6 Communication Tips for a Stronger Year-End

Year-end campaign season is here and most nonprofits are busy thinking about how they can stand out to get more donations. Do you send out more asks? Do you post more frequently on social media? What really is the best strategy to reach your fundraising goal?

Standing out is a long game that revolves around your communications. Why? Because communications build relationships and relationships lead to donations. Consistent communications is your secret weapon for year-end fundraising.

Now is the time to get your year-end communications in tip-top shape. Here are seven tips you can implement today.

1) Have a Consistent Narrative and Message

A memorable year-end campaign starts with a memorable and consistent narrative. What is a narrative? A narrative is made up of messages, stories, and communications that reinforce a central theme your nonprofit wants its audience to understand. Your narrative should relate to the impact of what you are raising money for and how donors will make a difference.

Pro-Tip: Carve out 15 minutes today to brainstorm the central message of your year-end campaign, then make sure it is at the center of your communications through the end of the year.

2) Create a Calendar for Campaign Communications

If you want to be consistent with your communications, then you need a calendar. Having a  communications calendar documents all of your social media, email, PR, and other communications during the year-end campaign. You can use something as simple as a table in a Word document or Excel spreadsheet. If you need a more collaborative tool for a team, consider using Trello or Asana.

After you’ve created your communications calendar, you can schedule task reminders inside Network for Good’s fundraising software.

Pro-Tip: Always ask, “How is this communication moving the conversation and relationship forward?” As you start creating your communications, this is a key question to ask yourself. You want every communication to be relationship-building and moving the conversation further toward year-end giving. Be critical of what you create in examining whether or not this is true.

3) Be Donor-Centric

An easy way to ensure that your communications are truly supporting your year-end campaign is to make them donor-centric. This approach helps donors and non-donors alike see that they play a key role in making a difference. These kinds of communications connect donors to the mission and make them feel special.

Not sure what donor-centric writing looks like in action? Check out this example from Jeff Brooks.

4) Think Segmentation and Personalization

A close second to donor-centric communications is segmentation and personalization. There are many ways you can do this in your communications. For starters, segment communications by donors and non-donors, as the messages for these two groups will be slightly different. You could segment donors based on last gift or life-time giving, or even what kind of program they like to give to.

Remember, your segmentation strategy does not need to be complicated. Think about using it strategically to improve donors’ experiences.

5) Make it Integrated

You put a lot of work into those emails you send out, the content you post on social media, and everything in between. But what portion of your audience actually sees what you put out there? You may be surprised to find out that it’s a much smaller portion than you think. This is why it pays to have an integrated communications strategy for year-end.

An integrated communications strategy essentially means that you are posting the same message across multiple channels. Moreover, you might even strategically reuse content that performs well to ensure more of your audience sees it.

6) Measure Your Results

Finally, a strong year-end communications game means that you need to measure your results and adjust course as needed. Use your fundraising software to track what’s working well and what’s not working at all. Looking at your metrics and results on an ongoing basis in the last quarter of 2018 means that you can leverage what’s working for your non-profit and your audience. Ask us more about how fundraising software can help you achieve your year-end fundraising goals.

Year-end campaigns are your chance to shine. Improve your communications as well as your fundraising materials to get your message in front of the right people. By using the tips we shared in this post you’ll be on your way to having communications that are effective, strategic, and stand out.

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