Participating in a Giving Event: Everything You Need to Know

Participating in a giving event? We’ve got everything you need to run a winning a giving event campaign.

Participating in a giving event is an excellent way to broaden your donor base, acquire new supporters, and engage your community. But how do you run a campaign? What are giving events all about? And, importantly, how do you win prizes?! We’ve got you covered. In this post, we’ll break down the most important things to know about participating in a giving event… and provide a free resource to dive in even more.

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Understand your giving event

Each giving event is unique. Sure, there are some commonalities. Most giving events are community-based and have the goal of connecting donors with causes. And the vast majority of giving events are competitive, with leaderboards and hourly prizes. But the key to understanding how to succeed in a giving event is understanding the event itself.

On Mightycause, each giving event site will have a page explaining the rules and prizes. Understanding the rules of the road is your first step to developing a campaign strategy. And if you have questions, there an FAQ for nonprofits as well that explains all the need-to-know info, like when early donations start, what the minimum donation is, and more.

What is a Giving Event?

Attend training

It’s pretty standard for giving events on Mightycause to have at least two webinars. In these webinars, you’ll learn to navigate the platform, learn some tips & tricks to succeed, and usually have a chance to participate in a live Q&A session. So, if you want to making participating in a giving event worthwhile for your nonprofit, we strongly recommend making the time to attend these training events! (But if you miss it, the recordings will be made available to you.)

Some giving events will even go a step further and schedule additional training events. You don’t have to make it to all of them, but we definitely recommend taking advantage of as much free training as you can!

Download the free ebook

participating in a giving event: ebook cover

To help your nonprofit prepare for participating in a giving event, our fundraising experts have written a free ebook. Learn the giving event lingo, how leaderboards and Golden Tickets work, and how to plan a winning campaign!

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Set a realistic goal

Participating in a giving event is, above all else, a fantastic fundraising opportunity. Not only do the giving event hosts work to publicize the event, the marketing tools are built-in! It’s an easy-to-understand concept for donors, and a great reason to reach out and ask for their support. And so it’s important to set strong fundraising goals to make the most of your participation!

Fundraising goals

A giving event can eventually become an integral part of your fundraising calendar. But, on average, most nonprofits raise amounts consistent with their most recent fundraising campaign. So, if you’re participating in a giving event for the first time, take a look at the last fundraising campaign your nonprofit ran. Set a goal that’s close to what you raised during that campaign.

And as you participate year after year, you’ll be able to set even more ambitious goals and scale up your fundraising!

Non-monetary goals

Participating in a giving event is good for your nonprofit’s bottom line, but it can also help you with non-monetary goals! So, think about meaningful goals for your organization that go beyond a fundraising goal:

  • Engaging major donors & sponsors: Try kicking your fundraising up a notch & engaging these vital donors by asking for a matching grant!
  • Donor retention: Especially year after year, try to keep donors coming back to give. (And we’ve got special tools to help with that, too!)
  • Social media engagement: Participating in a giving event can be a great way to get a boost on social media. See if you can leverage the giving event to build your following!

Focus on storytelling

Nonprofits that do well in giving events year after year usually have one thing in common: they are excellent storytellers. Participating in a giving event can be an excellent excuse to flex your storytelling muscles!

photo of someone using the Mightycause giving day platform on a desktop computer tablet and mobile phone

Find the right messaging

Giving events allow your nonprofit to hone in on what messaging really resonates with donors. Here’s how to find your message:

  • Pick a focus/theme: It doesn’t need to be elaborate! Choose a theme that underscores what your nonprofit does & why your work is important. For instance, for an animal shelter participating in a giving event, raising money for their foster program and highlighting a few animals that were in foster care and then found homes can be a simple, powerful message.
  • Create talking points: Participating in a giving event basically entails making an “elevator pitch” for the importance of your organization’s work. Synthesize your programs & services into a few easy-to-understand talking points about your work and impact.

Strategize to win prizes

Prizes are one of the big draws of participating in a giving event! By fundraising strategically, your nonprofit can win extra cash that will help you do even more in your community. The competition can get fierce, but there are usually lots of chances to win. And with some smart strategies, you can target and win those prizes!

Types of giving event prizes

There are a few types of prizes for giving events:

  • Golden Ticket: These are typically part of 24-hour giving days. Golden Tickets are random prizes drawn from a pool of nonprofits that received a donation in the space of an hour.
  • Power Hour: These are competitive prizes where nonprofit race to get the most dollars or donors in the space of an hour. (The giving event host will specify the type!)
  • Leaderboard prizes: Leaderboard prizes are awarded to the top fundraisers for the duration of the event. Leaderboards track fundraising totals and number of donors throughout the whole event. Many giving events will split up leaderboards so nonprofits are competing against other nonprofits of a similar budget size or category, to keep the competition fair.
  • Challenge prizes: You’ll typically see Challenges in multi-day or multi-week events! They aim to liven up the competition by providing short-term challenges, such as prizes for the top fundraisers in a day, or the nonprofits that bring in the most unique donors.
ga gives leaderboard
The Coca-Cola Foundation leaderboard on, 2019

How to win prizes

We have plenty of tips in our ebook, but here’s a quick rundown of how to win prizes:

  • Take advantage of early giving: Many giving events will allow nonprofits to start raising money a week or more before the event to build momentum. Nonprofits that take advantage of this early giving period are more likely to win leaderboard prizes (and raise more overall)!
  • Email strategy: A nonprofit’s email list is a secret weapon on giving events! Sending emails at strategic times (and saving “big” emails with hard-hitting messaging for times when you’re aiming to win a prize) can help bolster your chances of winning.
  • Social media: Using social media to mobilize your supporters (and get them to tell their friends) can help you get donations when it matters most.

Want more tips for participating in a giving event?

Get a fuller picture of what it’s like to participate in a giving event, how to plan, what you need to do, and how they work in our free ebook.

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