So Now What? Life in Richmond After The Amazing Raise or What to Do When Your Town Cancels a Giving Day

5 Ideas for alternative campaigns and 4 ways you can rock online giving

Yesterday there was a collective sigh across Richmond when we heard there will not be a 6th year of The Amazing Raise.  You can read more in the Richmond Times Dispatch here. We would like to start with a thank you to The Community Foundation for helping train donors to give online and reducing the barriers to small nonprofits.  Richmond is now full of people who are comfortable giving online and this is important because over the past 3 years online giving has increased at an average of 16% across the U.S.  

Now, if you have depended on this income, you have 9 months to figure out a plan to replace it. The good news is, you have many more online donors than you did before. The great news is, if you treat them right and develop solid protocol for communicating with them, you should be able to continue getting their support!  

5 Ideas: What to Do Now That the Amazing Raise Is No More

  1. Giving Tuesday - take advantage of it. According to the Giving Tuesday website, in 2015 just under 700,000 people donated over $116 million.  This is a similar platform and an excellent opportunity to implement your Amazing Raise techniques and tactics. 
  2. Activate your champions. Every nonprofit has people who are passionate about them and what they do.  Effectively utilizing these "champions" and their social media can save you tons of time and expand your reach to a completely new set of potential donors. Develop strategic ways your champions can tell their story in a manner that helps you reach your fundraising goals.
  3. Revisit your development plan.  Evaluate your calendar, events, and asks. See where you can beef up your annual fund work.  How much downtime do you have?  What can you do during that time?  Which leads us to our next idea...
  4. Organize your own campaign. Before you decide if this is the right step for your organization it's important to revisit your development plan.  If it looks like you have the capacity to run your own campaign, consider centering it around a time sensitive need, an awareness day, or a special day of the year.
  5. Give Local America - May 3, 2016 - In 2015, Give Local America raised $68 million dollars. This is a great national campaign you can use to leverage your online donors. Read more here. 

4 ways you can rock online giving

  1. Make sure your online giving page is optimized.  You can read here some tips on creating an effective giving page from a previous blog of ours. We would be happy to give you some free advice on how to make your donation page even better. 
  2. Send quality, regular e-newsletters.  Make sure they include an online donation link that is prominent, ideally not at the bottom of the newsletter. 
  3. Send annual fund appeals to your e-newsletter distribution list.  You got their name somehow, and they haven't asked you to remove them - so go ahead and shoot them an ask.  
  4. Say Thank You!  This is last but certainly not least.  Get creative.  Use compelling videos or visuals to demonstrate the impact of their gift.  For more info on how saying thank you can help donor retention and tips for awesome letters, check out this blog.    

We know this may feel like an overwhelming day - but you can do it. Take a deep breath, utilize your resources, get creative!  Feel free to reach out for a sparkler if your day is feeling super gloomy - The Spark Mill is here if you have questions or need a little help crafting your next move.    

Resources

Online Giving Trends and Resources from The Chronicle of Philanthropy