The last couple months of the year are a prime time for fundraising, with many nonprofits beginning to plan their year-end fundraising activities in September and October. Consider these statistics: Nearly one-third of annual giving happens in the month of December (Nonprofit Tech for Good) and 28% of nonprofits raise between 26-50% of their annual funds from their year-end ask (Nonprofit Hub). While direct mail has traditionally been the most common way to reach donors for a year-end appeal, multi-channel campaigns have become increasingly popular and effective in reaching donors and prospects. No matter what communication channels you decide to use, the success of your year-end giving efforts will largely be determined by your organization’s content and messaging, timeline, and call to action. Does your organization have a game plan for a year-end appeal? In the MPT newsletter we share an 8-week year-end appeal schedule to set your organization up for success. In the meantime, you’ll want to begin brainstorming and planning the following aspects of your year-end appeal:
- Goals and Metrics for Success – Set a realistic fundraising goal for your year-end activities, perhaps based on last year’s outcomes. Having a fundraising amount in mind will also help you set giving levels for personalized solicitations to your donors. In addition to total donations received, your results can also be measured by response rates, email open rates, and more. Think about what matters to your organization and establish your metrics for success.
- Campaign Branding – Your year-end appeal materials should all have a cohesive look and feel, particularly if you’re using multiple platforms (print, digital, etc.). Think about the design elements that will help your campaign theme come to life, including content design, storytelling, website branding, photos, and other digital assets.
- Website and Donation Forms – Before your appeal begins, setup your online giving pages, design and print your pledge forms, and prepare any other giving platforms and technology that will be used to support your fundraising efforts (e.g. text to donate, peer-to-peer fundraising, stock or cryptocurrency donations, etc.). Diversifying your payment options makes it easy for donors to give wherever and however they choose!
- Compelling Content – Throughout the campaign, your organization should make multiple touchpoints with your donors, sharing information about why your annual appeal matters and why they should donate. In addition to using various channels (letters, emails, postcards, videos, social media, phone calls, in-person asks), utilize a variety of communication styles – from program impact stories to client success stories, and more. Lay out a vision for what’s possible if a donor gets involved, and how a donation at a specific level will lead to tangible results.
Once you have these elements in place, you can begin rolling out your annual appeal activities over the course of the final seven weeks of the calendar year. To make things easy for you, we’ve put together an easy-to-follow Year-End Appeal Schedule. To download the free Year-End Appeal Schedule, all you have to do is sign-up to receive MPT’s monthly newsletter. Our monthly newsletter contain helpful knowledge and tips on not only your Year-End Appeal campaign, but all aspects of non-profit management.
Need Help? Call My Philanthropy Team! My Philanthropy Team has designed and implemented decades-worth of year-end fundraising appeals, helping clients to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars towards their annual fund. We can help with everything from strategy and storytelling to content design and leveraging digital platforms to ensure your organization not only meets, but exceeds, its year-end fundraising goals. Give us a call today!