g. prize winners) through social media.
Because you are working online, some things will inevitably go wrong. Review the common issues outlined in the Crisis Planning section of the Playbook, as well as the payment processing issues listed in this chapter. Talk to your donation platform provider and internal technology management team in advance about your crisis prevention and management plan.
Here is a 24-Hour Timeline to help you plan for the big day.
Here are some strategies for building excitement on the Giving Day:
Strategies for Building Buzz
You have been building buzz for the Giving Day over many months, but the final days – and the Giving Day itself –matter most. Here are three strategies for building buzz on the big day:
- Local media. Giving Day leaders (i.e. community foundation leaders, sponsors, community partners and key nonprofit leaders) should do interviews on TV and radio during prime time. Get yourself out there early and often!
- Events. Build excitement among donors and nonprofits by hosting or having Giving Day leaders show up at events throughout the Giving Day, such as a happy hour celebration with prize drawings for donors, a lunch or tour at a participating nonprofit or a toast at the community foundation during the final minutes of the day. Don’t try to throw a big gala – low-budget events that require minimal staff time can be quite successful. See Live PC Give PC’s Hosting a Party Tips for ideas on how to throw an effective event.
- Social media. Use social media to push out key messages (e.g. reminders to participate, reminders about prize and match incentives), recognize prize winners and thank donors.
- Social sharing. Include social media links on the Giving Day site to allow people to share information easily. Donors should also be prompted to promote the Giving Day to their social networks after making a donation, with pre-populated but customizable language they can use to email, Tweet or post on Facebook.
Strategies for Engaging Partners
Your Giving Day partners (including media partners, sponsors, community partners and participating nonprofits) are an important way to spread the word virally about the Giving Day. Be sure to remind them what you need them to do:
- One week out: Send list of day-of promotional activities they can engage in, ensure that all partners have key talking points and messaging and encourage all partners to highlight the Giving Day on their websites.
- One-two days out: Call your highest-priority partners to talk through how the Giving Day will work one final time and to remind them to promote it.
- Day-of: Send an email first thing in the morning to all partners with a final reminder, an inspirational message and a name/phone number/email address for the person they should call with any questions.