MJ Smith, Director of Affiliate Foundations, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque
On Tuesday May 5, 2016, the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque hosted its third annual Great Give Day, a 24-hour, online giving day.
This region-wide event is open to nonprofit agency endowment partners and is promoted vigorously by our affiliate advisory boards. This year, our online platform provider, Kimbia, experienced technical difficulties on the event day that prevented many donors from giving online. This technology collapse affected more than 50 giving days across the country, impacting a total of over 200 communities.
Thanks to the tenacious efforts of our communications and nonprofit outreach staff, however, we were able to extend the giving day and open up new giving options. In the end, we outpaced the 2015 total of $324,000 and celebrated $368,000 in gifts.
Great Give Day has changed and shaped our practice in the following ways:
- This year, Great Give Day united 114 nonprofit endowment partners from across the region. From the Harpers Ferry Booster Club to Camp Courageous, this event encourages volunteers and donors to engage together and collectively cheer community philanthropy.
- Affiliate advisory boards have fun being creative with marketing. Iowa Council of Foundations Idea Implementation grants helped support live radio broadcasts, yard signs, volunteer phone-a-thons, and a Great Give Day party at the local brewpub.
- The early May online giving event is a nice companion to the heavy giving activity that foundations experience in November – December.
- Sponsor gifts create hourly incentive prizes to generate excitement throughout the day, boost giving, and promote friendly competition among the nonprofits.
- While the technical difficulties did not allow us to collect as much data as in past years, Great Give Day has historically resulted in more than 500 donors making first-time gifts to nonprofits—a benchmark that suggests that online giving creates new access for donors.
- Great Give Day has now become a tradition and is a part of many nonprofits’ annual development plans. Participation is offered only to nonprofit endowment partners and is considered an important benefit of creating a community foundation endowment.
Great Give Day truly leverages time, talent and treasure in our Greater Dubuque region and has become an exciting signature of our impact.