Note from Beth: Give Local America, powered by Kimbia’s technology, is an effort to coordinate giving days on one platform. Last year, Give Local America raised more than $53 million from more than 306,000 gifts in 2014. Though Give Local America is a national giving day event, it has many community foundations and nonprofits running unique campaigns in their various communities. Lori Finch, Vice President of Community Giving, Kimbia and the General Manager of Give Local America, shares five new tactics they plan to use in 2015 to make this national day of giving the biggest ever.
Give Local America emphasizes small, local nonprofits. That makes widespread action more difficult to organize, even though people act in unison on giving days to make a powerful philanthropic statement. In the next couple of weeks we will launch the #iGiveLocal program to encourage donors across the country to act on behalf of their favorite nonprofit(s). This program encourages advocacy and promotion online rather than hard donations to inspire word of mouth. When we look at the challenges facing many individual nonprofit giving day programs, one of them consistently is the lack of a free agent influencer program. #iGiveLocal will change that by offering a national competition to local donors, incentivizing the activity with fun prizes and small awards for the influencers’ favorite causes. Interested parties can also sign up for our Thunderclap.
2) A Better Responsive Mobile Experience
Mobile devices have changed the way people interact online. People are attached to their smartphones and increasingly use them as their primary device. They are also starting to use mobile phones as their donation device of choice.Our giving day sites have a responsive web interface designed to make giving via a smartphone easy. The response during Fairfield County Gives earlier this month was phenomenal, with an 18 percent mobile donation rate. We’re eager to see how mobile donations work for each region of the country, as well as by types of causes. Will some demographics be more inclined toward mobile? Or causes? Or parts of the country? The data will be fascinating to collect and analyze.
3) Open to All Nonprofits
Last year, many organizations wanted to participate in Give Local America but did not have a local community to participate under. Based on the interest from a broad range of nonprofits, we opened up registration for all nonprofits on givelocal15.org. We are encouraging nonprofits to register and bring a friend or two – creating communities of nonprofits all across America. We don’t want nonprofits to miss out on an amazing opportunity to be a part of history, generate new donors, and participate in an exciting new campaign.
4) Leaderboard App
One of the most exciting parts of a giving day is the competition. People log on to their community site and refresh it every five minutes to see how their favorite nonprofit is faring. And, of course, the nonprofits and community foundations also hit “refresh” regularly. To encourage competition and make viewing real-time results easier, we are creating a leaderboard app for Give Local America’s many giving days. Community organizers, nonprofits and donors will be able to see the latest leaderboards in a mobile-friendly format. We think this will create an exciting experience for everyone vested in the giving day.
5) National PR
We have also initiated a national PR effort. It’s meant to develop stories and useful content to help nonprofits succeed. The PR program includes engaging people and influencers online; building case studies and useful content on the Give Local America site; and of course, as we get closer to the giving day, industry and national media coverage. We’re seeing an incredible uptick on Twitter already. Nonprofits and communities are activating their social presence in advance of May 5. We anticipate that the PR program will further help and support nonprofits with additional word of mouth prior to the giving day.
Of course, we’re open to additional suggestions. Please leave a comment here, or connect with me on Twitter.
Lori Finch is the Vice President of Community Giving, Kimbia and the General Manager of Give Local America.