Even though it’s summer and you are probably are heading to beach this weekend, planning for your year-end fundraising campaign should start right about now. Why? Because nonprofits raise 40% to 60% of their online donations in December. 22% of giving happens on the last two days of the year between the hours of 10am and 6pm in all time zones. Convio has just released a new tip-sheet, “Kick-Start Your Holiday Campaign Planning,” to help you start working on your online fundraising for the end of the year.
Here are some great tips to develop a solid year-end fundraising campaign and raise as much money, or even just tweak your existing plan, with some simple and cost-effective ideas you can easily start now.
Optimize your homepage. Make giving on your website easy and engaging by placing your “donate” button prominently, including photos and tangible gift levels that connect visitors emotionally with your organization’s mission, clearly stating your goals, and tracking your progress. Good search engine optimization is always important, but especially so if you want donors to find you. This is a great opportunity to use your Google Adwords grant if your nonprofit has one. And if you have the budget, consider a search engine marketing campaign to boost traffic to your site.
Make the most of email. Campaigns are a great way to reach out to your supporters and make sure they remember you in their year-end giving. You might consider a multi-part email campaign, with an initial ask, followed by an update or e-card, and an “it’s not too late” note for the last days of the year. You can also increase your campaign’s impact by segmenting your lists with targeted messages to current, recent, and lapsed donors.
Don’t think just in terms of campaigns though – not every email you send needs to be a direct ask. Updating your supporters on your progress toward your goal and what you’ve done with their help, along with thanking them, will make them want to continue to give. Speaking of thank-you messages, take a look at your auto-responders, too. Add impact to your acknowledgement by encouraging your donors to take further action and tell their friends about your inspiring organization.
Leverage your supporters’ connections. In the age of social media, and when sharing information among friends and family is as easy as pasting a link on Facebook or in an email, don’t underestimate the value of electronic word-of-mouth. A branded e-card sent from your website, a forwarded or posted link with a personal message, a request to give to your organization as a holiday present – these are all things you can ask your supporters to pass on to their friends and family, with great results for your organization.
What are some of your favorite strategies for year-end fundraising campaigns?
More Great Fundraising Resources:
- Overachiever's Guide to Year-End Fundraising -- Frogloop
- Procrastinator's Guide to Year-End Fundraising -- Frogloop