Pretty soon, nonprofit fundraisers everywhere will start thinking about their end-of-year campaigns.
Nearly one-third of annual gifts are made in December, and the last three days of the year alone account for 12% of all gifts. Planning early for how your organization will bring in crucial end-of-year funds is vital to ensuring you meet your goals. Here are our top tips for tuning up your digital fundamentals in advance of the most important fundraising season of the year.
1. Know and grow your audience.
Review existing analytics and donor research to make sure your end-of-year fundraising is based on insights about your particular donors, not generalizations. Run acquisition campaigns as early as possible so you have time to engage potential new donors before asking them for money.
2. Refine your message.
Your donors are going to be inundated with end-of-year fundraising messages. Make sure that your messaging is clear and concise to help you stand out from the pack. No matter your platform or approach, it’s essential to have a strong call-to-action and make a compelling case for investment in your work.
3. Update your supporting content and add more visuals.
Once you have your message nailed down, think about all the different ways you can tell your story to potential donors. Do more than draft new copy for solicitation emails and letters, make sure that your web content is current, that you’re sharing recent successes, and that you have engaging visuals to complement the stories you’re telling. Bonus points for video!
4. Make it easy to give.
Take some time to consider the experience of donating online. Are people coming to your donation page from your Facebook posts or your emails? How many people start, but don’t complete your donation form? Is key information from your annual report easily accessible? The right analytics can provide amazing insights here and help you make the donation process easy and compelling. Also, make sure all your systems are working well together well in advance of the year-end rush, so you’re not trying to track down someone to help you fix your database on December 30.
5. Pull it all together.
Donors engage with you across multiple audiences, so make sure your email works to reinforce your social — and your social works to reinforce your email. Just because a donor doesn’t give online, doesn’t mean they aren’t influenced by an email they received or something they read on your website. In fact, retention for multichannel donors is much higher than for those who engage with you just offline or online. Plan and execute your campaigns in an integrated way for maximum impact.