by Christina Relacion, Account Manager, Cathexis Partners
Christina has more than 10 years of experience in digital marketing, website editing, video production, and social media. Before joining Cathexis Partners, she served as Communications Manager at the Scleroderma Foundation’s national office.
The end of the year is just weeks away. But, even if you haven’t quite pulled together an end-of-year fundraising plan, take heart. It’s not too late! In fact, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, consumers’ generosity goes through the roof: 30 percent of all annual U.S. donations occur in the month of December.
Create an end-of-year campaign theme
Think of a campaign theme that ties back to your organization’s mission and one that will make donors feel something (such as emotionally touched, inspired, or outraged). It could be the story of someone you helped this year or something impactful you did for your community. All of your messages should weave this theme throughout to remind donors of your organization’s work. For ideas about creating a campaign theme (and more!), download The Nonprofit’s Guide to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising, which offers tips on how to plan, launch, run, and wrap up successful online campaigns.
Use a multi-channel approach
Promote your campaign using various channels, including phone, in-person, print, email, text, and social media. Plan on creating a series of emails (it doesn’t have to be a ton of emails; it can be just two or three) that use your theme to celebrate your accomplishments of the past year. Build a communications plan that incorporates all of the various channels, and if you have enough time, segment your audiences (e.g., non-donors vs. existing donors) to customize messages based on their interaction with your organization.
Build a dedicated donation form/landing page
When prospective donors come to your website, they want to quickly and easily make a gift. Building a unique donation form or landing page that’s linked prominently on your website will reduce the number of clicks it takes for them to give. Also, be sure your pages are optimized for mobile devices: eliminate unneeded fields, and create buttons that are easily tappable on tablets and smartphone devices.
Thank your donors
Record a short thank you video from your CEO or board chair that you can embed on the donation thank you page. An inspirational video will let your donors know how important they are and that they are making an immediate impact to your mission.
Find your mission ambassadors
Contact some of your most engaged volunteers and donors from the past year. Ask them to share information about your end-of-year campaign and why they support your organization’s mission with their social media followers and personal networks.
Join the Giving Tuesday movement
Giving Tuesday has become an incredible social media movement to support the important work of nonprofit organizations. Here are some tips for making your cause and your end-of-year campaign part of the Giving Tuesday movement:
- Promote your end-of-year campaign by using the #GivingTuesday hashtag on social media posts.
- Encourage your supporters to share #unselfies (on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.) about why they support your mission.
- Create social media images with a clear call-to-action: Images are a huge component of #GivingTuesday and should be used across all channels and social networks.
- Read the Giving Tuesday Communications Toolkit, which offers additional instructions and tips.
Don’t be afraid to ask on December 31
Twelve percent of all end-of-year donations are made within the last days of the year. And, New Year’s Eve is the most generous day of the year. So, be sure to continue to ask for gifts until the very last minute. The holidays can be stressful and busy times for everyone, and your donors may need an extra nudge.
Remember to thank your staff and volunteers
End-of-year fundraising can be stressful on your employees and volunteers who are busy processing donations and thank you cards, and marketing your campaign. Be sure to thank them for the important role they play in your organization’s success.
We create the campaigns. You focus on running your organization.
Our team of digital marketing experts work hands-on with you on each component of your campaign to ensure it has all the elements of success. From identifying fundraising strategies to campaign setup, we’ll partner with you every step of the way so you can achieve your fundraising goals.