Community Block Party attendees check out participating nonprofit organizations during the event. Photo courtesy of The Miami Foundation.
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"Giving Day Playbook offers crucial guidance for online fundraising campaigns" by Beth Kanter on Knight Blog 06/18/14
Thursday’s Give Miami Day raised $5.2 million for 520 South Florida nonprofits, with a total of 19,245 gifts. This was the first year that The Miami Foundation promoted a funding goal for Give Miami Day, set at $5 million.
“As Miami continues to evolve, Give Miami Day acts as a gateway for new members of the community to learn more about local causes they are passionate about and contribute to the overall success of our city,” said Miami Foundation CEO Javier Alberto Soto.
Working with a cohort of local partners, including Knight Foundation, The Miami Foundation helped incentivize community giving by making a bonus gift for every online donation between $25 and $10,000 received on Give Miami Day. Twenty-four prizes were awarded to nonprofits that hit key milestones throughout the day, such as the first gift received and receiving gifts from the most countries.
The Greater Miami Jewish Federation and The Children’s Movement of Florida reclaimed the top two spots this year for the most money raised for the day with $368,739 and $156,925, respectively. Miami City Ballet took home a $1,000 prize for the first gift of the day; Men and Women United in Justice, Education & Reform took home a $1,500 prize for generating the most buzz on social media about the Give Miami Day campaign. Other prizes ranged from $500 to $1,500.
Organizers also added a new event at Marlins Park the day of the event to engage local residents. “The Community Block Party [was] an opportunity to capture the tangible energy that Give Miami Day generates by bringing people together to connect, engage and celebrate with local charities,” said Soto.
This year’s Give Miami Day saw increased efforts on social media across funding categories, but the standout for Miami Foundation Communications Director Matthew Beatty came from Miami’s local arts and culture organizations. HistoryMiami, the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Borscht Film Festival, Buskerfest, Bakehouse Art Complex and others collaborated to create the Miami Arts Brigade to unify their messaging.
“One of the best things to see is how people in the community rally together to coordinate support for the organizations they care about,” Beatty said.
Bahia Ramos, Knight Foundation’s director of community foundations, agreed.
“The dollars raised only tell one part of the story: improved strategies and accessible technology increasingly offer new ways to reach broader audiences,” she said.
Ramos added that tools offered by Knight Foundation, such as The Giving Day Playbook and a peer learning exchange for community foundations, have been essential in helping community foundations experiment, iterate and implement best practices when it comes to hosting Giving Days.
“It’s important to recognize the successes of our partners, but sharing their efforts is paramount to helping build better, more engaged cities,” Ramos said.
Here are some of the Miami Foundation’s takeaways from this year’s Give Miami Day:
- Early promotion and events, such as a Twitter party the evening before the Giving Day, provides a forum for the community to ask questions about how it works.
- Collaboration among nonprofits is key; Miami Arts Brigade was a huge testament to that.
- Training sessions for nonprofits led to increased participation and engagement among organizations. Over 100 more organizations joined Give Miami Day in 2014 compared to 2013.
- Setting the public fundraising goal of $5 million excited the entire community; people rallied behind reaching that amount.
- Better coordination of day-of logistics and a newly implemented call center helped ensure overall efficiency of the campaign and personalized attention for donors.
- Social media channels continued to be a critical tool in keeping community-wide energy up throughout the day, especially the Twitter party. Using more visuals, such as memes, also helped.
- Pre-event media coverage was a major part of energizing people to give.
- Volunteers were essential to the success of the event, before, during and even after.