Year-End Nonprofit Fundraising: Our Top 3 Marketing Strategies
If you run a nonprofit, you are fully aware of the importance of the month of December to your annual budget. With more donations coming at year-end than any other time of the year, it’s vital that you go all out to bring them in for your organization. However, “going all out” doesn’t have to mean doing all the things. Rather, the end-of-year fundraising push can be even more effective when it involves a few coordinated, strategic, thoughtful endeavors.
1. Leverage ALL Your Assets
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Taking stock of everything in your marketing arsenal is the first step to crafting a thoughtful year-end fundraising campaign. Your website and blog are easily adapted and updated, as are your social media accounts, so encouraging people to interact with your online content is a smart move. Utilizing a QR code on your print materials that links to your organization’s homepage allows them to stay relevant longer, since you can easily publish new blog posts with updates on your year-end goals and events. Tell a story across all platforms that people can connect with and draw inspiration from and direct all of your prospective donor traffic to it!
2. Empower Your Donor Base
Finding ways to get your prospective donors personally involved and invested in your fundraising efforts can help to cement their passion for your organization long-term. Encourage your donors to sign on for the long-haul by promoting your recurring giving options. In the above examples, the American Red Cross (on the left) provides both one-time and monthly gift frequencies. In addition, they also offer a free gift based on the level of each donation. On the right, Love Thy Neighborhood demonstrates the increased benefit of choosing a monthly vs one-time gift. Both strategies are effective, so choose the one that fits your organization’s needs!
In the summer of 2014, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge took the world by storm, with participants nominating others to also complete the challenge, raising millions worldwide.
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As evidenced by the popularity of creating GoFundMe accounts for friends in need and of the more recent innovation of Facebook birthday fundraisers, nonprofits benefit when opportunities are provided to create and launch their own fundraisers. During the summer of 2014, the Ice Bucket Challenge swept the world, raising funds for the research of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Participants dumped buckets of ice water on their head, posting the videos to their social media accounts while nominating one of their friends or family members to also complete the challenge in the next 24 hours. As a result, millions of dollars were raised worldwide, and the challenge has become an annual activity for many. Providing opportunities for your supporters to actually show their support is a smart fundraising strategy regardless of its timing!
3. Help Them to SEE
Progress Bar Image via Funraise
Look for visual ways to demonstrate the impact your donors’ gifts will have. Progress bars, interactive maps, or other graphics can be used to show how their donation will contribute to your greater goal. Including one of these on your website and even on printed marketing materials can have a significant effect on year-end giving, as supporters can see just how important their individual gift can be.
Another way to create a visual impact for your donors is to produce a year-end gift catalog. Being able to see what their donation will provide your service recipients can motivate your supporters to give even more than they would otherwise. There’s something about putting a face (or a well, or a goat, depending) to a gift that encourages increased giving. In the example above, donors can contribute towards the purchase of a variety of basic essentials for those in need, such as livestock, freshwater access, and school costs for children. You can create your own listings based on the services you provide, making it even easier for your donors to connect with your mission!
Where Does Print Fit In?
With so many web-based strategies, you may wonder how print can play into your year-end fundraising campaign. The truth is that there are almost unlimited possibilities for print to be a key player in the process. Postcards, flyers, posters, brochures, and more can all help to tell the story, share the need, and direct the donor to your website to complete their donation. Even the trusty yard sign can guide the way!
Another key role for print is gratitude in two ways. You can customize your own thank you cards to send to each donor, and you can also offer customized cards to those wanting to donate in someone else’s name as a gift, as in the “Honor Cards” provided by Samaritan’s Purse in the above example. Turning their donation into a way for them to bless their friends and family as well can be incredibly effective, especially during the holiday season.
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