Ben Aken| Vice...
For non-profit directors, the end of the year is already here…
It’s just the way we think. And, with the approach of the new year, it’s not the time to slow your roll regarding donations and fundraising. In fact, we can say that for us, the work in terms of year-end giving is just starting. Now more than ever is the perfect time to kick our non-profit fundraising strategies up a notch.
For non-profits, year-end giving is crucial and essential to closing the year strongly—that and the donor retention numbers for the non-profit. In fact, about 50% of all donations non-profits receive come between October and December. Hence, there’s a need to make sure our year-end appeals hit home with the target audience. To help you do that, we will discuss 5 awesome ideas to boost year-end giving campaigns. But first, what is a year-end appeal?
What Are Year-End Appeals?
Year-end appeals are donation requests non-profits send out annually to stimulate contributions from new and old donors. Typically, we can choose to send out year-end appeals in different ways.
They may be sent out through postcards, emails, and direct-mail letters. We can even choose to send out year-end appeals through online media (as is the case nowadays). The point is, it’s usually the last major fundraising campaign of each year.
Why Do We Need Year-End Appeals?
There’s a straightforward answer — to ensure year-end giving. Sure, most people like to do their giving at the end of the year. However, it doesn’t mean they’ll do this without an extra push. With certain non-profit fundraising strategies, you can ask your audience to give.
Basically, it puts our non-profits high in the minds of donors. This way, they will remember to give. Furthermore, they’ll be more likely to retain faith in the non-profit. This can also affect the non-profit donor retention numbers positively. We simply must ensure our year-end fundraising campaigns are effective.
5 Non-profit Fundraising Strategies for the End of the Year
Wondering how to increase your year-end giving numbers? Here’s what your non-profit needs to do:
Build anticipation with a story
Top of the list of effective non-profit donor raising strategies is to build a narrative. The only way to do this is by making sure the messages you send out tell a story. These stories are the best way to connect with an audience that is mostly made up of prospective donors. A thrilling, heartfelt narrative has a way of warming up and inspiring supporters. When they believe in our story, they will definitely give.
So, before we launch our year-end campaigns, we must select a story that all forms of communications will revolve around. It will be the central point of all campaigns, making messages across all media align in cohesion. With this, we can increase anticipation for year-end giving and even interest a new audience.
Make contact with donors
Year-end campaigns will not automatically find their way to the intended audience. It is the job of our non-profit to make sure the campaign finds its way to the intended recipient. You have to let your prospective donors know that there is indeed a campaign happening.
It all starts with the announcement of the year-end giving campaign. When doing this, make it loud and ensure it reaches all available channels. Also, make it specific. We need to let our prospective donors know what the dollar goal is. Furthermore, announcements should include why we need specific amounts and the projected impact of achieving such projects.
Combining all of the above details with a narrative will be a big boost to our year-end giving campaigns. In fact, it can even boost the non-profit donor retention rate. Thankfully, there are many ways we can make contact with our audience:
Sending out an announcement mail to carefully curated subscribers and donors. Direct Mail: Even an old school postcard can do the trick of spreading the word Social Media: Everybody uses social media nowadays. We have to make sure we post our campaigns across all social media platforms.
Take a look at the donation web page
Non-profit fundraising strategies should not be limited to offsite measures. Sometimes, it may be that our donation pages are putting prospective donors off. To really ramp up year-end giving, it is crucial to provide a smooth experience online.
To improve non-profit donor retention, we can do the following for our websites:
Make sure the donations landing page is optimized for both web and mobile use Verify a non-profit reputation. Adding ratings from Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, and Give.org. This lets our donors know we are for real.
Ensure the page is fully secure Include testimonials from past donors or influencers. Pictures, videos, or written text will do the trick here.
Get up close and personal
Every non-profit has a select group of people that give consistently. For people who belong to this category, sometimes the best way to spur their year-end giving is to get up close and personal. There is nothing wrong with directors and CEOs of non-profits reaching out to consistent givers.
We can start by looking through our past donation campaigns and noting the most consistent names. We can specifically lookout for those who haven’t participated in the year-end giving yet. Then, we will reach out to them via mail or a phone call, if possible.
With personal contact, don’t be pushy. Instead, remind them of how impactful the non-profit projects are. Try to engage them in a lively conversation while also showing gratitude for past donations. After this kind of personal contact, they’ll get the impetus to give. This is one of the most effective non-profit fundraising strategies to try out.
Community-driven fundraising campaigns
The end of the year often comes with holidays. Most people are often looking for events to engage with. With a unique storyline and personal contact, creating a community-based outreach can do wonders for year-end giving numbers.
There are many advantages to looking into our immediate community for donors. One, we engage with older contributors, thereby increasing non-profit donor retention rates. Also, the intrigue of an event can attract a lot of new donors.
There are many types of community-based fundraising campaigns we can try out. We can try asking our current audience to involve friends and family(and give incentives for doing so). There’s the option of organizing a 5k community-run, mixers, and other special events. Finally, we can even recruit people for door-to-door campaigns.
Try it out now!
With the non-profit fundraising strategies above, we can even receive more than our intended target numbers. Now isn’t the time to slack on fundraising campaigns. Let’s get to work!