The year-end giving season is a critical time for nonprofits. It’s when many donors make their largest gifts of the year, and it’s an opportunity to raise significant funds to support your mission.
But with so many nonprofits competing for donors’ attention, how can you make sure your organization stands out and raises the funds you need?
If you’re looking to maximize your year-end fundraising results, here are three tips to keep in mind:
1. Focus on recurring donors
Recurring donors are the lifeblood of any nonprofit. They provide a steady stream of income that you can rely on year-round. And during the year-end giving season, they’re even more important.
That’s because recurring donors are more likely to give more at the end of the year. In fact, depending on the study you look at, recurring donors give an average of 25 – 39% more during the holiday season than one-time donors!
So how can you focus on recurring donors during the year-end giving season?
- Make it easy for donors to sign up for recurring giving. Include a recurring giving option on your Giving Pages and make it easy to find. You should also offer different recurring giving options, such as monthly, quarterly, and annually.
- Make it easy for staff to manage recurring gifts. Using Salesforce and a native payment system makes it easy to track and manage recurring gifts. This will help you ensure that donors are charged correctly and that their gifts are processed on time.
- Offer incentives for recurring donors. This could include things like exclusive early access to events, discounts on merchandise, or special thank-you gifts.
“We wanted one system for everything,” explains Sascha. “With Salesforce and FinDock we don’t need to move between systems, this helps us save time and energy and really improves the user experience for our team.”
2. Personalize your outreach
Donors are more likely to give to organizations that they feel a personal connection with. That’s why it’s important to personalize your outreach during the year-end giving season.
- Segment your donors. This will help you send more targeted messages to different groups of donors. For example, you could segment your donors by average gift size, gift payment type, recency of last gift, or areas of interest.
- Include personalized information in your outreach. For example, you could mention the donor’s past giving levels, their involvement with your organization, or their specific areas of interest.
- Make it easy for donors to give. Include a donation link in all of your communications and make it easy for donors to give with one click. One-click giving allows donors to make a donation with just a few clicks of a button. This is a great way to make it easy for donors to give, especially during the busy holiday season.
For example, you could send a targeted email to donors who have given to your food bank in the past. In the email, you could thank them for their support and share a story about a family who has been helped by the food bank. You could also include a link to a one-click giving page so that they can easily make a donation.
“WWF-NL can be relevant to everyone, regardless of age, areas of interest or method of contribution,” explains Paul. “We have more than 995,000 people in our Salesforce org, all with different mindsets and interests, and different stages of their relationship with us. If our main campaign message is ‘help us,’ we need to be able to send that out in different forms and channels to different audiences, driven by different strategies. Salesforce and FinDock play an integral role in making this possible.”
3. Use storytelling
People are more likely to donate to organizations that they can relate to. Stories are a powerful way to connect with donors and inspire them to give.
When you tell stories about the people you serve and the impact of your work, you’re more likely to connect with donors on an emotional level. This can lead to larger gifts and increased donor loyalty.
Here are a few tips for using storytelling during the year-end giving season:
- Create a year-in-review or impact-in-review video or blog. This is a great way to highlight the impact of your work throughout the year. Be sure to include stories about real people who have been helped by your organization.
- Focus on a single story that aligns with previous giving. If you have a donor who has given to a specific program or initiative in the past, focus on a story about that program or initiative. This will show the donor how their gifts are making a real difference.
- Send urgent or timely appeals. If you’re facing a specific challenge or need, send an urgent appeal to your donors. Be sure to explain the situation and what you need to do to address it.
For example, you could write a blog post about a single family who has been helped by your organization. In the blog post, you could share their story and explain how your organization is making a difference in their lives. You could also include a call to action at the end of the blog post, asking donors to support your work by making a donation.
Additional tips for maximizing your year-end fundraising results:
- Start early. If you haven’t already started your year-end giving campaign—start now. The year-end giving season starts earlier and earlier each year. To get a head start, start planning your fundraising campaign in the summer or early fall. This will give you plenty of time to develop a plan, create materials, and reach out to donors.
- Set realistic goals. Before you start your fundraising campaign, it’s important to set realistic goals. Consider your fundraising needs and your donor base when setting your goals.
- Track your results. It’s important to track your results so that you can see what’s working and what’s not. This will help you improve your fundraising efforts over time.
- Thank your donors. Be sure to thank your donors for their support. This can be done through personal handwritten notes, email messages, or social media posts.
The year-end giving season is a critical time for nonprofits to raise funds and support their missions. By following these tips, you can yield bigger results during the year-end giving season and raise more money to support your mission.