We’re well into the giving season and the clock is ticking to put together a successful year-end appeal. But there’s still time to make your message stand out. Focus on the essential elements of a year-end appeal to catch your donors’ attention during this season. A strong year-end appeal increases the odds that your supporters will pay attention and respond. Use these strategies to build a better year-end appeal in a condensed timeframe.
1) Brand Your Year-End Campaign Consistently, from Start to Finish
Potential supporters are much more likely to take your nonprofit seriously if your branding is consistent. When crafting your year-end campaign, make sure each piece adheres to the same color, font, and graphic style. Consistency between your direct mail, social media posts, and your donation page creates a cohesive message and reinforces your donor’s choice to give.
2) Broaden Your Appeal By Using Multiple Channels
Your donors access multiple communication channels throughout the course of any given day. If your year-end appeal only comes through one channel, you’re limiting your outreach. Effective campaigns use a variety of ways to engage their supporters. Email blasts and social media posts are an efficient means of connecting with tech-savvy, mobile users who spend hours each day conducting work and personal business on their cell phones and other smart devices. Postcards and letters are old-school and remain an effective way of gaining attention. Working together, these channels reinforce your message.
3) Use Impact Labels With Suggested Giving Levels
Impact labels make giving more personal by forming a direct connection between suggested giving levels and the real-life good that each dollar amount achieves. Impact labels also serve the purpose of providing a menu of concrete choices. By offering your donors a variety of giving levels, you make it easier for them to make their decision to give. List three to four suggested levels of giving and provide a short description of what can be accomplished with each donation level.
4) Utilize Mobile Giving and Text-to-Give Capabilities
As more and more people integrate mobile devices into their daily lives, mobile giving has gained popularity. According to Nonprofit Source, 25% of donors complete their donations on mobile devices. Having donation pages that are mobile responsive removes a potential barrier to giving, and makes it more convenient for your supporters to respond to your year-end appeal. Text-to-give is another option that makes giving via a mobile device easy.
5) Don’t Overlook Those Who Don’t Give Online
With so much focus on online and mobile giving, it’s easy to pass over those who aren’t comfortable with donating on a computer or mobile device. For a variety of reasons, some people just prefer to mail in a check. Letters or postcards are an effective way to reach out to those who aren’t giving online. If your budget doesn’t allow a large mailing, use your fundraising software to segment supporters who have primarily donated via mail in the past, and mail cards or letter-based appeals specifically to those donors.
6) Expand Your Reach by Getting Board Members Involved
Your board members are some of your most ardent and well-connected supporters. Get them actively engaged in your year-end campaign. Use your board members to make personal phone calls to large donors. There’s no one in a better position to make the pitch to your most high-value supporters than the board members who are deeply engaged in your mission and see the good you’re doing day in and day out. Encourage your board members to speak about their role in your nonprofit at holiday gatherings as well.
7) Pair Your Thank You With Year-End Campaign Final Results
In addition to expressing your appreciation immediately after a gift is received, send out a recap email at the conclusion of your year-end campaign. This communication is a perfect opportunity to reiterate your appreciation and update everyone who donated to support your work. Demonstrating impact makes donors feel good about what they’ve helped accomplish and provides an incentive to give again in the future.
Use these tips to take your year-end appeal to the next level and boost the results of your campaign.
Still need to get out your year-end appeal? Read our Procrastinator’s Guide to Year-End Fundraising for an easy-to-follow process to make the most of your year-end campaign, even if you’ve waited until the last minute to get started.