Give to the Max 2014 logoThere are all kinds of good reasons to get ready for your annual giving day early. Charities with a plan have a chance to engage team leaders as their fundraising allies, which makes a tremendous difference in the reach and impact of your work.  A content plan to support the giving campaign gives donors more compelling reasons to donate to one charity over another, and competition for attention is always fierce on Give to the Max Day.

Those reasons alone should be enough, but added another important factor this year. The coordinating site for Minnesota’s biggest giving day is keenly aware of the serious problems caused in 2013 when the technology collapsed under the data demands of the day. They are making changes to assure that won’t happen again. GiveMN is offering a series of trainings to keep nonprofits up on the changes, but the most important change coming is a “freeze” to GiveMN pages from November 1 until the end of Give to the Max Day on November 13.  This means organizations must prepare the text, select an image (and only one image) and have any matching campaigns ready to go before the end of October.

This is a big change, especially for nonprofits used to operating with constant change. Limiting nonprofits to just a single static image on their page and no modifications after November 1 will allow GiveMN to manage the technology portion of the day better through more growth. Charities planning now to use their social media channels, websites and their own email to be more dynamic in early November will be the more successful fundraisers – and perhaps even have a better shot at the Golden Tickets – on November 13.

Videos, multiple images and dynamic content will all be great tools, but the freeze means more attention to the other elements of your campaign and less reliance on the GiveMN donate page to do the heavy content lifting. The technical end to changes to your donate page will be October 31, but organizations should plan to have it locked and ready by October 24 so there is a little breathing room. That is just over one month away.

This day is important, but it is only one element of an overall social giving strategy. Be ready for November 13, but remember the best plan is to build a long-term relationship with donors using Give to the Max as one tool. The change in the calendar reinforces the need for a total strategy so any single partner change is not critical to a comprehensive giving plan.

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