East Texas Giving Day is just around the corner on Tuesday, April 25th, so what should you be doing now to make the event a great day for local charities? Encourage nonprofits to register for the event, consider making a matching gift, create a Celebration Page, make a donation during early giving, or plan your strategy to encourage others to give on East Texas Giving Day.

East Texas Communities Foundation has hosted East Texas Giving Day, an annual online fundraising event for local nonprofits, since 2016. Over the past seven years, East Texas Giving Day has raised over $10.9 million for local charities. The event is online, so it is very resilient to the volatility of East Texas weather and even global pandemics. The event takes place from 6 am to midnight on April 25th online at EastTexasGivingDay.org. Donors can select the specific charities they want to support and the specific amounts of their contributions to each organization in one simple online transaction. Leaderboards actively track the dollars raised and the number of contributions made for each participating charity throughout the day. The goal is to raise annual support for local charities and build awareness of their amazing work in our East Texas Communities.

In preparation for the event, there are several things that you can do to make the event a great success for your favorite charities. First, encourage your favorite charities to register to participate in the event. As of this writing, there are 265 different organizations signed up to participate this year, and over 165 have activated their landing pages at easttexasgivingday.org. A simple way to find out if your favorite charities are participating is to search for them by name on the website at easttexasgivingday.org. If you don’t find them, reach out to them and encourage them to get registered. Time is critical for nonprofits to register by the deadline of 5 pm on Friday, March 31st.  

Once your favorite charities are registered, another option for you to consider is to help them create a matching fund. It is proven that on giving day donors are attracted to support organizations with matching funds because they like to see their donations doubled and help organizations reach their matching goals. Reach out to your favorite charities and see if they have matching funds or if you can offer to provide matching funds. Gifts to establish a matching pool are made directly to the charity and the giving day leaderboards will track contributions made on giving day toward their matching goal.

Another way to get involved early is to set up a Celebration Page, which is essentially a personal campaign to reach a specific goal for one of your favorite charities. Celebration Pages can be created beginning on April 3rd. For example, if you were impacted this last year by the work of a particular charity, you can set up a $500 personal campaign to encourage your friends to help you raise $500 for that charity. The charity may have a goal of $10,000 for the event, but your personal goal of $500 and the support of your friends will help them reach their goal. Celebration Pages are easy to set up and instructions can be found in the FAQs under the “About” tab at easttexasgivingday.org. There is even a short video walking you through the steps which can be reached directly at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTY0j-Le_7U.

April 3rd also marks the beginning of early giving and all the donation buttons go live on that day. If you want to get ahead of the rush, or you know you will be busy on East Texas Giving Day on April 25th, you can go to easttexasgivingday.org and make a contribution to your favorite charities at any time beginning on April 3rd. Of course, you can give as often as you like up to the stroke of midnight on April 25th, but you can also start early on April 3rd. Lastly, you can give some thought now to the strategy you want to use to encourage support for your favorite charities on East Texas Giving Day. One of the most compelling reasons people make contributions to any charity is because they heard about it from a friend. The power of East Texas Giving Day is the power of making connections with others to support the work of amazing charities serving our communities. Perhaps making a personal social media post about your favorite charities and why you support them is your next best opportunity to encourage others to give well.