35 Expert Tips for End-of-Year Fundraising

If you run a nonprofit, you know how important the last few months of the year are.

The giving season has already begun, and with big days like #GivingTuesday right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to review your end-of-year fundraising plans and make sure you’re set up for success.

To help you get ready, we reached out to people who specialize in helping nonprofits succeed to get their best advice for making the most of this important time of year.

We also looked at some of our favorite nonprofit resources, and gathered expert tips from other nonprofit professionals.

If you’re ready to reach your fundraising goals and set your organization up for success in the New Year, these tips can help!

Here are our 35 favorite expert tips for end-of-year fundraising:

Keep your organization growing with expert advice and all the tools you need, all in one place.

1. Plan way ahead, gather the stories and content all year and have a strategy for dissemination. Don’t go it alone!

Julia C. Campbell, J Campbell Social Marketing, @JuliaCSocial

2. You never have a second chance to make a first impression.

Sean Chisholm, Classy, @stayclassysd

3. The real key is planning. Prepare your materials early. Try to launch your campaign in early November, if not earlier. Then, always have a final ask scheduled for delivery on December 31.

Audra Wallace, Yfusion, @yfusionmg

4. Developing a content schedule around the holidays is crucial. You’ll be busy, so it will be helpful – and less stressful – if you have a plan for sharing your fundraiser online ready in advance.

Danielle Cormier, Constant Contact Social Media Team, @dcorms

5. In December, your donor’s time and attention is at a premium — once you’ve got them hooked, make it incredibly simple for them to take action and complete their donation online.

Caryn Stein, Network for Good, @Network4Good

6. Don’t ask people to “donate”. Instead, ask them to “join”, “build”, etc. Appeal to identity and emotion, not wallets.

John Haydon, Founder of Inbound Zombie & Author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies, @JohnHaydon

7. Push the purpose.

Thomas Hybki, CreateGreatNews.com, @ThomasHybki

8. Out of all the charitable efforts that take place from the hundreds of organizations this time of year, you could rise above the fray by being transparent in exactly how contributions are used and making sure all efforts are sincere.

Beverly Brister, Beverly’s Webshop, @beverlyswebshop

9. Always, always push the nonprofit part. Good causes can generate a lot of interest.

Daniel O Brien, Social Media Success.ie

10. One of the best things you can do for your organization is to implement a compelling recurring gift program.

Caryn Stein, Network for Good, @Network4Good

11. Get specific by laying out different donation amounts and listing exactly what each donation will be able to finance. The more your audience knows, the more comfortable they’ll be with helping you.

Miranda Paquet, Constant Contact Content Team, @MirandaPaquet

12. Engage the community & emphasize tax-deductible donations!

Brenda Ainsburg, Siemens PLM Software, @BrendaAinsburg

13. Center some fundraising around Giving Tuesday, Which falls on the 1st Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year, #GivingTuesday is December 1, 2020.

Julie Renoir, School on Wheels of Massachusetts

14. Create a specific landing page on your website that brings together images focused on emotionally connecting with the donor audience.

Matt Ward, inConcert Web Solutions, @inConcertWeb

15. Link to a page that visually shows how the donations have been used in the past.

Katherine Jasmine, MarketingFIRST, @MktgFIRST

16. Donors and potential donors like to know that they are making a difference, and love to see examples of their “money in action.” Include specific examples of how your particular nonprofit is making an impact.

-Michael Pilla, Pilla Creative Marketing, @pillacm

17. Just ask! Many nonprofits simply don’t ask. They assume people know they are there, that they are a nonprofit and they “ought” to give.

Toni Harris, Toni Harris Speaks, @toniharrisspeak

18. Pairing a cause with an unrelated business, such as a nonprofit and a local business brings persons with similar interests together.

LaTrenka R. Riley, The Gift Answer

19. Create a 45-second video about one highlight from the year… and then email the video out to all of your friends and supporters.

– Marie Wies, Marketing CoPilot, @mcopilot

20. Offer multiple ways for the donors to donate.  Online donating is at an all-time high so you want to make sure you make it easy for donors to give in that manner, but keep in mind you will still have some donors that want to write a check, phone in a donation etc.

Anissa Starnes, Constant Contact Regional Director – Carolinas,  @CTCT_Annissa

21. Don’t make your audience scroll through a long, wordy email to get to the call to action to donate.

Manchester Animal Shelter,(NH), @FMASNH

22. The simpler emails tend to have a better response. Mostly, those are the ones that seem personal and aren’t too long.

Genevieve Piturro, The Pajama Program, @PajamaProgram

23. A referral program offering incentives to existing donors who refer your nonprofit to their friends can drive more donations.

Crystal Woody, Constant Contact Public Relations Team, @cleigh31

24. Take the time to set up your (virtual or in-person) fundraising event registration with all of the information that you will need before the event.

Twanda Hill, Twanda Hill & Associates, @twandahill

25. One of the biggest mistakes for abandoned online registrations is lengthy or confusing forms.  Keep your fundraising event registration simple and easy – you can collect more detailed information after your attendee has submitted their RSVP.

Ryan Mahoney, Constant Contact Marketing Coach, @FromT2Green

26. For a fundraising event, create an environment (physically or virtually) that captures the heart of the situation.  What is the meaning of why you’re all there? When attendees can connect on a deeper level with the cause they become more passionate supporters.

Vern Yip, UNICEF Ambassador, @UNICEF

27. People really look forward to not only donating to a great cause but maybe winning something as well at a fundraising event.  Prizes and cool interactive experiences really get people excited and donating more money.

Ryan Mahoney, Constant Contact Marketing Coach, @FromT2Green

28. Arrive early to every event you attend, whether it’s at a physical location or a virtual meeting room. Meet the people in charge and see if they could use a hand.

Albert Kaufman, Albertideation, @albertideation

29. Come up with a strategy that incorporates all of your different communication channels — like email, social, mobile, and website.

Ryan Pinkham, Constant Contact Content Team, @RyanPinkham

30. Find the key influencers in the nonprofits market segment, reach out to them personally, and ask them if they can help spread your message via social media.

Brandon Schaefer, CEO at 90DayEntrepreneur.com, @90DayPro

31. Create a social movement.

Marie Roker-Jones, Founder-Raising Great Men, @RaisingGreatMen

32. Use social media to let your donors see your personality & meet the people behind the scenes of your nonprofit. Your biggest strength is the passionate community you already have.

Kristen Curtiss, Constant Contact Content Team, @KristenCurtiss

33. Treat donors like VIP’s of your organization; encourage them to help spread the word for you.

Miranda Paquet, Constant Contact Content Team, @MirandaPaquet

34. Let your supporters see what donations in past years enabled you to do in your social media content. Don’t forget to also include a link to this year’s fundraiser so your audience can easily take action again this year.

Azure Collier, Constant Contact Content Team, @AzureCollier

35. Recommend that potential donors make a donation in the name of the person on their holiday list that ‘has it all’ instead of buying a traditional present.  They’ll receive a heartfelt gift, and it’s tax-deductible as well.

Barri Glick, Allyson Whitney Foundation, Inc, @Allyson4Rare

Need more help? Get the ultimate free online marketing guide for nonprofits.

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The post 35 Expert Tips for End-of-Year Fundraising appeared first on Constant Contact.

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