Day of Giving campaigns have increased in popularity, but not all nonprofits are reaping the rewards.

On average, nonprofits on GiveGab raise 88% of their funds online. Since online fundraising is so important, we used data analytics to help us discover what successful organizations did that set them apart.

We collected survey information from over 200 nonprofits from two Day of Giving campaigns in 2016. We hoped their answers would shed some light on how they were able to effectively reach their fundraising goals. Their answers did not disappoint – we found two key trends that successful organizations use to increase online donations:

  1. Having an engaged board
  2. Matching donations with outside support

Nonprofits with engaged boards raised more money online

On average, a nonprofit with an ‘engaged’ board raised $4,150 or roughly double those with a ‘slightly engaged’ board, who raised $1,800. We routinely hear from nonprofits where boards pitch in to kick start a campaign, or offer to email their friends and colleagues in hopes of finding new donors. These efforts seem to really pay off.

Successful Giving Day Participants

Data from Giving Tuesday 2016 participants on GiveGab

It’s difficult to say whether successful nonprofits naturally attract board members who can’t help but get involved, or if active board members spur nonprofits to go the extra mile. Regardless of the cause, it can’t hurt to engage board members and tap into their bigger networks to find new and perhaps bigger donors.

Nonprofits with matching donations encouraged more giving

If you already have an engaged board, the next thing you can do is find matching fund support to encourage more online donations. Even before adding in the extra money from matching funds, nonprofits who broadcast that they will match funds saw a huge jump in online donations.

Nonprofits with matching funds raised 4.5x more on average than those without a match.

Successful Giving Day Participants

Data from Giving Tuesday 2016 participants on GiveGab

Perhaps matching funds encourage donors to make a contribution because they know their dollar will go further. Heck, it’s almost like they’re giving twice because they know someone else is kicking in to match their donation.

Companies big and small match gifts. Many donate to a broad spectrum of organizations and are willing to help a good cause. Reaching out to corporations can be a bit daunting, but even if the answer is “not right now”, getting on their radar for future campaigns is a good start. Hey, maybe someone on the board works at a company willing to provide a match. You could even kill two birds with one stone by getting board members engaged and finding matching funds!

You have limited resources to devote to fundraising, so why not make your efforts go further?

Direct your energy to improve board engagement and secure matching funds – you’re sure to see a payoff.


To learn best practices for having a successful Giving Day, read The Ultimate Guide to Giving Day Success:

Successful Giving Day Participants

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Successful Giving Day Participants

This blog article was written by Natalie Morse, an environmental engineering PhD student at Cornell University. She focuses on improving urban water resources and also investigates how the soil microbiome influences pollutant treatment. Natalie has a passion for data analytics, and her friends have jokingly referred to her as “Datalie”.  As a mountain biker, swimmer and yogi she stays active away from the computer as well.

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