The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

How to Solve Déjà Vu: Fixing Your Nonprofit’s #GroundhogDayProblems

Do you remember the 1993 classic film, Groundhog Day? Bill Murray’s character, Phil, keeps living the same day over and over and over again. Phil tries to break the cycle of endless February 2nds with extreme endeavors including kidnapping the official Groundhog Day groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil.

Can you relate? Does your organization seem to address the same fundraising or marketing challenges each year? To break the cycle of déjà vu, try implementing some of these best practices to solve these four common problems:

  1. People continue to unsubscribe from your email list. 

What’s your nonprofit’s email strategy? If you don’t have a strategy, you won’t get very far. To reduce the number of unsubscribes, make sure you are setting clear expectations for your supporters before they even join your email list. Let them know the type of content they will see and how often they’ll hear from you. Also, don’t make it only about the ask. Be sure that for every email appeal you write that you send at least four other messages that don’t explicitly ask for a donation. For more email engagement strategies, download our free eBook.

  1. Online giving is flat.

Do a quick assessment of your online giving experience:

  • How quickly can donors find your donation button on your website?
  • Can donors securely make a donation and set recurring donation levels on a clean, branded, donation page?
  • Does your online donation page have a compelling image and a clear call to action?
  • How do you follow up with donors after they give?

Simple adjustments like placement of the donation button on your home page or refreshing your donation page to include branding, images, and a call to action can help boost online giving.

  1. Social media is on the backburner.

A recent study from Pew found that 73% of U.S. online adults now use social networking sites, so don’t ignore social for one second longer! Short on time? A free tool like TweetDeck or HootSuite can let you schedule your posts and keep an eye on keywords and hashtags. Keep in mind that we always recommend having a good website and a solid donation page before diving into social media. But, if you’re ready to take the plunge and need ideas on how to start, check out our guide, 101 Social Media posts.

  1. All donors get the same piece of communication.

Sending major donors, first-time donors, and monthly donors the same communication is not ideal. Different groups of donors should receive communication that is relevant to them. Major donors should receive an appeal with a gift string that is appropriate to their giving level, monthly donors should get way more thank you message than appeals, and first-time donors need to be thanked, welcomed, and educated about your cause before you ask them to give again.  It takes extra effort to use your donor database to  segment your donor groups and craft unique messages but it will be worth it!What are your organization’s “Groundhog Day” problems? How do you plan to break out of the cycle this year? Share your challenges with us in the comments below or chime in on Twitter with the hashtag #groundhogdayproblems.

Image credit: Bill Murray and Punxsutawney Phil in Groundhog Day directed by Harold Ramis. Columbia Pictures, 1993.

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About This Blog

Carrie Saracini
Content Marketing Manager

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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