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GiveGab Insider: How to Thrive During Your Giving Day

A 24-hour Giving Day is the ultimate fundraising adventure! From sun-up to sun-down you’ll be on the move as you monitor Giving Day stats, engage with your community, speak with generous donors, and so much more! It can oftentimes feel overwhelming, but we are here to help keep your Giving Day running smoothly, and of course to help you have fun!

At GiveGab, we are proud to have many team members that have walked in your shoes as previous Giving Day hosts. From inspiring state-wide and county-based Giving Days, to mission-based and Higher-Ed Giving Days – we have experienced it all. Through the all-nighters, caffeine crashes, unexpected surprises, confetti cannon celebrations, and more – we know what comes with running a 24-hour fundraiser; we love it, and we let it inspire us to continue being the best Giving Day partners.

To provide an inside look at our Giving Day process, we asked a few of our teammates who previously worked directly with Giving Day projects to share their tips on how to not only survive a 24-hour Giving Day, but how to thrive during it. Take a look at what they said!

What to pack/have on hand:

  • coffee-snacksExtra phone & laptop chargers – You’ll want to be able to stay connected to your Giving Day throughout the 24-hours without any interruptions.
  • Advil – Don’t let an unexpected headache knock you off your A-game.
  • Easy access to caffeine or your favorite snacks – Take advantage of downtimes to fuel up and stay energized!
  • Comfortable backup shoes – Your tired feet will thank you!
  • Toiletries kit – So you can freshen up after you find out your local media station is on the way!

steph-blob“It can be so easy to get lost in the excitement of the day – making sure you are comfortable and prepared to put your best foot forward is just as important as the Giving Day itself!” – Stephanie, Relationship Manager, and former host for #IUPGivingDay

Tips to take care of yourself and avoid burnout:

  • relaxPlan intentional screen breaks – Put those breaks on your calendar and set your alarm to remind you!
  • Dress comfortably – It’s going to be a long day, bring a change of comfy clothes to slip into after a big interview!
  • Create a fun workspace – Have your Giving Day up on the big screen so you can watch the numbers roll up, and up, and up! Bring in anything to your workspace that will brighten your day.
  • Allow yourself to get EXCITED – Score a big gift? Nearing your goal sooner than you thought? Received great feedback from a donor? Share the good news and celebrate it with your colleagues and community!
  • Take it easy the next day – Block time off on your personal calendar following your Giving Day to relax and reset.

molly-blob“My number one piece of advice is to take time to look up from your screen for a break and truly experience the impact that you helped create. So, eat meals with your colleagues share your favorite Giving Day stories, shoot off confetti cannons, or run around the room with balloons and streamers to energize your team, and enjoy every ‘thank you’ and ‘I donated’ post on social media because YOU made this happen.” Molly, Product Marketer and previous lead of Give for Good Louisville.

Tips to keep your Giving Day running smoothly :

  • Create (and follow!) a schedule for the day! – With new opportunities popping up, we know things can change without much notice during your Giving Day. However, we have found it helpful to create a primary schedule for you and your teammates to stay on track and organized. Consider including the following:
      • Staggered shifts – Avoid burnout amongst your Giving Day team by scheduling early and late shifts. This ensures that your team can work more sustainable hours that will keep them alert and doing their best work.
      • Meals & screen breaks
      • Meetings & media interviews
  • to-do (1)Plan ahead for Social Media – Schedule or prepare social media posts ahead of time so they can be easily shared when you reach a milestone or you are ready to make a timely announcement. Consider sharing your social media timeline with internal and external partners so they can engage with the posts.
  • Enlist support from colleagues – Have clear roles and expectations outlined for all members on your Giving Day team, including someone in charge of team culture so you can make sure people are having fun and taking necessary breaks!
  • Make a to-do list – Include necessary tasks for the day as well as post Giving Day – it can be easy to forget things when you’re low on sleep!
  • Have a stewardship plan ready! – By establishing your stewardship strategy ahead of your Giving Day, you’ll have one less thing to navigate on the big day. Put a plan together for your team to personalize your messages to sponsors, significant donors, and new donors as they come in!
  • Keep a “For Future Giving Days” list – There will be plenty of things that pop up that make you say “I should remember this for next year,” make sure you write them down so you can revisit them.

matt-blob“We had a plan that outlined hour by hour what we could expect to come up as well as specific events that were happening and when certain challenges and matches would open. Having a plan to work off that displays hour-by-hour what was happening, and who was the point of contact for a specific initiative made our Giving Day run so much smoother.” – Matt, Director of Higher Education Engagement, former partner for Canisius Giving Day

Tips to keep yourself/your team energized throughout the day (besides caffeine):

  • Set and celebrate significant milestones – With so much going on in such a short time, it can be easy to lose focus on the heart of your Giving Day. With each milestone, take time to celebrate with your colleagues whether it be sharing exciting gifs, giving each other a high five, or going live on social media to share the news!
  • Share stories of impact – Invite in a group, organization, or scholarship recipient to talk during lunch, or read a touching email that you received to your colleagues. The best way to keep energized during your Giving Day is to remind yourself of the impact that each gift makes!
  • danceOrganize fun breaks – Not only should your breaks be intentional they should also be fun! Think creatively: try bringing in local organizations or student groups to your Giving Day headquarters for a yoga lesson, puppy break, or chair massages.
  • Take a dance break (or two, or three!) – Your Giving Day is a celebration, make sure you are treating it as one. So turn up the music, get on your feet, and start grooving! We guarantee you’ll have fun and relieve any tension you’re feeling from staring at the screen.
  • Launch a few Match Minutes! – There is no better way to break up an afternoon slump than with some Match Minutes. These are timed matches that will double the impact of a gift during a specific time period. Your donors will be running to your site to make a matched gift, and we guarantee you will all enjoy seeing the numbers sky-rocket.
  • A surprise treat delivery – Who doesn’t love an afternoon pick me up? Schedule a time for your local bakery to drop off something special and delicious! Trust us, your Giving Day team will thank you, and the extra sugar intake will go a long way.

katie-blob“A local animal shelter would stop by our Giving Day headquarters and bring a pack of puppies along with them! It was a great energizer for us, and we got to see firsthand how our efforts were impacting the greater community. It was a great moment to take a break while still getting to be wrapped up in the magic that a 24-hour Giving Day provides.” – Katie, Brand Marketer, and former Americorps Vista supporting AZ Gives.

Our very last (and perhaps most important!) tip for thriving during your 24-hour Giving Day is to lean on the support provided to you from GiveGab. GiveGab is an extension of our team and we are here to ensure that your Giving Day experience is Easy, Enjoyable, and Effective.

thriveYour dedicated Project Manager is there to help your day run smoothly. They can take on the brunt of the technical aspects of your Giving Day, freeing up your time to connect with participants and focus on strategy. Our team acts as your biggest cheerleader and we will check in with you all day to offer support where you need it most.

Additionally, our Customer Support team lends a hand with extended support hours through GG Chat. They are available to help your donors, fundraisers, and participants find success as they navigate your Giving Day site.

So much can happen when you embark on 24-hours of giving. While there are a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that will go into your Giving Day, there will also be a lot of joy, laughter, and hope! We admit that being a part of a 24-hour Giving Day is hard work, but by the end of the day, you will feel invigorated and energized by the limitless possibilities made possible by your efforts. We hope these tips will guide you through this exciting time for your community or campus.

GiveGab is here to help you prepare for a Giving Day you will never forget! Learn more about GiveGab and how you can unleash the power of generosity during a 24-hour Giving Day!