It’s October, so year-end fundraising is here whether you’re ready or not! No need to stress, though – we wrote the guide on 2020 Year-End Fundraising and now we’re here to break down the 5 key takeaways you need to know.
1. Start Early (Right Now)
This year, you’re not just competing for attention against your donors’ holiday plans, other nonprofits, and consumer marketing campaigns – you’re competing against the November election! Like it or not, election news will likely dominate the airspace through the end of the year. In election years, the best defense is a good offense. That means starting early with your year-end messaging. Try to get your plan in place this week so you can send your first year-end campaign email on October 30.
2. Don’t Rely Only on Direct Mail
The same goes for your direct mail campaigns. If your nonprofit typically sends appeals by mail, start earlier this year. The US Postal Service has faced some challenges this year that might impact your campaigns if you don’t plan ahead. Follow up by email to make sure your appeals are reaching inboxes!
3. Video Will Be Big This Year-End
Since launching our video messages feature earlier this year, we’ve seen our fundraising software customers have enormous success with videos. Video messages are easy to create and send, donors really appreciate the personal touch, and they can help your nonprofit build personal, face-to-face relationships even when social distancing. Plus, studies show that people are 12x more likely to watch a video than to read text! We highly recommend building this into your strategy for the year – all the brands and larger nonprofits will be doing it.
For more information about how nonprofits raise more with video messages built into our all-in-one fundraising software, get in touch.
4. #GivingTuesday Is Growing
Only about half of small nonprofits say they participate in #GivingTuesday, and that could be a big missed opportunity! #GivingTuesday continues to grow every year. Visit the #GivingTuesday website to view their free online toolkit, get ideas, and copy the logo for your marketing outreach. Provide an engaging, celebratory conclusion to the day by sending a newsletter and social media posts the following day (Wednesday) with pictures/testimonials, a donor honor roll, and a spotlight on the total amount raised.
5. Don’t Neglect Your Follow-Up Strategy
Fundraisers often spend the last few days of the year anxiously tracking donation levels against their campaign and annual goals. It’s thrilling to watch the dollars tick upward toward these goals. Sadly, around 50% of all donors (new and recurring) do not give again after the first donation – you need a strong follow-up strategy to keep them engaged throughout January and beyond.
Download the Year-End Fundraising Campaign Guide & Timeline: 2020 COVID-19 and Election Edition for more tips on making this year-end a success!