New Giving Day Playbook provides step-by-step guide to online giving campaigns

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4 big things you need to do now to prepare a successful Giving Day” by Bahia Ramos and Beth Kanter on Knight Blog

View the archived Giving Day Playbook Webinar here.

MIAMI – (August 21, 2013) – A new Giving Day Playbook published online today is the first comprehensive guide for launching a successful 24-hour online giving campaign.

Filled with tested recommendations, checklists and templates, the Playbook makes a Giving Day manageable by offering step-by-step advice from Day One to post- campaign analysis. Targeted at the community foundations that have begun to organize these events, the insights are applicable to any nonprofit seeking to participate in or organize a similar campaign. It is available at

Published by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and written by fundraising experts at Third Plateau and KDS Strategies, the Giving Day Playbook provides insights on:

  • Planning: From setting goals to crafting a realistic budget and allotting staff time;
  • Outreach: Offering how-tos on capitalizing on social media and traditional channels to engage donors, nonprofits and the media;
  • Day of Logistics: Providing an insider’s view on planning for the 24-hour sprint that encompasses the big day;
  • Assessment: Collecting the data that helps organizers assess their impact.

“Online donors have become a coveted demographic. Giving Days are a great way to reach them, but there are few resources to help in the planning. This Giving Day Playbook puts all the emerging best practices in one place, helping to make the events not only doable but successful,” said Bahia Ramos, director of Knight Foundation’s community foundations program.

Knight Foundation will host a webinar on the topic, given by communications strategist Beth Kanter and co-sponsored by CommA, at 2 p.m. ET Sept. 12.

The Playbook draws heavily on examples of community foundations that have raised their community profile, in addition to raising money for great causes. It cites and provides insights from foundations big and small with a range of goals. The Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG campaign grew 50 percent in 2013 to raise $11.1 million, for example. Meanwhile, the Park City Community Foundation’s Live PC Give PC campaign helped create an ongoing conversation between the foundation and residents by participating in local events and continuously being active on social media.

Last year, to help experiment in this growing area, Knight Foundation launched a Giving Day pilot providing $300,000 in combined funding to eight community foundations to support their 2012 Giving Days. Together, these foundations raised $5.2 million from 40,000 donors.

Foundations are finding that these events help them tap into the growing number of online donations, which according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, contributed $2.1 billion to nonprofits last year, an increase of 14 percent over 2011.

“Today’s online donor is tomorrow’s endowment builder,” said Javier Alberto Soto, president and CEO of The Miami Foundation. “Launching a Giving Day has helped us – along with the nonprofits we serve – expand our online fundraising and outreach, which in turn helps us increase our impact across foundation initiatives.”

To learn more, visit and follow along with #givingday on Twitter.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit



Andrew Sherry, Vice President/Communications, (305) 908-2677, [email protected]