Beyond Giving Tuesday: End of Year Campaign Strategies for Your Nonprofit
By CGC CEO Chris Hammond
Originally published on 8/13/19 by Virtuous
For a nonprofit organization, the end of the year can be a critical time to raise funds and reach annual goals. In recent years, Giving Tuesday has become a cultural phenomenon of giving back after Thanksgiving and Black Friday and many nonprofits see an increase in donations on this day. But once Giving Tuesday has come to an end, what else can your organization do to have a successful December? Here are some of our tips for a successful end-of-year giving campaign.
Start Planning Early
Most nonprofits start planning their end-of-year campaigns in October. Coordinate a strategy meeting with your marketing team to determine a campaign theme that is memorable, easy to understand, and consistent with the organization’s mission. Consider creating a calendar to track progress and set deadline expectations for each team member or freelancer with whom your organization might be working.
Creating empathy through effective storytelling is essential for the success of an end-of-year campaign. Brainstorm stories that are consistent with the campaign theme. Some examples of effective stories to include in a campaign could be: personal testimonies of how your organization has made a difference in someone’s life; the impact of a certain program or initiative within the organization; inspiration behind the creation of the organization; or donor’s stories of why they give to the organization. The goal here is to inspire your donors to act by sharing the impact of your organization’s work.
Include Unique Content
As you already know, eye-catching and interesting content is essential for any kind of campaign to stand out and engage audiences. Make sure to partner with your design team, a freelance designer, or use design services such as Canva to create all-new, never-before-seen content to share with your audience. Consider creating videos that tell a story or include a testimonial, or work with a photographer to capture fresh images and create dynamic graphics to share as part of your end-of-year campaign.
Use Different Mediums
Don’t let your end-of-year campaign be one dimensional: make sure there are multiple design aspects that go along with your campaign to reach different parts of your organization’s audience. Some donors prefer email communication and will give via online donation pages or a unique campaign website. However, statistically, donors in older age brackets prefer direct mail communication. Work with your marketing and design teams to craft a campaign that includes multiple mediums to build more connections and reach a greater portion of your audience.
Have a Clear and Simple Call-to-Action
Another key component of a strong end-of-year campaign is a clearly defined next step for your audience to take after reading your email, direct mail letter, etc. Use a short phrase—or even single word—to encourage your audience to donate. This could be something like “Give now”, “Donate now”, or “Join our mission.” A successful call-to-action will also create a sense of urgency. For example, if your organization works to rescue shelter dogs, you could say something like “Save these dogs today” to show your audience that the need to rescue these dogs is immediate and that they should give as soon as possible.
If you are doing an online campaign, make sure that your donation web page is also set up to ask for recurring donations. Similarly, if you are using direct mail as part of your end-of-year campaign strategy, make sure that there is a phone number and that a representative from your organization can be easily reached.
Share Your Goals and Let Your Audience Be Part of the Progress
Donors are more likely to give and give generously if they feel like their part in your organization goes beyond a one-time gift. Consider adding a tracking plugin to your organization’s website or campaign page so that donors can see the fundraising progress. Create social-media-friendly shareables so that donors can invite their friends/followers to join in your campaign. You can also plan mini events, such as a holiday happy hour or cocktail party at your organization’s headquarters, to invite end-of-year donors to be part of and to celebrate the campaign’s successes.
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