July 2014.

Last year, Armbruster Consulting Group had the pleasure of working alongside the fabulous team at African American Youth Harvest Foundation (AAYHF). Their mission is to advocate, to strengthen, and to provide culturally relevant, family centered educational, health and human services, and economic development opportunities to African American youth, their families, and other at-risk populations that reside in the Greater Austin area.

The AAYHF youth short film project, “The Perfect Stranger” has been accepted for representation at the Cannes Film Festival. This project represents a collaboration between Midiam Films and Krew12, a long-standing AAYHF Program. Krew12 serves high school youth by providing weekly hands-on training in difital and traditional media including photography, film making, radio, graphic design, music, poetry and more. According to AAYHF, 99% of the youth enrolled in their weekly programs like Krew12 were promoted to the next grade level or graduated.

Congratulations to African American Youth Harvest Foundation and the kids involved with Krew12 on this extraordinary honor!

More and more communities across the country are participating in 24-hour Giving Days to recognize and energize your city’s nonprofit organizations. These Giving Days are great opportunities for to raise funds and awareness for your organization. Check out these ideas to maximize your impact:

  • Plan Ahead

How are you going to communicate to your supporters the purpose of the day and how they can get involved?

Determine where your supporters “live” and how can you best reach them. For some organizations, this may mean a direct mail piece, for others online communications might be the best way to promote the day.

  • Ask a board member for a matching donation.

If donors know that their gift will have double or triple the impact, they will be more likely to donate!

  • Create SMART Goals

We encourage all organizations to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable , Realistic and Timely, especially for something like Giving Day.


Specific—What are your goals? Don’t think only about fundraising, consider “friendraising”, too. How specific can you be?

Measureable.-“We want to raise a lot of money” is not measurable (or specific). Put a dollar amount on how much you want to raise. It can be an increase over last year’s Giving Day donations and/or the number of new supporters you gain.

Achievable—If your organization hasn’t raised $1M in one day the past, you are probably not going to raise $1M on a Giving Day. Here’s the hard part-your goal should be something that you strive for, and also something that is in reach.

Relevant—How will the gifts from your giving day affect your organization? Use this as a starting point for communications.

Timely—This piece is done for you! You know when the Giving Day is and that there are 24 hours to raise the money.

  • Communicate with your supporters. Let them know what is going on, your goals for the Giving Day and how they can support you. If supporters can’t donate money, create other ways for them to be involved like volunteering or sharing the day with their friends and family. Make sure that your Facebook posts and tweets are easily shareable.
  • Thank your donors and the community

How are you going to thank your donors? Make sure you have thank you notes set up to be emailed automatically with donation receipts. Consider giving public thank yous on your social media or website or have staff make short videos (think Vines) to show your gratitude.

  • Review and Evaluate

Did you meet your goals? Determine what worked for your organization and what didn’t. There may be many variables here, so answers may not be crystal clear. These answers (or estimates) may help you to plan not only for next year’s Giving Day, but also for future fundraising campaigns.

Even though these Giving Days come around once a year, make sure to take full advantage of it!

Do you have any tips to add? What has worked for your organization? Let us know in the comments.


Interested in developing a plan for your next Giving Day? Let us help! Contact Molly@armbrusterconsulting.com to get started.

Author: Molly Heinsler
Email: molly@armbrusterconsulting.com