Giving Days Aren’t Just for Tuesdays Anymore

STB-Logo.jpgAlright. By now, most of us know the #GivingTuesday hype is real.

Many organizations—both big and small—are jumping on the #GivingTuesday bandwagon. This past year, online donations on #GivingTuesday were up 52% over 2014 totals—and hey, that’s a good thing!

But, what does that mean for your organization?

It means you have to step up your #GivingTuesday game and start thinking outside the box—on #GivingTuesday and on the other 364 days of the year.

This past fiscal year, Save The Bay—a regional non-profit working to protect, restore, and celebrate the San Francisco Bay—used some creative techniques to drive two very successful giving days. Here’s how they did it:  


The first giving day was none other than #GivingTuesday itself—which fell during Save The Bay’s six-week year-end matching gift campaign.

The second was actually two local giving days combined—East Bay Gives and Silicon Valley Gives—which took place during Save The Bay’s seven-week “Bay-A-Thon” spring match campaign.


Here are the steps Save The Bay took to maximize revenue and stand out in donors’ inboxes on crowded days for fundraising:

  • Leverage a multiplier match: Save The Bay secured an additional match from board members for both of these giving days—which allowed the day to fit in with the existing campaigns, while still bringing an added sense of excitement and incentive around an even bigger match!
  • Get the message out in all channels: On #GivingTuesday in particular, Save The Bay covered all their digital channels—with email, social media, Google Ad Words, and a homepage lightbox that featured a live countdown until midnight when the multiplier match expired.
  • Personalize the content: For the local giving days, the Board Members and major donors who contributed to the match were from the East Bay and Silicon Valley areas. So Save The Bay personalized the content for those two audiences, making donors feel even more connected to the work and organization.


Now we get to the really fun part! On both giving days, Save The Bay sent two messages each—one early in the morning to announce the multiplier match … and one mid-day with an extra special incentive for their donors.

  • #GivingTuesday: the second message informed donors that if Save The Bay reached their fundraising goal, their staffers would take a plunge into the (chilly) San Francisco Bay!
  • Silicon Valley Gives and East Bay Gives: the second message promised a special world premiere music video of the Bay City Savers’ first single (aka Save The Bay staffers singing “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”) if Save The Bay reached their goal.


These creative tactics provided a fun, mission-oriented, and free incentive for donors to support Save The Bay on these important giving days … and the numbers speak for themselves!

On #GivingTuesday, Save The Bay blew their goal out of the water (pun intended) and they jumped into the Bay.


And on the local giving days, the music video proved to be a powerful incentive as well—bringing in even more revenue than the incredible success on #GivingTuesday!

In both cases, Save The Bay also sent a thank you email featuring a video of the “stunt,” which was great way to say thanks and keep donors engaged after they made their gifts.

Watch the polar plunge—and then take a listen to the world premiere of the Bay City Savers.


So, what’s next for Save The Bay? More singing, plunging, and giving days, of course!
There is a day for everything these days, so there’s no telling what giving days could do for your organization.

Get out those calendars and start planning some giving day campaigns!

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