We know that end-of-year fundraising is one of the biggest revenue initiatives for non-profits, with 31% of annual giving happening in December alone. However, even the best non-profits can use a second pair of eyes in making sure that their end-of-year fundraising campaign is in tiptop shape, so we wanted to share our (worst kept) secrets to achieving EOY success.
What are those secrets we hear you cry?! SMS and Email. In the 2020 Global Trends in Giving Report, 45% of survey respondents said that regular email communication was most likely to inspire repeat donations. The 2021 M+R Benchmarks Study reported that non-profit mobile audiences grew by 26% in 2020, with non-profit organizations reaping the benefits of 6.3% click-through rates for fundraising SMS, and 10% for advocacy messages.
To help make your campaign planning a little easier (and maximize your end-of-year fundraising efforts), our team of expert strategists have put together a sample timeline of SMS and email communications that you can use to your full advantage to grow subscribers and donations alike.
Sample timeline for EOY fundraising
It’s (almost) the most wonderful time of the year… so continue to market your campaign to your donor base using engaging marketing strategies connected to the spirit of the holidays. Also remember, it’s not just Santa’s busiest time of the year! Use your channels to give early visibility as to what’s coming in December by sending save-the-dates and the ability to reserve tickets at the touch of a button (even if they’re online-only events – get creative!)
Leave the donation asks behind and simply thank your subscribers for their support. Instead of asking for money directly, send them to your webpage, where they can learn more about your campaign and make a contribution there.
On Giving Tuesday
November 30 is an important date for any non-profit’s calendar, as a globally recognized day of giving to celebrate good causes and encourage support in all forms. That also means it will be a busy day for your donors! Find ways to make your message stand out from the crowd, such as using video, or MMS to draw attention to your cause. Consider using timed fundraising challenges to encourage your audience to work together to contribute a specific total amount of donations and use your SMS and email channels to give regular total updates. Don’t forget to include dynamic content to personalize your message with previous donations, past events they’ve attended, or answers they’ve given during prior campaigns!
Continue sending out messages every week with varied content. Try to mix up fun messages with fundraising asks. Make it interactive by asking questions, sending out cool facts, or sharing stories about your organization. Remind donors that this is their last chance to make a tax-deductible gift and use your SMS and email channels as a way of driving supporters to further channels.
The New Year
As the year comes to an end, don’t forget to thank everyone for their support, regardless of whether they gave, and take some time off before re-engaging them. Send out ‘sneak peeks’ of any upcoming programs, especially in-person and mass-participation events, and of course, take advantage of the time-honored tradition of New Year’s Resolutions to grow that all important subscriber list! In 2021, Statista reported that 10% of respondents determined ‘volunteering or doing more charity work’ as their New Year’s Resolution, so it is a great opportunity to (at minimum) increase your audience size for communications, if not donations and pledged supporters for your calendar of events.
Just like ornaments to the tree and turkey to the trimmings, SMS and Email are the perfect pairing when it comes to creating end-of-year magic for fundraising. If you have any questions or need more campaign inspiration, please don’t hesitate to reach out – we’d love to help.