This article originally appeared in our Nonprofit Hub Magazine, a free bi-monthly magazine dedicated to providing focused content on a particular topic. By now, your appeal should be written. But if not, this is your last warning!
In our November/December 2014 edition, we explored how to build your 2015 marketing plan. To reserve your free copy of our next issue, sign up today.
Studies show that more than 50% of charitable giving happens in December—but don’t wait till then to get your plan in place. That’s the month when donors will receive an onslaught of emails from nonprofits asking for year-end gifts, and you run the risk of getting lost in a crowded inbox.
Here are three ways to harness the power of the giving season right now and be even more strategic in your year-end fundraising.
1. Write your appeal letters now.
No need to wait till November to write your year-end appeal. Draft your letter now and consider sending a Thanksgiving-themed letter this year. Email, of course, is an easy and convenient way to send your appeals, but don’t forget about snail mail—people still love getting letters, and giving them something physical to hold can serve as a reminder.
2. Make plans to reinforce year-end letters with social media.
How will you integrate all your marketing channels when you send your year-end appeals out? Now’s a great time to strategize and put a plan in place. You can tweet a heads-up to your followers, telling them to look for a letter in their mailbox soon. Or post a link on Facebook, directing traffic to the landing page you created for year-end donations. Integrating your marketing efforts is always more effective than simply marketing via one channel alone. Plan now to use your social networks to boost the effectiveness of your email and direct mail pieces.
3. Tap into your brand evangelists for your year-end fundraising.
You probably have volunteers or constituents who naturally promote your organization simply because they’re passionate about your cause. Identify those people and ask them if they’ll help you with your year-end efforts. Maybe they could read your letters and give you feedback before you send them. Or ask them to recommend your organization and link to your website in their social media posts. Hearing a friend endorse a particular organization can be extremely effective.