Thoughts

Giving Days – When You Don’t Have Matchers

By Caelan MacBeth

If your organisation is considering the implementation of a Giving Day with Charidy, you are probably experiencing a sense of reticence that, in our experience, stems from one of a few places – the most common of which is:

But we don’t have Matchers!”

The natural question emerging is: can we implement a Giving Day without matchers?

The thinking behind matched giving is clear – when an organisation that a donor has love and gratitude for, has set a fundraising target at a significant level and that donor limited capacity to give, it’s a challenge to help them see their gift as making any impact on the organisation.

E.g.: Your non-profit/school has set a target of $500,000 and one of your supporters has the capacity to donate $20. That $20 gift is 0.005% of your target, and the donor is entirely cognisant of that. With that limited level of impact, why would the donor donate that $25 rather than, say, buy lunch?

The way a matched giving day obviates this issue is by creating an amplified sense of impact. By telling a donor that for 24 hours only, his/her donation of $25 actually has the impact of a $50/$75/$100 gift then this has a significant effect on the aforementioned reticence.

Nevertheless, the matching component of a Giving Day is still only one component of why a 24 Hour Giving Day is a potent and effective way of engaging your community philanthropically!

Pertinent to this discussion are two other core components:

Urgency: By setting a target (even at a higher level) to be reached within a limited time bracket (i.e. 24 hours), we can effectively leverage that timeframe to bring supporters on board. This is because a short, sharp 24 hour time bracket significantly instils the sense in your community that for the organisation to reach that target within such a short timeframe, every dollar truly does make a difference. This is in contrast to more traditional fundraising methodologies consisting of longer timeframes wherein the organisation has months to reach their target. By instilling that sense that every dollar counts over that 24 hours, we’re able to circumvent that sense that $20 would make little difference.

Community: Additionally, a major component of a Giving Day (in contrast to more traditional fundraising methodologies) is the ability to effectively create a sense of community (as opposed to, say, Direct Mail appeals, wherein a donor does not usually know whether they’re one of ten or ten thousand donors giving back). A Giving Day appeal clearly and effectively conveys the collective effect and impact of the crowd and how the community coming together can achieve something remarkable – regardless of whether their gifts are $20 or $2,000! It’s a critical element of human psychology to want to connect with, and be a part of something larger than themselves. Therefore, by creating a sense that your organisation’s supporters are part of a community, we can effectively compel them to get involved.

These urgency and community components of a Giving Day exist effectively, regardless of whether the campaign is being matched. If leveraged properly, in addition to a powerful case for support and marketing campaign, a non-profit/school could implement an incredibly successful Giving Day… even if it’s not matched.