“Am I emailing my donors too much?” and Other Year-End Fundraising Questions Answered

In our webinar on October 12, Personal Fundraising Coach Janet Cobb shared strategies and tools for kicking off a year-end fundraising campaign with expert-crafted tools and templates. She also answered some of your lingering questions about your year-end fundraising campaign. Get some answered and watch the webinar below.

Q: If two third-party events to benefit us are close to Giving Tuesday, shall we push for Giving Tuesday? Dates are Dec. 2 & 12.
A: Is the audience for the events likely to be the same as the audience for Giving Tuesday – which is typically social media and email? I’d say, someone not interested in the events may find Giving Tuesday a great way to support you.

Q: You mentioned that 1/3 of all giving for the year come towards the end of the year. Is that number the donations from individual donors, corporations, or both together?
A: The 1/3 of all giving statistic focuses primarily on individual donor giving.

Q: Our lapsed donors are 5X the Active donors. Is a good goal to focus on lapsed donors exclusively?
A: You never want to focus on lapsed donors exclusively because your active donors still want to support you – but be sure to give some special attention to engaging with lapsed donors.

Q: We really need unrestricted donations, but that is not as enticing as a campaign with a specific goal. How do you make unrestricted gifts seem more sexy?
A: Focus on the impact the mission on the people you serve.

Q: With matching gifts, is it advisable to be transparent at the end, and report the final amount raised and thus the amount that was matched as promised (matching could have a ceiling), leading to a total of ____$. ??             
A: Yes! You want to share the amount that could be potentially be matched and what was ultimately raised.

Q: What is the best way to automate a gift-matching process? I know there are some plug-ins to provide all the matching gift information for companies for donors — any recommendations?
A: If you use Network for Good’s software, you could use a form to collect matching gift info.

Q: I get annoyed when other nonprofits send newsletters and solicitations often. I can think of 3 offenders right off the bat. I either open them and delete them right away or just delete them without opening them. What, in your opinion, is the maximum number of communications and/or solicitations we should send out in a 30 day period. Currently, we don’t send more than 1 monthly newsletter, but I think we should increase it.
A: Try to think of your communications in terms of the value you provide to the reader. Are you educating/informing about your cause, inspiring them, asking them a question/survey, updating them on your program progress, sharing success, highlighting volunteers…If you do that, each communication has a purpose and it doesn’t need to be super long. You could communicate more frequently as long as the content is engaging.

Q: What do you think of using Giving Tuesday as a kick-off for End-of-year giving? As a way to make it one flowing campaign?
A: Network for Good’s engagement plans basically follow this concept. Giving Tuesday is part of the entire year-end campaign.

Q: Do you have suggestions for contacting companies about potentially matching gifts for donors?
A: Cold calling companies isn’t always effective. If you can find a board member, volunteer, or employer of a program recipient who can make an introduction that can be very effective.

Q: We ran our first major crowdfunding campaign this summer and a Jewish New Year campaign in September. Do we still work on a year-end campaign or is it stretching our donors too much?
A: You could absolutely work on a year-end campaign but perhaps you’d not reach out to folks who gave at a high level in September.

Q: My organization does not do a good job with social media. How important is that channel to overall giving?
A: Social media allows you to reach a larger audience but if you aren’t actively engaged there, it likely won’t make too much difference.

Q: Is there ever such a thing as sending too many emails too often? I don’t want people to feel like they are being “spammed.”
A: If the content is meaningful, you can’t really send too many. One study I’ve read said you can send something like 120 emails a year

Q: How do we get the Year-end Engagement Plan if we aren’t customers?
A: The Year-End Engagement Plan is for Network for Good customers.

Q: When does the Year-End Engagement plan become live in Network for Good?
A: The year-end plan is available as a word document under the help menu now and will be available as tasks integrated into the product the week of October 17.

Q: Do people think that texting them is intrusive? Will that have a negative effect?
A: Many people welcome texting, others do not. You can ask permission if you aren’t sure.

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