The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Your Year-End Secret Weapon: Consistent Communications

We’re in the thick of planning for year-end giving. I bet you are putting lots of energy into targeting top prospects via your donor management software and developing strategies that will reach and resonate with your different  donor segments (e.g. your monthly donors vs. your one-time donors).

This year, I urge you take one more step: focus on consistent communications. Simply put, this means that people will recognize your organization’s communications in a flash. Time and again, I’ve seen that consistency across channels, campaigns, and audiences has helped nonprofits like yours achieve fundraising success. But how do they do it? Let’s start by defining consistent communications in two ways:

Your Organization: For your organization, it means developing a relevant and memorable brand (with core organizational messages and a unique graphic identity) and linking positive associations across each message, campaign, and platform. You can find more resources about brand development here.

Your Donors and Prospects: Consistent communications means that your donors and prospects immediately know that your nonprofit is the source of various communications and that the brand experience is the same.

Now, here’s what consistency doesn’t mean: saying the same thing to everyone in every conversation and communication.

Use your donor management software to segment your donor lists, then customize your messages and approach accordingly. That’s vital for success in this era of content overload and personalized marketing (like the way the ad for the boots you ogled follows you around online).

Whatever approach you take, remember that your brand should remain consistent throughout every communication and campaign.

What’s the result of this consistency? Increased giving and loyalty.

Consider how you tackle your own inbox or stack of mail. The first things to go are emails or letters from unknown senders. That’s why response (and giving) plummets when it’s hard for people to recognize that an ask or an update is from your organization.  On the other hand, a message they instantly know is from your nonprofit is more likely to be opened, read, and acted upon.

Providing a consistent representation of your nonprofit’s brand also helps donors and prospects understand the breadth and depth of your organization. That understanding kick starts donors’ emotional connection and pride (a.k.a. loyalty) and paves the way for your organization not only to create a compelling organizational experience, but also to build stronger, long-lasting relationships with these individuals.

I do want to emphasize the importance of having campaign-specific messages. Your year-end appeal messages should be distinct from your capital campaign appeal messages. But remember, they should also align with your overall brand.

The most common (and easily-fixed) inconsistency that I see is that a nonprofit’s online donation page doesn’t match the current campaign.

relief-assistance-for-syrian-refugees

I recently responded to an email from an international relief organization to support Syrian refugees. I was surprised to find a generic, one-size-fits-all refugee relief content on the donation page.

Compare that to Global Giving’s campaign-specific online donations page that’s pictured above. This page’s content builds visitors’ understanding of the specific challenges for Syrian refugees in Jordan. It’s far more likely to engage donors, and perhaps even motivate them to give more.

Also, note that Global Giving incorporates consistent organizational branding via the header content. It’s immediately recognizable as  a “Global Giving” campaign.

The most reliable way I’ve found to get (and stay) consistent is developing an editorial and visual identity style guide.  Use this resource to train your colleagues, board members, and volunteers in staying consistent. Then share your style guidelines with your fundraising ambassadors in a concise, thorough, PDF. Here’s are a couple of resources to help you get started:

Style Guide Your Way to Recognition, Repeats, and Actions (Part One) 

Create a Style Guide That’s Useful and Used (Part Two) 

There’s no question that creating consistent communications is hard work, but the return on your investment will be greater than you ever imagined. I hope you’ll put it into play now to fire up your nonprofit’s year-end giving.

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Share your thoughts!

Join the conversation to offer your insight and experience. Have a question? We’d love to hear it!

  • Nimesh

    Fully agreed! Constant customer engagement is must for any business in order to keep long term business relationship and build brand trust. Thanks for sharing.

    • Shaik Saleem

      we are looking funds for develop our schools and health care please go through our website; http://assblifecharity.org/

      ASSB’S AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
      A On the Social Welfare Front
      1. Orphanages.
      2. Old age homes to dismantle poverty trap and combating nutrition, and lay the road to child education elderly welfare without any compromise.
      B. On the Rural Water Supply Front
      1. Construction of OHSRs, GLSRs, Cisterns with its own fund across the Mandal.
      2. Augmentation to PWS across the Mandal.
      3. Construction of Pipe line across the Mandal.
      4. Construction of Drains across the Mandal.
      5. Construction of IHHLS across the Mandal.
      6. Transportation of Water across the Mandal to alienate the Drinking Water scarcity Mandal wide.
      7. Setting up of Mineral Water Plants (Safe Drinking Water) across the Mandal.
      C. On the Housing Front
      1. House with a Toilet to BC, SC, ST, Minority Communities and Other Categories who are below the poverty line without any caste. creed, religion.
      2. Housing for pavement dwellers, Homeless.
      3. Housing for orphans.
      4. Housing for the old.
      D. On the Road Front
      1. Laying of Metal Roads.
      2. Construction of Cement Roads.
      3. Laying of BT Raods.
      E. On the HealthFront
      1. Medical Care
      2. Child Care
      3. Family planning services
      4. Health Education
      5. Prevention Disease Control
      6. To participate in Medical Camps, Eye Camps, Pulse Polio Camp, Blood Donation Camps
      7. To Conduct Sanitation Programs
      8. Organization of Meetings for bringing awareness on world TB Day, World Asthama Day, World No Smoking Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Duug abuse Day.
      9. To Provide comprehensive health, Nutrition services by setting up community Health facilities, mobile Medical Care, handicapped care.
      F. On the Educational Front
      1. To establish Nursery Schools.
      2. Kinder Garden Schools.
      3. Primary Schools.
      4. Upper Primary Schools.
      5. High Schools.
      G. On the Lighting Front
      I submit that ASSB intends to take up Street Lighting in the 37 Panchayats and 44 Habitations across Adoni Rural Mandal with its own fund in public interest.
      In this context it is submitted ASSB Life Society offers and comes to perform a mother figure that cares for everyone in these 44 Habitations and is interested in their wellbeing and all round development and cherishes that service to humanity his service to god.

About This Blog

Lisa Bonanno
Vice President of Digital Marketing

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

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