Sep 29, 2021

Smaller, Easier, Faster, Stronger

girl shopping and looking at her phone

Campaigns to Save Time and Raise More

Our recent studies show that October, November, and December statistically draw the highest amount of fundraising dollars in a given calendar year. The spirit of giving is high, and donors are more likely to donate to nonprofits during this time.  

But how can you ensure that your organization is doing the most during this time? If you’re experiencing uncertainties about the future of your in-person or hybrid events, but you’re still looking for simple ways to fundraise for your organization during these crucial months of giving, look no further.  

Easy Donation-Based Campaigns 

Some of the easiest ways to fundraise go along with calendar dates. Has your organization participated in #GivingTuesday before? Do you have any upcoming anniversaries or celebrations you can monetize? Do you have a wish list you need to be fulfilled?  

You have the resources and technology you need at your fingertips. You just need to know how to use them to your advantage. By establishing a giving-based campaign (or two) for your organization, you’re offering more opportunities for giving and more visibility for your mission outside of annual events. With these campaign ideas, all you have to do is set them up, market them, and let them run. They’re going to save you on overhead costs and do most of the work FOR you.  

Here are some giving day-based examples you can use as inspiration for fast, easy fundraising for your organization. 

Anniversaries or Milestones

Are you approaching a big anniversary? Or do you have an employee or volunteer to celebrate? Use your celebrations as opportunities to include your donors! Create a campaign with meaning and celebrate how you will use the dollars raised in honor of your celebration. Your donors know your mission but including them on the smaller things can also drive philanthropy for your organization and makes them feel like a part of your nonprofit family. 

National “Fill in the Blank” Day

In healthcare, you might celebrate National Nurses Day, or in education, you might celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week. No matter the industry or occasion, there’s a day celebrating your cause. Use those celebration opportunities and fundraising opportunities for your organization. Create a donation campaign surrounding it and drive dollars for a day or a week outside of your large, annual events. 

Specific Dollar Day

Elevate your fundraising by doing a day of fundraising during which donors donate a specific amount. For example, a $20 day on the 20 of a month. Create your campaign, set your dollar amount, and watch the donations come in.  

Text to Donate

This platform feature can be used in any campaign listed but can also be its own campaign. Text-to-donate can be a great way to engage newer, younger donors.  


If you aren’t taking advantage of this Global Day of Giving, you should be. Last year alone, #GivingTuesday 2020 brought in over $117 in online donations, a 155% increase over 2019. Setting up a #GivingTuesday campaign is fast and easy, and promotion is simple. The name alone does the marketing for you.

#GivingTuesday 2021 is on Tuesday, November 30. Register now for our upcoming #GivingTuesday webinar for more information about how to stand out of the crowd on giving days.  

Check out GiveSmart partner, Board of Trustees of Eastern Illinois University’s #Giving Tuesday Giving Blue Day

Turnkey Ticketed Campaigns 

There are ways to encourage your audience to participate in an activity without the overhead of an event like a gala or a golf outing. Here are some ideas to chew on. 


Creating a bingo board can be fun and simple to do. Engaging your donors in a virtual bingo session, or even a “complete it yourself” bingo event can be fun and can bring in extra dollars. You could even offer a raffle to those who complete and turn in their bingo boards. Another tip: create a bingo board on which the squares are dollar amounts. Give prizes to the first few donors who raise the entire board’s worth of money for your organization! 

Virtual Run/Walk

Hosting a virtual run or walk can be easier than anticipated. Simply create your campaign, create your tickets, establish your virtual rules, and let it run (pun intended). Let your participants do the heavy lifting by participating and submitting their times on social media. Less work on your end, but more visibility for your mission and the race results are shared across your donors’ platforms. 

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are fun for everyone and are a great way to get donors of all ages engaged. Create a theme or a guide for your participants to follow—can be holiday-based, vehicle-based, or animal-based. How can you take your branded mission and make it fun and engaging? Similar to the virtual run/walk campaign, all you have to do is set up your tickets, post your scavenger hunt items, and let the campaign run. You and your colleagues can enjoy seeing the responses you get from participants while seeing the fundraising dollars come in. 

