The Giving Season is upon us. For nonprofits, the last couple months of the year provide a huge opportunity. Year-end fundraising keeps the lights on and doors open for some and allows significant expansion for others. Having a plan to maximize year-end opportunities is something every nonprofit organization should have in place.
Below are a few key elements and things to keep in mind that can help fuel a highly successful year-end fundraising campaign:
1. RESPECT DECEMBER
31% of total annual giving occurs in December. During the last three days of December, approximately 12% of annual giving
occurs. Makes sense to take your time, think through and develop a strategic plan to maximize opportunities.
2. STAY VISIBLE
We all notice the increase of radio and tv commercials, email newsletters, direct mailings, social media posts and other touch points nonprofit organizations use to stay visible during year-end. The Marketing 101 goal is to be in front of the potential 'customer' when the need hits. End of year is a time for joy and giving back. Donors have different reasons for giving, but many give for tax deductions (12% last three days of December) or because they are in the 'giving mood' (31% in December). Accordingly, the organization they see or hear about last might receive their gift. Just like your competition, strategically think through a plan to stay visible to your donor base and other potential donors.
3. CLEAR STORY & BRANDING
An organization can spend a significant amount of time, resources and money trying to stay visible during the Giving Season, but if they are sending an unclear message, not telling their story effectively or websites and collateral look dated, it can all be for nothing. Everything counts and the devil is in the details. These days, nonprofits are scrutinized more than ever. Professional logos, fresh websites, quality content and measurable impact all add up to ultimately motivate a donor to give or not. Constantly look for things that could cause a potential donor to loose respect for your organization or create confusion.
4. REMOVE BARRIERS
When someone wants to give to your organization, it should be easy and streamlined with limited barriers. Online donation capability allows anyone to give anytime. A websites donation button should stand out immediately and not take a donor away to a 3rd party website where they start thinking about processing fees instead of finalizing a gift. Online donation forms should be mobile responsive, embedded on your website, match coloring and branding, allow recurring donations, collect data and provide email receipt customization to increase story telling and education opportunities. Advances in text giving
have also helped remove barriers for giving and provide donors with easy and efficient ways to support the causes they are passionate about. With the right tools in place, not having cash or a check available are no longer excuses to not give.
5. COLLECT & ORGANIZE DATA
Data is everything. Gathering it is great, but organizing it to leverage later is even more important. Directly receiving cash and checks is good, but many times data gathering is minimal or not recorded because of time consuming paper data entry, which diminishes long-term opportunities. The best online donation platforms
offer the ability to process donations, retain donor contact information and easily export to donor management platforms accordingly. 3-4% in processing fees is well worth the opportunity to convert a passive donor into an annual donor, and many platforms have tools like GiftAssist
to help eliminate any fees. A nonprofit CRM (customer relationship management) platform like vetted Give Back Nation Partner Donor Perfect
can then help organize the donor data to maximize use and keep your organization top-of-mind for years to come.
6. EMPOWER SUPPORTERS
With any nonprofit organization, volunteers, ambassadors and board members are valuable resources. They do not require salaries and are the most loyal supporters of an organization, so why not empower them to maximize year-end opportunities? Each ambassador knows hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Leveraging peer-to-peer fundraising
platforms are one way to allow supporters to easily share and showcase the causes they are passionate about via email and social media with a click of a button. Thermometers, goals and end dates create urgency and personal experiences and stories are far more impactful than any marketing piece directly sent from an organization. To maximize year-end fundraising, empower your greatest resources and relationships.
7. LEVERAGE MATCHING GIFTS
Billions of dollars are left on the table every year from unused employer matching gift programs. Most employees have no idea their company has a program. If they do, the process to get their gift matched is usually tedious and difficult. A platform like vetted Give Back Nation Partner Amply
allows organizations to easily embed a widget to their online donation form that reminds donors of the opportunity to leverage their employer's matching gift program, then takes care of all the work to finalize the matching gift. As a result, annual revenue is efficiently increased.
8. DEVELOP BRANDED PRODUCTS
When someone wears your branded shirt, polo or Charity Charms
bracelet, your cause is exposed and marketed to more people via these 'mini-billboards'. More and more organizations are starting to develop branded products as giveaways or gifts for donations to help expand brand awareness. Quality and type of product become key factors to think through for long-term donor use and exposure. Solutions like the Give Back Nation Giving Store
can help minimize time and resources needed with store setup, admin and management included and available options for no inventory needed. Fundraising is great, but empowering your supporters to showcase your brand to their friends, family and the public can dramatically impact the long-term success and growth of your organization.
In summary, there is no secret sauce or yellow brick road that allows any organization to launch a highly successful year-end fundraising campaign, but having a plan and keeping in mind the things discussed above can help you maximize year-end fundraising opportunities.
If you have any questions or wish to brainstorm ways to help maximize your specific organizations year-end fundraising opportunities, please let us know.
Many times, simple planning and a few tweaks can dramatically impact success.
Give Back Nation is here to serve.
Kyle Gregory, CEO/Co-Founder
To gain more giving and fundraising insights, visit the Give Back Nation Blog.
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