If you’ve lived even a day as a member of the nonprofit community, you know how huge the holiday season is. Temperatures are dropping and sleigh bells are ringing. Everyone’s in a more giving mood with a cup of cocoa in their hands, surrounded by their loved ones.
This is the perfect time to start your year-end giving campaign ― if you haven’t already. Nearly a third of all annual giving happens in December. While this year has definitely been different, it might spell good news for nonprofits. People are even more willing to lend a helping hand during hard times. According to a survey conducted by Fidelity Charitable, 25% of donors plan to increase their donations this year.
Knowing this, it’s incredibly important to create the best possible year-end giving campaign for your organization. Use these tips to create a stellar campaign you can be proud of.
1. Take stock of where you’re at.
This has been a whirlwind of a year, as we all know. Times have been really difficult for many people, and there are lots of organizations that haven’t or won’t make it through this pandemic afloat. Take a look back at this year for your organization. Be thankful for your wins, be proud of your team, and learn from your losses.
Before starting your 2020 campaign, look back at your 2019 year-end giving campaign. What worked? What could be improved? Because we have “special circumstances” this year, things may have to look a bit different from last year’s methods. But if you had something great, there’s no point in starting from scratch.
2. Set specific goals.
When setting goals, you’re giving yourself a starting point for where you want to be. Make sure they’re attainable and specific ― and hold yourself to them. Don’t be afraid to be ambitious. Year-end giving is a big deal and can elevate your organization as a leader in the sector and help acquire more long-term donors.
It’s easy to think of goals and say they’ll get done “someday.” But then they end up sitting on our to-do list, collecting dust. Make sure to give yourself deadlines.
By setting these goals, you and your team can stay on track and work together, even if you’re working from home.
3. Focus your message.
Your campaign should run like a well-oiled machine. This means every move you make should be strategic. You should develop strong branding that is specific to your campaign. Make it clean and recognizable, but still cohesive with your nonprofit’s brand. Name your campaign and give it a slogan that encompasses your goals.
You should also use donor segmentation to personalize your messages to the perfect audience. There are tons of donor segmentation softwares available for nonprofits. By using specific messaging, your message will resonate more with each audience you reach.
4. Make it easy to give.
With so many of us reaching dangerous levels of screen fatigue, no one wants to spend our time navigating a confusing website, just to be able to donate. Create an easy, clean user experience on your website for donations. Make sure to provide links to the donation portal in every piece of content you put out! This creates a clear call to action and a clear way to participate
5. Peer-to-peer fundraising is your bread and butter.
Use the holiday joy to your advantage. With people being more festive, (and talking to all their friends and family) the holiday peer-pressure is REAL.
This is where peer-to-peer fundraising comes in. By suggesting peer-to-peer fundraising to your donors, you’re giving them an easy avenue to contribute more to the cause, with no actual additional cost. You’re showing them their impact can grow exponentially.
6. Give thanks.
Thank. Your. Donors. It is so incredibly important to let your donors know how much their contribution has helped you. It’s also so simple and easy to do. You can do anything from sending out personalized emails to long-term donors, creating thank-you videos, or sharing stories from the people you’ve been able to help. Storytelling is immensely powerful and impactful, so use it to your advantage this year.
With your year-end giving campaign coming to a close, we can finally start putting 2020 to rest. The “year from hell” will soon be over. Take a moment to process this past year ― personally. Think of when you were truly tested. Think of the people who make you happy.
We all know our troubles won’t end the second the clock strikes midnight on the 31st. But it marks a new beginning, and hope for the future. Happy holidays, everyone.