Key Points

This article examines Give Local America 2016, a giving day beset by a technology failure that created challenges for donors and community foundations throughout the United States, and explores the experiences of donors as giving day participants.

Philanthropic giving days have gained popularity as opportunities for community foundations to engage new donors, create excitement about organized philanthropy, and democratize charitable giving. This article, examining survey data collected after a giving day led by a community foundation in northern Illinois, provides unique insight into donor satisfaction levels, opinions, and giving patterns.

Data suggest that giving days are not crowding out donations at other times of the year, but instead are viewed as a supplementary option for the public to engage philanthropically. The article concludes with practical recommendations for community foundations that are considering hosting a giving day.

Open Access