As we approach the fall season, many organizations are working on plans for their end-of-the-year fundraising activities.
In the previous two posts, seven ideas were shared to make your year-end fundraising more productive.
Here are the final 3 of the top 10 ideas:
8. See It Through the Eyes of a Potential Donor
Click your “Donate Now” button to see what donors will experience. Is it clear and easy to understand the appeal and donate a gift? If not, it’s not hard to make corrections before it’s too late. Need help? One organization I suggest you consider is Network for Good (www.networkforgood.org). Recently, a client realized they needed help in this area and within 2 days, they were up and running with a much improved “Donate Now” solution at a competitive price. If in doubt, ask for help. Remember, online giving picks up significantly this time of the year. A small investment of time can have a big payoff. In addition, once donors make their gift, ask them why they gave. This is invaluable information. Keep track of this information for the overall campaign and also include this into their record in your donor management system.
9. Think Segment, Segment, Segment
Segmentation can be simple or complex. Some examples of segmentation options are past giving history based on different gift levels, estimated capacity, level of relationship, level of interest in your work, lapsed donors (LYBUNTS - Last Year But Not This Year and SYBUNTS – Some Year But Not This Year) and volunteers. Understanding that fundraising is in its simplest form a communication strategy will help you take the next step.
Since your fundraising strategy is also a communication strategy, then ask yourself “Which media is the best method to communicate with each segment?” For example, your major donors should be reached personally by the person in your organization who has the best relationship with that donor. Likewise, prospective donors of the highest capacity warrant a personal appeal by the person in your organization closest to that person or have a third party make an introduction. Additionally, others segments can be reached through a combination of calls and follow up emails or snail mail appeals. Use an email campaign software system like Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com) or Mail Chimp (www.mailchimp.com) and to track your results. The more specifically you can segment your donors and prospective donors for your year-end campaign, the better your results.
10. The Rule of 3’s:
Send your first appeal by the 2nd or 3rd week of November to introduce the campaign and make the initial appeal. Follow up with a second “update” appeal in early December to those that didn’t respond. Then send a series of 3 emails scheduled to land on Monday Dec. 26th, Wednesday Dec. 28th and Friday, Dec. 30th to help reach the remainder of your goal and capture those last minute gifts.
In summary, regardless of what you’ve done to prepare for your year-end fundraising, you can apply some of these ideas to increase your results. Stay focused and don’t stop until you reach your goal. Then take time to celebrate and liberally thank your donors for their generosity.
Have fun fundraising!
Let’s apply these year-end fundraising ideas. Ask yourself these questions:
- What’s my fundraising goal between now and December 31st?
- Who can I recruit to help make this year-end fundraising season a success?
- What’s the timing for our appeals to arrive via email or snail mail?
- What do I need to do next?
- What’s the next action after that?