Statistics suggest that approximately one-third or 30% of all annual charitable donations occur in December. This is why year-end fundraising campaigns are crucial; they offer the opportunity to catch up if trailing behind on your fundraising goals. However, note that merely running a fundraiser at year-end does not guarantee success. Other nonprofits will be promoting their fundraisers too. Therefore, you must find engaging ways to stand out and attract donor attention.
In this article, we will discuss four simple but highly effective ways to promote your year-end fundraising campaign so that you can reach your goals.
How to promote year-end giving campaigns
1. Personalize your end-of-year appeal letters/emails
People give to causes that they feel connected to—it could be ending police brutality or saving animals that are about to go extinct. This should be a reminder that donors are largely driven by emotions. So, if you want to appeal to them, your campaign should tap into emotions that matter.
And one of the best ways to do this is by personalizing your donation appeal letters or emails. There are three key areas you should consider:
- Salutation: Don’t go with generic options like “Dear Sir/Madam” or “Hello Mr/Mrs.” Instead, address them by their first name, which you should always acquire when they are making a donation or contacting your nonprofit.
- Last amount donated: If they have donated before, mention the previous donation amount. This is one of the simplest ways to show that you value your donors and their contributions.
- Signing off: When signing off, don’t just have the name of your organization—also, include a name of a person. It could be the CEO or fundraising director.
And don’t make the letter or email too formal. Keep the tone conversational; mention the impact of their donations and include clear calls to action (CTAs).
2. Don’t underestimate email marketing
You have plenty of options for planning a donor communication strategy for your year-end fundraising campaigns. With an average estimated return on investment (ROI) of 3800%, email has largely been proven to be a highly effective medium. Most communication mediums can’t beat that. Since nonprofits already work with limited resources, it is highly recommended to include email marketing in your outreach strategy.
First, ensure you segment the emails by demographics, engagement, donation amounts, etc. This will ensure you are sending meaningful emails to each group, which will improve your results.
Also, focus on writing great subject lines as this is the first thing your donors will see before they open the email. Ask questions. Add emojis when you can (but don’t overdo it). Also, personalize the subject line with the donor’s name. These simple strategies have proven to improve open rates.
As for the email body, keep it short and to the point. Avoid filler content. The goal is to get a donation. So only use as many words as necessary to get the job done. And before sending the emails, review how they look on mobile as 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices.
3. Build excitement through social media
Another communication medium you shouldn’t ignore is social media. Studies show that people now spend an average of 2 hours 25 minutes on social networks—making them vital channels to create buzz around your cause. You can ask questions and share stories through your social media accounts to engage your donors. The more likes and comments you get, the more your post will be promoted to other people who may not have heard of your nonprofit or charity before.
Also, you can use social media to showcase the impact of the donations. For example, you can reveal how with the support of your donors, you have managed to buy hospital equipment.
Promoting an online charitable game on social media is an easy way to gain more traction for your campaign—tell your followers how buying a ticket of $5 or $10 can give them a chance to win large sums of money. An online 50/50 raffle or Catch the Ace is great at building engagement on social media and attracting new donors as the pot grows. People are willing to participate in these games knowing the money raised goes towards a noble cause.
And if you have the budget for it, use paid ads to expand your reach. You can target lookalike audiences, allowing you to connect with people who don’t follow you but have the same interests as your followers. The best part with social media is you can measure the effectiveness of your campaigns in real-time and terminate all promotions that aren’t profitable—this is crucial for a good ROI.
4. Use video campaigns to thank donors
To have maximum reach and save time, you should also shoot thank-you videos and post on YouTube or Facebook. Not only do people love watching videos, but a majority of the audience (92%) say they love sharing videos with their friends and family (who could prove to be new potential donors).
According to CXL, people spend an average of 16 hours watching online video content weekly. This number has jumped 52% from the last two years. In addition to this, videos are 1200% more successful than other content types, generating more shares and likes than text or images. So, if you haven’t taken video marketing seriously, now is the time to start.
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Studies suggest that it costs 10 times more to acquire a new donor than to retain an existing one. Therefore, investing time, effort, and some money in conveying your gratitude is a smart long-term strategy.
Campaign promotions are key to the success of a fundraiser and generally, demand a fair amount of budget. The tips and ideas suggested here will help you confidently achieve great results and grow your donor database while keeping costs low.