Day-long fundraisers, also known as 24-hour giving days, are a great fundraising technique to help your nonprofit bring in donations, recruit new donors, and create energy around your work. Whether you’re trying to raise money for a new program or simply capitalize on the momentum of an international day of giving, 24-hour giving days are an impactful way to do so. Before you jump into your fundraiser, it’s important to have a plan.
The key to success in any fundraising campaign is preparation. Your nonprofit’s 24-hour fundraiser should be part of a larger, year-round fundraising strategy detailed in your annual fundraising calendar. Two to three months before your 24-hour fundraiser, hammer down all the details. Create a spreadsheet with each activity required for the fundraiser to occur, from creating marketing materials to sending out thank-you notes at the end of the campaign. Once you have created a basic plan, designate staff or volunteer support to help guide the activities as you move forward.
Get the Word Out
Next, consider what type of 24-hour fundraising campaign you plan to run. You have many options, including:
- Social media-driven
- Online peer-to-peer fundraiser
- Traditional crowdfunding campaign
- Direct mail
- Phone calls
Most nonprofit fundraising campaigns, whether they last a day or a year, use a combination of these media. If you’re fundraising during an international day of giving, such as #GivingTuesday, look at how other organizations have successfully created campaigns around the theme to maximize your reach and potential. Check out Mercy Canada’s #GivingTuesday campaign for inspiration.
Create Momentum and Urgency
Even during a 24-hour period, energy can go from high to low quickly during a fundraising campaign. As a nonprofit fundraiser, you must maintain that momentum and create a sense of urgency. Your goal is to get people to give in the immediate moment and not a minute later. Get donors to give as soon as they’re given the option by focusing on the following:
- Write time-based email subject lines, such as “There’s no time to waste. Give today!”
- Update fundraising totals in real time on your website and social media.
- Use nonprofit storytelling to inspire your audience and emotionally connect them to your cause.
- Feature strong calls to action that state clearly what you expect from donors, such as “Donate $50 to help a family in need.”
- Inform local media, including newspapers and news stations, of your campaign efforts and distribute a press release.
Since the fundraiser lasts such a short amount of time, it’s vital that you encourage donors to give now.
End on a Positive Note
As the campaign closes, it’s important to end on a high note. At this point, you built momentum and have energized current donors and new donors to participate and engage in the campaign. Once the clock ticks down, it’s time to immediately look at your known results and make a statement. Use the marketing techniques you used to promote your campaign to inform supporters that the campaign has ended and that you’ve met or are close to meeting your goal. Consider thanking key donors (such as major givers, super volunteers, and active fundraisers) for their participation. Then, send out donation receipts and thank-you notes to everyone who participated in the fundraising campaign. Whether you meet your goal or not, it’s important to recognize the energy that went into the campaign. Showing appreciation helps you build and maintain quality relationships with supporters into the future. These 24-hour fundraisers are perfect for nonprofits that are looking to raise money and build relationships. By planning ahead, your nonprofit is on its way to running a successful fundraising campaign.