While the end of year may seem far away, it’s not too early to start planning your end of year giving campaign. Putting together a thoughtful plan across several communications platforms will help reach the broadest audience and reinforce tailored messaging to each specific demographic. In this post, we share examples of how to utilize each platform in your end of year giving campaign.
Direct Mail – Your direct mail campaign should include a remit envelope that reiterates your campaign messaging. Take advantage of each piece in your direct mail campaign and don’t utilize the standard outer or inner envelopes; rather put together a cohesive mailer that has similar phrases and complementary graphics with each item you’re sharing.
Letters – We suggest organizations use this opportunity to tell a story about either an individual or an issue, depending on your constituency. If your audience tends to respond well to messages that pull at the heartstrings, then lead with the story of one individual that demonstrates the mission your nonprofit is filling. If your audience is more excited about the leverage or other more ‘left brain’ type impacts of your organization, than lead with figures and statistics.
Graphic Inserts or Annual Reports – Carry your campaign messaging through other graphics. Utilize not only images, but also graphs and charts, and even infographics to help highlight your impact or call to action. A good test is taking the graphic to a friend or family member and asking them if they can describe what they’re seeing. If they can’t hit the nail on the head, so to speak, and clearly explain your take home message (i.e. ‘our need is growing’, ‘each person we serve has unique needs’, ‘we’ve received a matching grant and have the opportunity to double your gift’, etc…) than your selected graphic should be sent back to the drawing board.
eBlasts or eNewsletters – This can be an easy lift by selecting key messages from your direct mail piece and adding them to photos with a link to your website where donors will find a custom donation page that shares the same content as your direct mail piece. Generally speaking, donors who receive your direct mail piece are not the same as those that receive your electronic communications so you don’t have to worry about overly duplicative messaging.
Social Media – If your development team is not also coordinating its campaign messaging over your existing social media channels than you’re missing a key opportunity. We don’t recommend launching new social media channels just for an end of year campaign (see more on if your nonprofit is ready to move into social media here), but if you are already consistently using a platform, than social media can serve as a great place to feature ‘behind the scenes’ photos that complement the overall end of year story. Similarly, you can use social media to remind users about the last moment opportunities to make gifts in person, online, and even with wire transferred securities.
Finally, campaigns that help to build engagement (and do not ask for funds) in the fall can be a great lead-in to your year end request. One of the nonprofit participants in the 2016 #SupportingOurSector campaign directly linked their exponential growth and diversity in their year end fundraising to their list building and supporter engagement during the early fall #SupportingOurSector initiative.
Have you given thought to your end of year giving campaign yet? What areas are you struggling with? Let us know by connecting with us @StarfishMarta!
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