Check out GiveSmart partner, Oxford Kids’ Foundation’s Virtual Halloween 5k Scavenger Hunt

Vetted Voting Campaigns 

GiveSmart’s voting feature can be an endless sort of campaign creativity for your organization. Here are a few ideas to encourage your donors’ competitive side. 


We’ve seen organizations accomplish significant success with campaigns including costume contests (for humans AND pets), cooking contests with chefs, best bartender contests, art contests, and more. The possibilities are endless! And all you have to do is create a campaign with “vote” type items, get people to register, and let the participation happen

Check out GiveSmart partner, Suncoast Humane Society’s Pet Palooza.

One-Stop-Shop Item Campaigns 

If your audience is seeking engagement beyond auctions, consider some of these options for easy item-based fundraising campaigns. 


Clear your shelves by turning your auction leftovers into a lucrative item campaign! If you have leftover wine bottles, books, gift cards, or other items, create a storefront campaign and put all of your items into “brown bags” sorted into categories, and let your donors shop! You can give hints in item descriptions, but a small item campaign like this can turn into big dollars for your organization and is a unique, fun engagement tool outside of your larger events. 

Pie Sale

If you can find an organization in your area willing to donate certain items, all you have to do is list them, and the rest is up to the donor and the item purchaser. For example, a virtual pie sale raises you a significant amount, but you don’t have to handle the item fulfillment—it’s all up to the bakery that’s donating the pies. You get the dough. 


Use GiveSmart’s “instant item” feature to offer your donors an exclusive storefront. Sell your swag, or create a Secret Santa—the possibilities are endless!

Check out GiveSmart partner, Norwalk Catholic School’s PTO Secret Santa Shop.

Wishlist & Drives

There are a few ways to fundraise for wish list fulfillment or a toy/food drive depending on your organization’s needs. You can create “donate” items in a campaign so donors can give money towards items needed, families or animals in need, etc. It is also possible to list an item based on its value, and when someone pays for it, you can order it or buy it for your organization. This gives your audience a clear idea as to what they’re donating for, and they can feel fulfilled by helping your organization accomplish specific needs. 

Check out GiveSmart partner’s Heart of Virginia Council of the Boy Scouts of America Buy a Pie to Keep Them Dry.  

Third Party Campaigns 

What’s better than someone doing your work FOR you? Consider these ideas or additional ways you can use your supporters to your advantage by giving them some fundraising ownership for your organization.

Junior Board

Did you know you can assign admin rights to your GiveSmart users, such as your volunteers or board members? With this feature, you can allow your board members to host their own auction, giving day, or other event. Our team also offers training services, so you could leave the enablement logistics to us.  


Your volunteers, donors, and even your board members can easily utilize the champions feature to their advantage. They can use their own resources and contacts to fundraise for your organization. All you have to do is help them get set up with a champions page. The rest is up to them. 


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What our clients say

We needed a platform to make sales online and to track and display ads for our sponsors. GiveSmart was perfect. We ended up making close to $15,000 more than we had hoped for. Definite better ROI than we anticipated. The interface is easy to use and provides plenty of options to get help if needed.

Michelle M.

The Rotary Club of South Whidbey Island

Using GS has created ease in auction bookkeeping, payments, and generating post-event thank you/tax letters. While we were online during COVID, our interactions with our GiveSmart via phone, email, and zoom were seamless. A representative always got back to us within the day. I would recommend GiveSmart to anyone doing a large online event.

Julie G.

MicroFinancing Partners in Africa

GiveSmart is highly flexible - you can use it for [a] simple registration and check-in, to full-scale galas with complex order forms, onsite upsells, live auctions, seating management, and more.

Jamie F.

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer

GiveSmart is easy to use and ideal for virtual events and can be used for in-person events to manage the silent auction, seating charts, and check-in to the event. Being able to use the platform for unlimited events within the contract year is very useful and being able to add other users and volunteers for different levels of access is helpful as well.

Dawn L.

Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County