Virtual Roundtables

Giving Day Fail: Lessons for Digital Infrastructure

Listen to Andrew Means, Asha Curran, Priscilla Enriquez, and Beth Kanter discuss the lessons learned from the Give Local America Day tech failure.

Listen to Andrew Means, Asha Curran, Priscilla Enriquez, and Beth Kanter discuss the lessons learned from the Give Local America Day tech failure.


The tech failure that caused massive disruption of the national Give Local America Day fundraising campaign in May 2016 raised many questions for social sector leaders and practitioners: What went wrong? How did nonprofits and community foundations respond? What can we do differently next time? What has the social sector learned from all of this?

To address these questions and more, Markets for Good hosted a virtual roundtable, Giving Day Fail: Lessons for Digital Infrastructure.

Moderated by Andrew Means of the Impact Lab and Data Analysts for Social Good, the roundtable panel included: Asha Curran, Chief Innovation Officer at 92nd Street Y and #GivingTuesday; Priscilla Enriquez, Chief Giving Officer for the Sacramento Region Community Foundation; and Beth Kanter, nonprofit innovator and trainer, and author of Beth’s Blog: How Connected Nonprofits Leverage Networks and Data for Social Change.

A few highlights:

  • Be nimble, stay positive, and communicate: Priscilla Enriquez described her foundation’s experience in organizing a region-wide giving day as part of Give Local America and how they navigated, overcame, and learned from the tech meltdown that day.
  • Know your tech and have a plan B (and C): Beth Kanter discussed the Knight Foundation’s Giving Day Playbook and how nonprofits and community foundations can prepare for these crucial fundraising days by formally evaluating giving platform vendors and developing crisis plans.
  • Provide flexibility, autonomy, and transparency: Asha Curran described how the global fundraising movement #GivingTuesday supports and empowers nonprofits through a de-centralized, tech-agnostic approach to coordinated giving.

To listen to the full discussion, use the audio player above or download the podcast (52 MB). You can also download the transcript (PDF).

Markets for Good will be providing further insight, lessons learned, and perspectives regarding this teachable moment for the social sector – stay tuned!


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