Year-end is quickly approaching, and the time is now to launch your organization’s annual appeal. Sound familiar? If you’re like most nonprofits, your donations pick up significantly in October and peak as the holidays approach, which means it’s time to launch a compelling fourth quarter campaign.
Here are five tips to get you started:
1. Brainstorm a theme and nail down key messages
What message do you want to share with prospective donors? What compelling information will inspire donors to give and why should their money go to your nonprofit instead of another? Focus on a marketable theme that is important to your audience and relevant to your nonprofit’s mission. Identify stakeholders either within your nonprofit or who have been helped by your organization and spotlight their emotional stories. Keep the theme and key messages as specific and focused as possible to more effectively move your audience to give.
2. Update Your Website
If this is your biggest campaign of the year then make sure your website is ready for prime time – the last thing you can afford is for visitors to miss finding your donation page. Make sure the information on your site is up-to-date and eye-catching, and that the campaign is highlighted on your homepage with a clear Call to Action (CTA). Adding a specific landing page for your year-end campaign to direct online traffic is also a good idea. When creating social/email copy, be sure to set up dedicated tracking mechanisms (UTMs); or use trackable bitly links.
3. Create an Email Nurturing Campaign
An optimized website only works if you’re driving traffic to it, so be sure to create an email nurturing campaign that drives people to your site. Create a series of eye-catching emails – no more than two per week – featuring your best stories that will resonate with donors. Focus on a different aspect of your campaign (the impact your organization has on the community, campaign update, goals reached) and include clear calls to action to maximize donations. Make sure your “ask” includes a personal story (“Help people like Julie”) and that the ask is easily connected to a statistic or impact (“Donate $25 and pay for meals for a week).”
4. Plot your Social Media Strategy
With so much activity occurring on social media, you can’t afford not to be on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Snapchat. Pick your main platform based on the size of your following and target demographic (younger people in Instagram, older people on Facebook) so you’re talking to the right audience on the right channel. Establish a monthly publishing calendar of social media posts for internal and external stakeholders (volunteers, board members, partner organizations, corporate partners, etc.) to share on their own platforms.
5. Go Back to Basics with Your Online Giving Strategy
Establish Peer-to-Peer fundraising, a crowdfunding website, and a paid Facebook campaign. Mobilizing brand evangelists to spread your message is a huge win. With so much noise from non-profits in the fourth quarter, make sure the messaging around your ask is emotional, timely and has a sense of urgency. And don’t forget to go back to basics; personally call your donors and ask for help. Also send them a mailing that explains why the need is great and articulates a clear call to donate.
To avoid having your organization face significant cuts in revenue and services, now is the time to game plan to maximize the Season of Giving. Email us for a free consultation.