401Gives Board Kickoff Guide

At your next board meeting, have a 401Gives kickoff! Set aside 20-30 minutes to discuss your organization’s 401Gives goals and how your board members can help you achieve them! Involving your board early on in the 401Gives planning process can have a great impact on your overall success. You can use this Kickoff Guide to start building excitement and support from your engaged board.


1. Introduction of 401Gives

You can pull all of this information from the 401Gives FAQ page here before your kickoff!

  • What is it?
  • When is it?
  • Who is hosting it?
  • What communities does it serve?
  • Why is your organization participating?

2. Overview of Past Achievements

Have you participated in a Giving Day in the past? Take the time to reflect on your past experiences and remind your team of the lessons learned!

  • How much have you been able to raise?
  • How many donors have you engaged? Have you acquired new donors?
  • Did you obtain any matching funds? Sponsors?
  • Did you utilize any new tools or platforms?
  • What did you learn? How can you improve?

3. Specific Goals for 401Gives {{dog-year}}

Before you jump into strategy, think about what you’d like your organization’s internal 401Gives goals to be. Starting here will help your team focus on better goal specific strategies when preparing for 401Gives!

  • How much do you hope to raise?
  • What projects, programs, or causes are you raising money for?
  • How many donors do you hope to reach? How many new? How many recurring?
  • How do you plan on communicating with your supporter base?
  • How much in sponsorship matching dollars, prizes, and challenge incentives does your organization hope to secure?
  • What are your top internal goals? What will be your top external goals?

4. How Your Board Members Can Help on 401Gives

One of the most important aspects of your 401Gives is making it clear to your board members why their support is important and how they can help your organization make a difference. There are so many ways in which your board can play a part in your organization’s success, and providing several clear calls to action will make it easier for your board members to actively participate and help you achieve your goals!

  • Serve on a 401Gives specific committee
  • Board Sponsored Matching Dollars or Challenge Incentive
  • Leverage their connections in the community to solicit financial or social partnerships around 401Gives
  • Serve as Peer-to-Peer Fundraisers and fundraise on behalf of your organization during 401Gives
  • Enlist social ambassadors to help your organization expand their reach on social media by spreading the word to their networks
  • Act as donor stewardship liaisons to help thank your 401Gives supporters and begin fostering relationships
  • Assist in hosting a special event for your organization and its supporters on 401Gives

5. Next Steps and Communication Plans for 401Gives

After you’ve kicked off 401Gives with your board members, you’ll likely have lots of great ideas flowing. Don’t lose that momentum! Make sure your organization has a clear communication plan for how you’ll stay in touch with your board members as you prepare and plan for 401Gives!

  • Send a weekly or bi-weekly newsletter focused specifically on your 401Gives planning. Share your goals, exciting announcements, and provide clear opportunities and action steps your board members should take to help you succeed.
  • Continue to include 401Gives in your regular board meetings as you prepare for the event.