WRITTEN BY LEAH LIBOLT
Now that we are into February, you are probably looking at your year-end fundraising totals…and you may notice something a little disconcerting. Despite overall increases in year-round fundraising revenue, perhaps 2018 didn’t close as strong as prior calendar years. We saw this exact scenario play out when examining data from our MobileCause clients; overall annual fundraising revenue increased in 2018, but revenue in the last few weeks of December decreased by 7% compared to 2017.
SHIFTING FOCUS FROM ‘YEAR-END’ TO ‘YOUR DAY’
With the change in the tax structure taking effect in 2018, many donors are no longer able to write off their charitable deductions. This, unfortunately, means there’s less incentive to make year-end gifts.
This also means your organization needs to work that much harder to stand-out amidst the “year-end giving” crowd. Your donors need a strong reason to get excited about your organization and your mission. A great way to do this is by hosting your own Day of Giving.
A Day of Giving is a powerful 24-hour fundraising campaign unique to your organization. On this day, you won’t be competing with other nonprofits in your community for a reduced number of tax-motivated, year-end donors. Instead, you will be inspiring people to give to your organization and ultimately, creating a sustainable source of funds from donors who are committed to your mission.
A recent study found that 58% of nonprofits recruited new donors through their Day of Giving and 96% of those new donors said they would give again in the future.
HOW TO GET STARTED
To begin, we recommend picking a day that is meaningful to your organization. This could be the anniversary of your founding, the start of an awareness month for an issue connected to your mission or even a date that is numerically important–any day that is significant to your organization.
Next, we recommend branding your day. Create a unique look to extend across all your Day of Giving communications. Be sure to apply Day of Giving branding to your online giving form and create branded keywords. Develop talking points about why this day is so important. Showcase the impact that donors will make when they come together on your day to make a difference for your organization.
The most important part is to SHARE YOUR DAY far and wide! Promote across all channels. Giving days are primarily driven by social media, so you will want to do everything possible to amplify your reach on those platforms. Start several months in advance. Collect content and create videos to share on social media on your giving day. You will want a lot of content ready to share to ensure that all potential donors see it. According to Facebook, “Of the 1,500+ stories a person might see whenever they log onto Facebook, News Feed displays approximately 300.” This means, that a potential donor will only see 1/5 of what you post!
Would you like to know more about using branded keywords or setting up an online giving form for your campaign?
ENLIST THE RIGHT PEOPLE
Besides posting your own content, extend the reach of your giving day by recruiting digital ambassadors and asking volunteers to post on your behalf. A month or so ahead of your day, start to recruit these valuable individuals. MobileCause makes this process easy for you and your supporters by creating peer-to-peer pages that assign a unique keyword to each person. Consider putting together an ambassador tool-kit with profile picture overlays, images, hashtags, and sample social media posts. This makes it easy for them to share and spread your message. Every post they do on your behalf will amplify your organization’s reach and introduce you to new potential donors. Volunteers and community ambassadors, aren’t the only people that should be engaged on your giving day. In order for your campaign to be truly effective, it needs to be the focus of your entire organization on that day. Get everyone in your nonprofit to participate. Whether it is sharing on social media, providing quick video thank-yous or staffing a giving day hotline.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THANK YOUS
Make sure you thank your donors and let them know what a difference their gift makes. Thanking them in real time during your event is a great way to amplify excitement. Also, try displaying the metrics of your success in real time so donors can see how their contribution adds up for your mission. It’s a great way to show how any size donation matters. When your giving day comes to a close, don’t forget to share the final results on social media. Hopefully, you will have brought in quite a few new supporters to your organization. Plan to send out a thank you note within the first 48 hours after your giving day concludes. Some online giving platforms, like MobileCause, send out a thank you and tax receipt right away, but don’t be afraid to thank donors repeatedly to encourage them to give again.
Make sure to keep donors updated on the good work you are doing. So when your giving day rolls around next year, you can turn a one-time donor into a recurring donor…or better yet, a lifelong ambassador who’s excited to help make a difference year after year!
Digital Marketing Strategist
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 more.
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