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Year-End Fundraising in Three Stages

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On average, nonprofits raise 30% of their annual revenue in December – and about 54% of nonprofits start planning their year-end appeals in October so now is the time to get crackin’. Plan, define, simplify. These are three spaces to optimize in order to maximize on your year-end fundraising goals. Let’s dive right in!  

Start planning early

Year-end fundraising cannot be treated as an afterthought. Get together with your team to level-set expectations early and outline your fundraising goals. Determine exactly what you would like to accomplish, what you need to do to reach your goal, and who will benefit once your goal is met. Setting a clear outline will help to give your campaign a robust foundation, define the look and feel, and fine-tune your messaging. Since the planning stage is so important, there’s a blog for that. National Alopecia Areata Foundation intertwined their year-end campaign theme and messaging with impact. Comprised of a largely young, positive community – they let their supporters shine and highlighted the next generation. Their upbeat messaging mirrored the overall look and feel to deliver a campaign that shone as brightly as their community. causemic naaf campaign image  

Give It A Personal Touch

Evaluate your previous campaigns and determine what worked in the past, and what didn’t. Consult email open rates, social media engagement, and owned channels you can leverage to do more with less. Do you have an engaged Instagram community? Is email your tried-and-true channel? Consider combining your email and social efforts, as email appeals with social sharing buttons can increase click through rates by 158% Determining which spaces to capitalize helps to segment messaging and build trust with your supporters. Consider when a supporter last gave, how often they give, how much they give, and where they like to be reached. When you combine how you connect with supporters with where you do so, there’s a higher likelihood they’ll be engaged and motivated to donate.  Never segmented your messaging before? Defining your donor personas is the first step to ensuring you understand who your donors are, where they come from, and why they’re motivated to give so that you can tailor communication accordingly. The example below highlights that this fictitious donor is active on social media, and volunteers often. Tailoring your year-end appeal to fit their preferences is sure to convert.  CauseMic Donor persona  

Make the Donation Process Fool-Proof

We don’t mean to insinuate that donors are fools—but even the most adept givers can run into issues when the donation process has not been properly optimized. About 12% of all annual giving happens in the last 3 days of the year, so be sure your website and donation pages are ready to collect.  Consider what a first-time visitor might experience when landing on your website. Make it as easy as possible to give! That may seem self-explanatory, but the process is not always intuitive to a first-time user so consider their experience as you build out your pages:
  • Is your value proposition easy to find? Would a new donor be able to understand why they should give to your organization?
  • Is the donation button clearly marked in your navigation bar on your website? 
  • Is your checkout process swift? Are all required fields necessary on your checkout form?
Eighty three percent of people who click to donate do not end up making a donation. So make the process as simple as possible and avoid including additional fields on the checkout form that may hinder the donation process.  causemic stat

Have A Strategy In Place

Whether it be a matching challenge or leveraging Giving Tuesday, have your strategy ready to go before you press send. This will further impact messaging, the donation process, segmentation, and preliminary planning.  Matching challenges and year-end giving are an age-old pairing. When time is of the essence and there are only a few days remaining during the year, promoting a match can help to boost donations and motivate your network to give. 84% of donors are more likely to give if they know their gift will be matched. Announce your matching challenge with segmented messaging to take engagement to the next level.  Year-end giving is not the time to be bashful – don’t be afraid to make the ask! Consider working Giving Tuesday into your strategy to kickoff messaging, and be sure to demonstrate your impact whenever possible. These are just a couple suggestions to get the wheels turning. Above all, don’t forget to thank your donors! This is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle, as you want your donors to know that they’re appreciated so you can count on them to come back. Happy fundraising!

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