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5 Ways to Offset the Cost of Your Giving Day

Giving Days are highly rewarding events that help shape and inspire entire communities and regions. To maximize community impact, we know there is an incredible amount of effort and cost that our Giving Day partners put into establishing and growing their events. Whether you are considering running a Giving Day for the first time or you’re a seasoned host, we understand that you are always looking for ways to stretch your organization’s budget.

Operational costs associated with running virtual and in-person aspects of a Giving Day event are a primary concern for many of GiveGab’s partners. These costs typically include marketing efforts, the platform, training materials, incentives, and prize funds. All important components of what brings a Giving Day to life and ensures continued success and growth. It’s important to allocate enough budget into your Giving Day so you can continue to explore new and exciting strategies to foster more engagement from your participating groups and their donors.

Try these 5 strategies to help offset the cost of hosting a Giving Day:

  1. Charge a Participation Fee
  2. Implement Tip The Host
  3. Collect a Percentage of Donations
  4. Offer Sponsorship Opportunities
  5. Open a Virtual Store

Charge a Participation Fee

There are many benefits for organizations participating in your Giving Day event. They are given a secure way for donors to give online, marketing assets, training materials, prizes, and so much more! Hosts also put in a lot of time and effort to promote the event and attract new donors.

Consider charging a fee when organizations register for your Giving Day. Having a participation fee allows you to better communicate all the incentives that your Giving Day provides participants and makes it clear that the funds collected will go directly back into supporting their efforts. We have even seen that Giving Days that require this financial commitment experience higher rates of activity and buy-in from their nonprofit participants!

Many of the Giving Day hosts who implement participation fees do so with the understanding that not every organization has the same resources available to them. They know that organizations with small or volunteer-run teams may have greater difficulty affording these fees. To equitably serve their entire community, we’ve seen hosts offer scholarships that cover the participation fee for organizations that need it. You can also put a tier system in place for fees, where organizations with smaller annual revenues pay a smaller amount to participate. Our Project Managers see lots of different strategies in place, so remember to ask them, or consult your network of Giving Day Leaders for more ideas.

Strategy in Action: On the FAQ page of their Giving Day site, the Community Foundation of Louisville explains how a participation fee allows them to expand their offerings to participating organizations as Give for Good Louisville continues to grow.

Implement Tip The Host

Tip the Host is an exciting feature from GiveGab that encourages donors to make an additional gift to your organization or fund after making their donation.

Your custom message with a prompt to make an additional gift will display on the confirmation screen donors see within the Giving Day’s donation form. Giving Day hosts can provide a short description of how the funds collected from this tip will be used.

This feature is highly successful! On average, more than 10% of donors are willing to make a tip to the host organization powering the Giving Day.

By implementing Tip the Host on your Giving Day you are educating supporters on costs associated with hosting a large event and providing them a direct way to contribute to the overall efforts of Giving Day.

Strategy in Action:  Lesley Banis, Director of Programs at The Community Foundation of North Central Florida, saw great success from the implementation of Tip the Host during their Giving Day, The Amazing Give. During their 2020 campaign, the community foundation raised an additional $15,000 that went directly back into preserving sustainability and expanding The Amazing Give.

Collect a Percentage of Donations

A partner transaction fee can be added to each gift made during your Giving Day on GiveGab. This allows you as the host organization to collect a small percentage proportional to the size of each donation. Many people who make purchases online understand that fees are just a normal part of any transaction. While a 2%-5% fee may seem nominal to the individual donor, it can make a significant impact on your Giving Day.

By collecting a small fee, you are implementing a simple and sustainable system to grow your Giving Day at scale. The percentage you collect during your event year-over-year will have a direct relation to the increased amount of growth your Giving Day experiences.

Donors always have the option to cover transaction fees on GiveGab, and 80-85% of the time they do! This allows the designated organization or fund to receive the full intended donation amount. We recommend having dedicated language around this fee on your FAQ page so donors have a better understanding of how their additional contribution will support the continuation of the Giving Day. Also, consider offering educational resources to your participating organizations so they are equipped to answer any questions from their individual supporters.

Strategy in Action: The Nonprofit Council provides a detailed explanation to its donors and participating nonprofits about how their 2% transaction fee on donations allows them to continue advancing their Giving Day, The Big Give.

Offer Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorships play an essential role in expanding the reach and capacity of your Giving Day. These are funds that community supporters and local businesses are willing to donate with the intention of helping you to increase the exposure and impact of your event.

These types of partnerships are mutually beneficial, providing your Giving Day with much-needed resources, and sponsors with the opportunity to position themselves as a philanthropic partner in the community. In return for their support, Giving Day hosts typically find ways to publicly show their gratitude to sponsors in tandem with the promotion of the event. We recommend working with your sponsors to determine the best ways to highlight their contributions.

As your Giving Day grows, you will see more community leaders show interest in providing sponsorships for your event, but the key is to start small! Cultivating these relationships can take a great deal of time and care. Consider approaching businesses and supporters your organization is already familiar with, or those who may have a vested interest in supporting charitable events.

Examples of Sponsorship Opportunities:

  1. Board members contributing matching funds for a new donor challenge
  2. Media stations offering airtime or digital advertisements to promote the Giving Day
  3. Local foundations supporting your prize pool or contributing to platform costs
  4. Large-capacity donors contributing to registration sponsorships
  5. Businesses providing their services in-kind as prizes or covering the costs of premium features that align with their missions

On GiveGab, Giving Day hosts have the ability to add sponsorship information directly to their landing page to recognize their contributions. There are also many other places throughout the site to highlight the support your event has received from sponsorships.

Strategy in Action: Give Local York displays over 40 sponsors on their homepage. The contributions from these sponsors allow them to allocate more funds to their prize pool and work closely with media partners for in-kind promotions and marketing support.

Open a Virtual Store

Giving Days are often surrounded by a lot of hype – and for good reason! These events are all about celebrating and uplifting your local community. Allow your participating organizations and supporters to show off their excitement in your upcoming Giving Day while also creating increased awareness within your community.

Consider selling branded T-shirts, water bottles, stickers, magnets, and other promotional items. Supporters will be proud to represent the Giving Day, and that added exposure will drive even more interest. When executed strategically, a virtual store can bring in additional funds to support the event while contributing to your overall marketing efforts.

Giving Day hosts can link out their online store directly from their site, allowing supporters easy access to all the fun swag available to them.

Strategy in Action: The Lancaster County Community Foundation launched a promotional Store for participating Community Benefit Organizations (CBO) to purchase marketing materials for the day. This took some of the marketing costs off of the foundation and encouraged participants to spread the word about The Extraordinary Give.

There are many ways to ensure your dream Giving Day is in reach! By implementing the strategies that expand your budget and offset the overall event cost, you’ll have more opportunities to positively impact your community and grow the reach of your giving event year-over-year. Interested in how you can get started with your Giving Day? Speak with a member of GiveGab’s Engagement Team!