Start planning for your year end annual appeal Now!
As a nonprofit, it can be hard to focus on your year-end goals when it’s still the middle of the year. It can be even harder to decide what you need to do to accomplish year-end goals when you’re still trying to meet Q2 or Q3 goals. But the real benefit of year-end planning comes from the ability to transition your current efforts into results for the rest of the year. When you plan correctly for end of year, you’ll build powerful momentum that helps you get more donors and a larger audience.
That’s why it’s never too early to start planning your year-end Fund-raising, nor is it too early to plant the seeds that will help you reach your donation and revenue goals. If you’re wondering how you can streamline your current or in-progress campaigns to boost your end-of-year success, here are a few steps to help you.
1. CRAFT A STORY THAT CARRIES YOU THROUGH
There’s one thing that many nonprofits struggle with when it comes to their campaigns: consistency. Some organizations throw a holiday-specific campaign together, including a different story or feature with unique images and communications. While it’s to great customize your campaigns for a specific season or event, it’s more important that donors feel you’re being consistent with the causes you’re promoting and where their money is going.
That’s why it’s important to create a story that can carry through the rest of the year. You can update images, social media, landing pages, etc. as the year progresses, but having the same story you’re promoting can help build trust and increase donations. Not only will you have a longer window to build momentum, but you’ll also save resources by avoiding a last-minute push to find a holiday-appropriate story.
This doesn’t mean you have to promote the same program all year. It does mean being consistent in what you’re promoting and to whom. Make it easy for donors to give by focusing your efforts on the campaign that they’ve been exposed to throughout the year, or to the programs they have recently supported. Add to the story with time- or event-specific content as the year goes on, but don’t switch the narrative entirely. To target different donors with the stories that will impact them most, you’ll need your data handy.
2. CUSTOMIZE CAMPAIGNS BY DONOR SEGMENTS
The beauty of your nonprofit data is that it can tell you everything you need to know to make the rest of the year a success. If you want to choose a story that is going to get the most results for your nonprofit, for example, you can look at your monthly donation amounts and align those campaign records to see which one brought in the most money. Or look at social media to see which posts get the most engagement, and build your story with more of that in the mix. You can then use these specific campaign messages or programs to advise your end-of-year campaign, one that uses data and proven results to build momentum for your organization.
For example, you can look at your donation data for the previous year to see which donors are giving in specific ranges and which channels they’re giving through (sorting a donor tracking spreadsheet or using a donation tracking tool is the best way to manage this). Then, you can create email segments, social media ads, or newsletter campaigns that are much more likely to reconnect donors. Customizing communication as much as possible will increase a donor’s trust in your organization and make it easier for him or her to give as the year progresses!
Fun fact: Donors give 80 percent larger gifts in December. Suggesting a number that is in their ballpark today will build a relationship that allows them to give big when the holiday season rolls around.