Giving Days can be extremely rewarding both in terms of the level of funds raised and in bringing the whole school community together in a way that few other campaigns can. Giving Days, when resourced well, can also help to establish a recurring culture of giving that can build a steady pipeline of donors and income to the school - one that when cultivated well can lead to a sustainable income source as well as beneficial relationships with those donors who may have the capacity to make larger, more transformational gifts.
Those considering running a Giving Day, should however, keep in mind that they can be challenging for any school. So, it’s important to understand what a Giving Day is and how state schools can use them to create successful, year-round regular giving programmes.
What exactly is a Giving Day and how much can they raise?
A Giving Day is a digitally-led campaign that is primarily delivered through email and social media channel. It is focused around a specific 24- or 36-hour period and is communicated to a carefully defined and segmented audience - usually current parents, former parents and alumni.
With the independent sector seeing schools raise in excess of £450,000 from over 750 donors it is little wonder that Giving Days have become an integral part of many schools regular giving programmes and have started to replace telephone campaigns in terms of popularity.
Is running a Giving Day feasible in the state school sector?
There is little doubt that the initial investment, the level of preparation and planning, and the need to assign specific resources to running a Giving Day , have all acted to varying degrees as deterrents.
The fact that state schools do not have a database of potential donors as defined and organised as the independent sector may also have made some schools hesitant to commit.
However, a case can be made on why state schools – underfunded as they currently are – are better placed than their independent counterparts to raise much needed funds – using Giving Days as a catalyst for making the ask.
Below are six compelling reasons why heads, senior leadership teams and school governors in the state sector should consider running a Giving Day;
What should those wanting to run a Giving Day consider?
Data: Schools will need to have a database of people who they are legally able to contact under GDPR regulations. Customer data should contain names, email addresses, previous donation history and status as a current parent, former parent, alumni, staff or other (friend of the school).
Leadership and Community Buy-in: It is essential that a school has full commitment from the headteacher and senior leadership team with active engagement to ensure that the Giving Day is supported by all elements of the school – teachers, support staff, parents and even the pupils themselves.
Match and Challenge Funding: Various fundraising challenges on the day are important element of any Giving Day….. and are fun to do. They do however require careful planning and a fair amount of hard work. This will involve setting up milestone challenges, year group challenges, parent challenges, and of course the compulsory headteacher challenge!
A Dedicated Giving Day Platform: Part of what makes a Giving Day so successful is that they are fun and exciting for those taking part. They are an activity that anyone can participate in from anywhere in the world and no matter how much someone might give, it's the taking part that matters most. To make the most of this excitement, it is best to use a dedicated Giving Day platform that instantly tracks this engagement for donors and ambassadors to see and share with others. A dedicated platform like this can be challenging for teams to resource internally, however, providers such as Hubbub offer Giving Day platforms that teams can easily customise to meet their needs.
After considering these factors you feel attracted to the idea in principle of running a Giving Day then it is certainly worth exploring further.
To discuss the practicalities of your school running a Giving Day, please contact either Kat Carter at Hubbub(firstname.lastname@example.org or Paul Hassall at State School Fundraising (email@example.com)