Over 30% of all donations made annually occur in the final month of the year. With a great plan your nonprofit can exceed its year end fundraising goal, and additionally increase its audience. With the additional focus of getting more donors and volunteers, your campaign takes a broader shape.
Regardless of where you are a now in your fundraising campaign, there are still new strategies to employ. It’s never too late or too early to take action towards year end fundraising success.
Year End Fundraising and Year Round Relationships
If your annual appeals are your only year end fundraising efforts, donors are likely to lose interest without regular interaction. Strengthening your relationships and seeking new ones is accomplished through consistent contact and outreach. Donor relationships hold the keys to success always.
A fantastic way to engage in new relationships with donors and volunteers is through public speaking engagements. Churches and rotary clubs are filled with people who have an interest in helping your community. Speak at universities and corporations and ask these large groups for help with crowdfunding campaigns. Seek public speakers within your board, parents, teachers and current donors. Form a public speaking committee and include speech writers. Create videos of public speaking engagements and post them widely.
Craft Your Year End Fundraising Message
Donors want to hear stories about how someone’s life has been changed by your nonprofit. They don’t just want to be asked for money. Rather, ask them to help you change lives. Give them specifics as to how you’ll do that and what the cost is. Speak to donors directly by using the word ‘you’. Give them credit for what they make possible through donations and year end gifts. Tell them again of your gratitude for last years’ gift.
Include your plans for the entire year ahead. For example, if you are embarking upon a new conservation program, describe it and break down costs per acre. Give them a vision of what their donation will do. Talk about one problem they can fix through their donation specifically. If you speak of finding a cure for a cancer, donors may feel it is more than they can do.
5 Key Places to Share Your Year End Fundraising Message
- Nonprofit Newsletters sent regularly
- Emails sent throughout the year with updates and stories
- Social Media Marketing year round and year end on all platforms
- Regular Public Speaking engagements and video footage
- Nonprofit website homepages, special landing pages for Giving Tuesday and year end campaigns
Annual Appeal Fundraising Letters
The most important aspect of a year end fundraising letter is the person on the other end reading it. The opinion of your donors and volunteers is everything. Fundraising letters that have the greatest impact make the reader the hero of your nonprofit. Fundraising letters can be sent via email or direct mail. The idea behind the letters are the same, but there are differences:
- We have a short attention span when it comes to emails. A donation letter by email is usually short and sends readers to your organization’s website. You don’t need to include much information. Rather, grab the reader’s attention and lead them where you want them to go. Consider 500 words or so.
- A fundraising letter send by direct mail can be much longer and fuller. Yet the content needs to be engaging to your audience. Direct mail (aka snail mail) recipients may not go to your website and will make a decision to make a donation based on the information you provide in the fundraising letter. The tone is perhaps more formal in this letter as well, stating statistics and perhaps financials. Be sure to include a donation envelope as well as links to online donation channels.
Year End Crowdfunding Campaigns
The end of year is also a great time of year for non-profit crowdfunding campaigns. People are looking to give back and have fun. These campaigns can include service projects, holiday inspired Fun Runs or bowl-a-thons and more.
Matching Gifts and Year End Fundraising
Find new donors and empower your current donors with matching gift opportunities. Donations have a greater impact if matched, thus making them attractive for many prospective donors. Matching opportunities with current donors and board members can often be found and the end of year is the perfect time for this. You will need to reach out in person for this type of ask. It is best not to rely on email, online fundraising or social media.
If two or three donors match donations for just one day this creates a momentum. Feature these champions throughout your fundraising campaign in emails, newsletters, social media and your donation website.
Social Media Marketing in Year End Fundraising
Building trust throughout the year with consistent social media marketing strengthens year end giving. Add to the same story when promoting Giving Tuesday and year end campaigns. Create a comfortable environment for donors by focusing your efforts on the campaign they know. Update images and web links to special landing pages on your nonprofit website. When they donate on these pages, keep the branding the same as your main donation page.
Giving Tuesday and Year End Fundraising
Donors are looking for causes to donate to on Giving Tuesday. Inspire them through your message. Share the stories that make your nonprofit mission come to life at this momentous time of year. Donations made in the last days of the year may generate from 50 to 80 percent of an organization’s annual donations.
Year-end giving happens for many reasons including the last chance for an income tax deduction. That’s why it’s so important to consider the significance of year end fundraising and Giving Tuesday in all fundraising efforts. Take a second look at how you are branding your nonprofit with your year-end appeal and donation website.
Keep the fire burning year round to make this time of year shine!