Giving Days: A Growing Trend in Philanthropy

Giving days have raised hundreds of millions of dollars for causes in the past decade. Find out what giving days are, how they work, and learn how nonprofits can participate! 

Giving days have been a charitable giving trend on the rise for close to a decade now. Community foundations and universities had hosted giving days before, but they rose to global prominence after the first #GivingTuesday in 2012. Since that inaugural year, #GivingTuesday alone has raise hundreds of millions of dollars for charitable causes. Local, university, and cause-based giving days have raised millions as well.

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But are giving days all about? How to you host one, or participate in one? Consider this your one-stop shop for information about these charitable giving staples! 

What are giving days? 

Simply put, giving days are 24-hour marathons of charitable giving. They usually start with a foundation, whether it's a community foundation dedicated to serving a particular location, a foundation with a mission like education, or even a university. The foundation partners with a platform like Mightycause to create a custom website. Then, the foundation works to recruit nonprofits to participate in the event, usually requiring them to fill out a registration form to ensure they meet specific criteria. 

Leading up to the big day, the foundation and Mightycause's fundraising experts work to provide fundraising and platform training. And on the giving day, the nonprofits work rally donors to raise money for the cause (through the chosen platform), compete on leaderboards, and try to win prizes! 

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What's the purpose?

The purpose of giving days is, very simply, to inspire people to give to causes doing vital work in their communities. 

What do donors get out of them? 

Bringing donors together around a cause is a key part of these events. Without a groundswell of support from donors, these days of giving wouldn't exist! Donors are drawn to giving days because they are built to appeal to their sense of altruism, with the added value of feeling like part of a community of everyday philanthropists. These events are built from the ground up with donors in mind. Both the host of the 24-hour event and the participating nonprofits work to appeal to donors by channeling their community spirit, enthusiasm for causes, and instilling in them the urgency to give now. 

Donors also have the added benefit of their hard-earned dollars doing more for the nonprofits they support. With each donation, donors have the opportunity to help their favorite nonprofit win much-needed funding from prize grants. And the nonprofits themselves often offer incentives like matching grants that allow donors to double their donation. 

How do nonprofits benefit? 

Events like Give to the Max Day in Minnesota and #GivingTuesday are major fundraising opportunities for the nonprofits that participate. Some nonprofits plan their entire year and fundraising calendars around them. And the reasons why aren't hard to see: 

  • These events offer prizes (sometimes every hour) that will help fund their work 
  • Giving days offer nonprofits the opportunity to connect with new donors and acquire new supporters 
  • The event hosts provide marketing support and fundraising training 
  • A day of giving is the perfect opportunity to engage donors and sponsors

Giving Days 101 

When you're gearing up to either host or participate in a giving day, it's helpful to brush up on the basics! We've got free resources that will help introduce you to this new trend in philanthropy. 

Giving Day Playbook 

If you're looking to host your own giving day, this ebook is the perfect place to start. You'll find out how these events work, from the first step to the last. And we'll also give you the scoop on how to choose a platform partner for your event. This is a can't-miss piece of content for community foundations, universities, and anyone looking to start their own day of giving! 

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How to Run a Winning Giving Event Campaign

Participating in a giving day that's coming up, or wondering what these "giving days" are all about? Then this is the resource for you! Learn what it takes to participate in giving days, how to plan and execute a successful campaign. From how to set your fundraising goal to reaching out to donors, this free ebook will walk you through all the steps to topping the leaderboard and taking home prize money for your cause! 

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Types of Giving Days

So, no two days of giving are exactly alike. And the ways to run an event like this is as diverse as can be! Here are the different kinds of events that are typical. 

Community Giving Days 

This is often seen as the standard template: Rallying donors in a community, to support the organizations within that community. As we mentioned, the events are typically founded and hosted by a community foundation. Because community foundations often have grant-making and investing in the community in their missions, these events are perfect vehicles for them.

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