Back to Blog

How to Run a Successful K-12 Giving Day

Giving Days for educational institutions are on the rise, and not just for colleges and universities! K-12 schools are also reaping the benefits of these 24-hour fundraising events and getting their local communities better engaged in the process.

With hundreds of successful Giving Days under our belt, for both educational institutions and foundations, our team at GiveGab has developed best practices that I have tailored to the K-12 school community within this article.

Running a Successful Giving Day

Anyone with charitable or nonprofit (501c3) status can run a Giving Day on GiveGab. Being successful, however, is another story!

Fortunately, hosting a Giving Day on GiveGab means you also get the best Project Management and support to help guide you toward success. Paired with the best fundraising technology in the industry, you’ll surpass your goals.

Check out the recent Giving Day success of this K-12 school, Wichita Collegiate:

K-12 Giving Day

Regardless of what platform you use for a Giving Day, here are some of the things you’ll want to implement to be successful.

Call To Action

When hosting a successful Giving Day it is important to have a specific goal in mind. This often includes but is not limited to a monetary goal. For example, your day could have a goal of $400,000, or it could be more focused on engagement with a goal of 300 unique donors. Your goal should be meaningful and specific for what your school is trying to achieve.

Once you have a goal in mind, share it with everyone involved in your day! Make sure that everyone is on the same page so that they can put steps in place to reach this goal. It is important that your team is sharing the same goals and missions of the Giving Day with potential donors.

Donors should be given clear and concise instructions on how to interact with your Giving Day. If you want donors to create a peer to peer fundraiser for your school make sure you are sharing out that “Fundraise” button with them. If you are asking for a gift make sure you are prompting them to “Give” or “Donate”. The less of a barrier you create your donors, the more likely they are to engage in your day.

K-12 Giving Day


Make your Giving Day fun and interactive for your donors through leaderboards, prizes, and matches. Customizable leaderboards allow your school to take part in some fun competition! You can keep track of what grade has raised the most or what club has the most donors. Leaderboard stats update in real-time throughout your day so you can create excitement and anticipation around who will end up on top when your Giving Day ends.

Prizes are also a powerful way to increase engagement with your Giving Day. You can create prizes around specific milestones of the day, or they can be awarded randomly at any time. Prizes make the donors feel like they are making a greater impact and that they are appreciated for their gift. For example, you could award a randomly selected student $100 to donate in their favorite teacher’s name.

K-12 Giving Day

Using matches and challenges to celebrate Giving Day milestones is a very successful way to motivate your donors. Having matching funds available lets the donor know that their gift will go even further in supporting the school. The donor will be much more likely to give knowing that their $50 gift will generate $100 worth of impact for the school.

Challenges allow you to showcase your goals for your Giving Day as well as empower donors to come together to help you reach that goal. Challenges are conditional funds released once a pre-determined milestone is reached. For example, your board could offer a $2,500 challenge once the day hits 250 donors. When donors see that the donor count is getting close, they will be jumping at the chance to help unlock those funds.

Giving Day Tip: You can highlight your large donors by mentioning their name and description on the match or challenge they are supporting.

K-12 Giving Day

Reaching Young Alums 

Engaging young alum in philanthropy has been an ongoing challenge that can be difficult to navigate. However, hosting an online Giving Day is a great way to meet alum where they are.

It’s no surprise that Giving Days are seeing an increase of donations coming in through mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets, especially by younger donors. GiveGab is proud to offer a completely mobile responsive platform that makes giving on the go quick and fun!

We have also found great success of Peer to Peer fundraising amongst young alum. Typically we see that young alum have a strong passion for their school but are unable to give in the same capacity as some older donors.

Peer to Peer fundraising allows these alum to tell their story about the impact the school has made in their lives while raising funds on behalf of the Giving Day. We give peer to peer fundraisers the tools they need to create their own fundraising page that can easily be shared on social media directly from the platform.

Giving Day Tip: Peer to Peer Fundraisers are a great way to increase engagement during your Giving Day. On average, a peer to peer fundraiser will bring in 4 new donors for your school!

Dedicated Landing Page 

Give your donors and supporters a central place to go to engage with your day. Having a dedicated website for your Giving Day helps keep all information for your Giving Day in one place for a seamless experience for your donors.

You will have a hand in creating your own copy and branding that is truly unique to your school. Through your website, you will also be able to showcase sponsors, fundraisers, and special initiatives of the day.

Once your Giving Day kicks off things will start to get busy, but having one central place for donors to give and for you to share updates on your progress will take much of the workload off of your shoulders.

K-12 Giving Day

Custom Branding and Content

It is crucial that everyone involved in the day is confident and has the tools and resources that they need available to them.

Providing sample social media posts or email templates allow supporters of your Giving Day to have a unified and cohesive voice. It also makes it extremely easy for supporters to create a buzz about your day since the copy is already created for them!

Branding is also a huge component of your Giving Day. Having a custom logo tailored to your Giving Day instantly increases your brand recognition. When potential donors see this logo on a social media post, flyer, or email they will be reminded of the day and their opportunity to take part in it.

At GiveGab, we design specialized assets for your day to make it easier for everyone to spread the word about your day on social. This includes but is not limited to “I Gave” badges, Facebook cover photos, and social share images.

K-12 Giving Day

Campus and Alumni Events

Giving Days may be an online event, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the success of the day offline! We have seen a growing number of Giving Days hosting in-person events. It is a great way to recognize the efforts of those involved in planning the day as well as getting potential donors involved. You could even throw a party for your students and have them create handmade thank you cards to your donors. There are unlimited ways to get your students engaged with the day!

Parents want to take part in the excitement too! This year, during Wichita’s Giving Day, the school handed out SmartWater bottles to parents dropping off their children! This helped keep the Giving Day on top of their minds and made them feel appreciated!

“Our Giving Day produced more current parent participation in one day than we produced in all of last year.” – Katie Gunzelman, Asst. Dir. of Development & Communication,Wichita Collegiate School

K-12 Giving Day

It is no wonder that your Alumni base will be some of the greatest supporters on your Giving Day. Show them some extra love on the big day with an Alumni happy hour or event. Your Alum will feel honored that they are able to participate in celebrating the day. They will also have a great time reminiscing with their peers about how huge of an impact your school has made in their lives.

K-12 Giving Day

Giving Day Tip: Consider having a Giving Day Donation Station (as shown below) at your in-person events to make it easy for those attending to make a gift!

Giving Days allow for your school to come together and focus on creating an environment where philanthropy is not just welcomed, it is highly encouraged! There are many ways to run a successful K-12 Giving Day and GiveGab has all the tools to help you do so!