5 Year-End Appeal Ideas for 2020
WRITTEN BY Kristina Brunnler
The end of the year is approaching quickly, which can be a stressful time for many of us. While the rest of the world may be busy celebrating, many nonprofit professionals are left worrying about whether they’ll meet those important annual fundraising goals. Here to help you create a stand-out year-end fundraising campaign that exceeds your goals are five proven and effective year-end appeal ideas. We took these five year-end appeal ideas from real nonprofits that are also MobileCause customers and included examples below. Whether you have your entire campaign scheduled and ready to go or you’re scrambling to get it started, we hope these five ideas help you launch a year-end campaign that reaches donors and exceeds your annual fundraising goals.
5 Effective Year-End Appeal Ideas from Real Nonprofit Campaigns
1. Year-End Direct Mail Pieces
In a virtual world, a letter delivered by mail can offer a memorable reminder of your nonprofit’s mission to donors. With many individuals expecting holiday cards in the mail, your nonprofit’s direct mail piece will likely be noticed. For recurring donors you can even go the extra mile and offer a postcard, 2021 calendar/planner or other gift in the mail piece as a special thank you. Small gifts or thank yous serve as reminders to donors why they should continue their membership.
ProTip: You can integrate any direct mail piece with online giving by including your online donation form link or text-to-donate instructions on the letter like the YMCA did in the photo above.
2. Year-End Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaigns
Peer-to-Peer fundraising is similar to crowdfunding, except it empowers your supporters to fundraise on your organization’s behalf. You can make your peer-to-peer fundraiser themed for the year-end by incorporating holidays like Advocates for Children did with their Christmas Cookie Competition. With in-person celebrations limited this holiday season due to COVID-19, a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign can allow users to participate in your campaign virtually.
3. Year-End Matching Gift Appeals
Many nonprofits choose to partner with a sponsor company to offer matching gifts for their year-end giving campaign. A matching gift is a charitable donation by a corporation that matches an employee or individuals’ donation to an eligible nonprofit organization, usually dollar for dollar. For example, with CHOC Children’s Hospital’s year-end fundraising campaign, every donation was matched by the company one to one. $100 dollars became $200 dollars, $250 dollars became $500 dollars and so on. Matching gift appeals also dial up a sense of urgency to donate when the appeal ends at a certain date, like December 31st.
4. Year-End Social Media Appeals
The holiday season evokes a lot of emotions from us, especially during a turbulent year like 2020. Now is not the time to go silent on social media. Promote your year-end giving campaign on all of your social channels. Let supporters know how your beneficiaries were impacted this year and how their donation dollars helped them. If you’re holding a year-end campaign, also be sure to make social media images for it. Increase post frequency as you approach year-end to create a sense of urgency that your campaign will be ending. You can go the extra mile by going live on certain social channels and build anticipation.
ProTip: Humans process visual data better. Scientists state the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text and 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. To capture supporters’ attention while they’re scrolling through social media, include text-to-donate instructions within the post’s image like Detroit Pal did. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok are image and video based, making it important to incorporate your call-to-action in more places than just the description.
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5. Mobile Messaging
As you approach year-end, your fundraising appeals should become more urgent. Mobile messaging is one way to increase that urgency. Start sending mobile messages towards the latter half of November, like Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence did for their Holidays for Hope campaign in the image above. By asking donors for their support via text message, you’re much more likely to receive a reply or donation. Consider this, on average 24% of all nonprofits’ marketing emails are opened, compared to 98% of text messages. With messaging you’ll be much more likely to reach donors than other traditional channels like email marketing or social media.
We hope these five ideas left you inspired to create a compelling year-end fundraising campaign that reaches donors and exceeds your annual goals. For more year-end fundraising tips, I recommend you download our ebook, 3 Steps to Unlock Year-End Giving Success.
Our goal at MobileCause is to help nonprofit organizations create and manage successful digital fundraising campaigns, raise more money and retain donors longer. Request a free demo with one of our fundraising experts to learn, step by step, how MobileCause can simply help set up your campaigns while transforming your results.
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