The holiday spirit tends to make donors more receptive to appeals for generosity, especially with the use of effective storytelling and marketing techniques to illustrate your missions! Studies have shown that 30% of all giving occurs in December and 12% of all giving happens in the last three days of the year. Plan your campaign accordingly and end this year with a win!
1. Assemble your year-end fundraising team
Have an organized and well-prepared team of staff and volunteers ready with clearly defined roles, this is crucial for the success of your year-end campaign! Staff and volunteers who know how to handle everyday logistics, fundraising operations, donor engagement strategies, events, and major development opportunities should all contribute to your end of year strategies. Remember that your strategies will benefit from diverse perspectives.
2. Study your past campaigns:
· Which days or weeks were the most successful for donations during past campaigns?
· Which outlets (social media, email, your website, etc.) saw the highest donor engagement?
· Which segments of your donor base made the most individual donations?
· Which segments of your donor base made the biggest donations?
· What was the average donation amount across the whole campaign?
3. Focus on donor engagement metrics
This is a best practice for any campaign but is especially important for year-end giving. This is a busy time of year and there are huge fundraising opportunities to take advantage of. Make sure each and every technique you employ will be effective at actually engaging your donors, building more meaningful relationships with them, and ultimately inspiring them to give.
4. Determine what type of campaign you’ll have
Obviously, it’s a year-end giving campaign, but what is the story your organization wants to communicate? This will determine whether or not you are raising funds for a specific project or initiative. It will also influence the campaign promotion and marketing materials. Are you relying on the project itself to inspire giving, or focusing more on your mission, overall impact, and history? Your entire team needs to have a clear and harmonious understanding of the core purpose of your year-end giving campaign.
5. Set specific fundraising goals
Use the data from your past campaigns to determine how much you want to raise this year-end giving season. Even if you are doing an annual fund type of campaign without a central project, you still need to set a definite goal. You would be surprised how easy it is for your campaign to lose momentum and your team to lose focus. How much did you raise last year? Set an ambitious yet attainable goal above your previous record and be ready to invest extra time and effort into strategy development.
6. Plan your outreach strategy and techniques
Outline the precise techniques, events, appeals, and marketing materials that will make up your campaign. You may already be incorporating a few popular year-end fundraising ideas and techniques into your plans:
· Giving Days – This is, in essence, a timed fundraising challenge event. Encourage your audience to work together to contribute a specific amount of donations to your cause within 24 hours.
· Events – Holiday parties are an awesome way to engage your target audience and incorporate fundraising elements such as raffles or silent auctions. More public events, such as food drives, are great for raising your campaign’s visibility throughout the entire community.
Once your team has worked through the steps listed above, it’s time to get started! Stick to your strategy as much as possible while adapting as needed based on performance and donor engagement. Don’t forget to utilize The Givedot Program! Fundraising is our passion and we would love to help your organization succeed, contact us.