Beyond the dollars: The long-term value of giving days for community foundations


Community foundations across the country have played a central role in catalyzing giving days. While much of the focus for these online fundraising campaigns has been on the money raised for nonprofit participants, there has been little examination—until now—of the ways in which Giving Days actually benefit the community foundations that organize them.

The long-term value of giving days for community foundations showcases the potential for these campaigns to strengthen community foundations by driving community philanthropy, increasing their visibility and credibility, strengthening their online donor engagement capabilities, and positioning community foundations as hubs of information in their communities.

The new report, Beyond the Dollars, found that giving days helped community foundations:

·      Increase their visibility and credibility – by helping them communicate their mission to larger audiences. Some 48 percent of nonprofits and donors heard about the community foundations for the first time as a result of the giving days.

·      Strengthen their digital skills – by helping them learn to use social media and become more comfortable with online fundraising.

·      Become hubs of information on giving – by centralizing information about local nonprofits and collecting widespread nonprofit and donor data.

Researched by Third Plateau Social Impact Strategies, the report is the culmination of Knight Foundation’s successful Giving Day Initiative, which provided the playbook, a Facebook group, plus individualized help and funding to giving day organizers in communities where Knight Foundation invests, to share best practices. The foundation is continuing to support community foundations’ in Knight communities experiment with new ways to engage their communities and embrace their future.