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Get Ready for Action: 6 Ways to Kick Your Giving Challenge Strategy Into High Gear

February 21, 2014

Picture1If your nonprofit organization serves Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte or Desoto county and has a published profile in The Giving Partner, you have demonstrated your commitment to transparency. And now you have a special opportunity just on the horizon with the 2014 Giving Challenge coming up on May 6 and 7.

You can make it as creative, as fun, and as meaningful as you like for your organization.

So how can you start getting ready for the big day before you attend the March training sessions at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County?

Think strategy.

Putting all of the Challenge details aside about matching dollars, special prizes, and technical workings, your success in motivating stakeholders to support your organization in the Giving Challenge is largely dependent on something very simple: a thoughtful, coordinated approach based on what your nonprofit hopes to accomplish.

Here are six things you can do to get the ball rolling:

  1. Whip your profile in The Giving Partner into shape. If you have important information about your organization to share, do it now. We will not have time to republish your profile as we get closer to May.

  2. Decide on your organizational goal(s) for the Giving Challenge. Is your goal to send an important advocacy message to a new audience? Solidify a partnership with a local business? Engage with 50 lapsed donors? Fund three scholarships for summer camp to kids who would otherwise be at home in front of the television?  Spay and neuter 300 homeless animals? You get the point. Decide what you want to accomplish and make it more specific than “raise money.”

  3. Plan your efforts accordingly based on the goal you have set. What staff, volunteer and board resources will you need? How much time do you plan to invest? How will you measure your success?

  4. Start planning how you will communicate the need to your donors, members and volunteers. See this post for helpful suggestions from Ann Christiano.

  5. Determine if you can inspire donors with matching dollars set aside just for your nonprofit. Ask a donor if he or she would consider matching what your organization is able to raise online during the 24-hour online campaign. Many organizations had great success with this strategy last year.

  6. Start getting your entire board in gear, ready to support your organization during the Challenge. Make a list of the specific action steps you will want them to take.
    -Make a meaningful gift to our organization during the Giving Challenge so that we can boast 100% board participation.
     -Share a link to our donation page on your personal Facebook account during the Giving Challenge.
    – E-mail at least 10 co-workers, colleagues, friends or family members during the Giving Challenge and ask for their support.
    -Be a cheerleader for our efforts.

If you help your organization form a meaningful strategy based on what you hope to gain, the Giving Challenge will be a meaningful experience for your nonprofit and will have a positive impact. Your success will be a team effort. Challenge yourselves and have a good time doing it!

We’re looking forward to sharing more in the March training sessions! Be sure to join us on Facebook as we continue posting helpful content.

Have a great weekend!

-Susie Bowie
Community Foundation of Sarasota County

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