Giving Day Survival Tips from the RNL ScaleFunder Team 

We are about to enter “giving day season.” With over two-thirds of higher education giving days held in February, March and April, spring is a crucial time for many organizations. And that means a whole lot of work and stress for your team.

It’s also busy time for the team I’m part of: a group of consultants who help every RNL Scalefunder giving day partner. My teammates are a big part of why I love the ScaleFunder platform. Because with RNL, you get great technology and extensive help from experts with your giving day investment. Our team is there for you day in and day out as you plan, strategize, and execute your giving day.

Each one of us have been in your shoes, running complex fundraising campaigns. We know it can be stressful. So, how about some help? From my experience working with dozens of giving days, here are three key ways to boost your giving day results, survive the stress, and take care of your team.

Utilize help from giving day platform experts to make your launch stress-free

One of the great things we do before each RNL Scalefunder giving day is run the giving day from start to finish. That’s right, we hold a “mock giving day” with our partners. We go through the entire day, talk about all the key milestones and timing, comb through your matches/challenges, make a test gift, and talk about how the offline giving will be uploaded and counted on the day of.

Running a mock giving day with your fundraising team a few days in advance is a great strategy and helps reduce the stress on your actual day. You’ll pick up things you didn’t think of, people who have had a question they’re wondering about will ask it, and you’ll be able to fine tune your strategy and work plan so you’re 100 percent ready on your big day.

Oakland University Black and Gold Giving Day

Image: Oakland University’s 2024 Black and Gold Giving Day will utilize new design elements and skins on the RNL ScaleFunder platform.

Use the friction reduction built into your giving day platform to make things easier on your team

Giving day technology is all about creating a better donor experience. We also spend a lot of time engineering features that help make things easier for fundraisers. Where we can automate, we do! Examples include:

  • Tools to auto-complete challenges and matches, complete the accounting, and update status your totals in real-time on the giving day platform.
  • Awesome volunteer ambassador functionality, like uploading training materials, tool kits and provide updates to ambassadors. This makes it easy for volunteers to create original content, which boosts their authentic peer outreach.
  • Pre- and post-giving day splash screen options which automatically pop up before and after your giving day. This can allow people to give early and even make a gift if they missed the day (and have a little FOMO after). You set these up in advance, saving your team stress as your day ends.
  • Pushing giving day updates through the platform—emails that automatically go out to those who gave—to help celebrate small wins throughout the day, donor goals, etc.

This is just a taste of the features that help make it easy for your fundraising team. Remember, we’ve all done the job, too, and many of these tools come from our ideas as well as suggestions from Scalefunder users.

Screen of the giving day ambassador portal in RNL ScaleFunder.

Image: The giving day ambassador portal in RNL ScaleFunder is a great way to help your volunteers be successful.

Take care of you people on giving day: encourage intentional screen breaks and have a little fun

Sitting in your giving day “war room” with laptops while watching gifts come in and populate on the aggregator is fun. But it will get a little tedious in there after eight hours, even for the most excited fundraisers. It can also create a bit of anxiety.

My last suggestions is do something fun and engaging with your team throughout the day, maybe when it’s a lower-stress hour. Play a game, share stories, go outside if that’s possible. This will reconnect you to the humans you’re working so hard to support…and keep you from watching the screen all day.

Get creative with these short breaks and build them in to your plan. Don’t worry, the tech will keep running and you can check back in a few short minutes to see your donor total jump, which will be all the more fun.

Giving days are exciting, inspiring, and stressful: get the help you need.

Giving day season is a special time. The collaboration and hard work you’ve put in for the past year are culminating into something inspiring. You’re bound to have incredible stories of teamwork and generosity. And many of the first-time givers you attract will go on to a lifetime of giving.

Just remember, you’re not alone. The people behind your giving day platform are here to help. Giving is a social act, and at RNL we believe that donor engagement strategy is as well. So, when you have a free moment, get in touch with us to chat. We can schedule something after your giving day when things are fresh in your mind.

I’m looking forward to seeing all the giving day success from our RNL Scalefunder partners this spring. Happy giving day season, fundraisers!

Ready for a record-breaking giving day?

RNL Giving Day Powered by ScaleFunder now combines the most powerful giving day platform with strategic assessments, omnichannel marketing, and stewardship to make your giving day a major success and increase future giving.
RNL Giving Day Powered by ScaleFunder


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