The last few months of the year are filled with much joy and reflection—from warm gatherings to celebrate holidays to looking back over the last 12 or so months to see what’s been accomplished.
For fundraisers, the time is often hectic, however, as year-end donor pushes are often what make or break a year.
If you are planning a donor push as 2017 comes to an end (or 2018 kicks off)—don’t panic. Even if you’re in the midst of developing your toolbox (how’s that analysis of your data coming along?, you can still put together a solid campaign that delivers results.
The key: have a plan, and execute it.
The incredibly useful Supporting Fundraising blog has the perfect post to help you sort out the basics for a well-constructed fundraising plan. It breaks the process down into four steps, which we’ve outlined below, adding some of our own insight.
1) Know your donors and your prospects
Understanding who will give and who may give is the foundation of any fundraising campaign. This starts with identifying who has given, and who has expressed interest in giving. Knowing this ensures you are sending the appropriate message to each segment, and will improve your conversion rates.
2) Use multiple channels
This is a message we communicate often, but it can’t be said enough: if you rely on just one type of outreach, such as an appeal letter, phone calls, or online donations, you are not maximizing your potential returns. Simply put, people respond better when exposed multiple times to the same (or very similar) messages. Plan a letter and back it with social media or an ad. Include mentions of your campaign in routine communications, such as renewal notices for members or subscribers. Whatever the tactics you chose, choose more than one.
3) Leverage matching-gift opportunities
This can be an easy but effective way to boost donations. As Supporting Fundraising notes, you won’t know which of your donors are affiliated with organizations that match, so make sure you communicate the matching-gift opportunity in all of your outreach. This can be especially effective for new donors, who like to make as big an impact as possible right out of the gate.
4) Tap peer-to-peer power
In the fundraising world, few tactics are as effective as direct outreach to people in your circle. Start with the people you know, and ask them to extend the courtesy. While such outreach may not cover the same number of prospects as a direct-mail piece or an ad, the impact of tapping people you know directly can greatly boost the likelihood of a conversion.
As you approach your next campaign, remember to take a step back and come up with a simple yet well-thought-out plan that covers the basics: knowing your audience, connecting with them, boosting donation opportunities, and reaching out to those you can influence most.
Looking for help with a campaign or specific elements? We would love to hear from you! Contact us today for a short consultation.