We are moving into the 4th quarter of the year, and many of you have already started preparing for the charitable giving holiday campaigns. This is the time of the year when the majority of nonprofits receive most of their annual funds. Even though Holiday campaigns are generally very fruitful by default, you should still develop a comprehensive action plan (or a fundraising strategy).
There are many ways to run year-end fundraising campaigns and we can discuss them for hours. In this article, we will share the most valuable action strategies to approach your donors for their last gift of the year (our golden tip is included!).
Thank your donors. The best way to kick off the campaign is to make sure you stay in touch with your donors and keep them happy. Thank-a-thons are a very effective way to get your staff and the Board connected with the donors and tell them how much you appreciate them. At that time it would be beneficial to inform your donors of how their gifts were used and what has been accomplished.
Inform on the impact. Send all donors an email/letter notifying them on the impact of fundraising campaigns. You may include a video or a story with pictures about the programs that you are successfully running and lives you are improving. Get your donors on the emotional hook to keep them contributing to your cause because they like your accomplishments.
Send a donation request and follow up. There are several ways you can send donation requests: by social media, direct mail, email, postcards. The best practice – use all means and sources as a combination. For example, announce the fundraising campaign on social media one week, then send an email in two weeks, etc. It is helpful to prepare a calendar for initial requests, as well as follow up communication.
Apply your creativity when preparing your Holiday donation request: you may use different themes, include pictures, play with fonts, etc. Make sure that you style your request in a manner that is very user-friendly to read and understand for everyone.
Our Golden Tip! Go through your 2014 donors’ list and select the largest ones who have not contributed this year yet. You will be surprised at the percentage. The cards are in your hands now: it is much easier to communicate with the donor who hasn’t renewed his/her gift this year yet, than reaching out to a new potential.
You may have the staff give them a call and top 1% should receive in-person visits from your staff members. Tell your donors about your upcoming plans and current year’s accomplishments and get them excited about the great things you do. Chances are that they will make a generous gift again.
Thank donors again. After the fundraising campaign is over, you should send your appreciation to them again, and again. Since it is a Holiday season, little gifts would be appropriate to show your donors how much their gift means to you. Some examples of gifts are: calendars, notepads, mailing labels, a picture of a person or a family that they helped by contributing to your charity. Make your token of gratitude personalized.
All these efforts will add up to bring a nice and awarding growth to your annual funds.
Have a productive 4th Quarter!