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Year-End Fundraising


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This guide is shared based on research from Rich Dietz and Sage Nonprofit Solutions. It is designed to assist nonprofit organizations in building successful year-end fundraising campaigns.

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Year-End Fundraising

  1. 1. Bridget Brandt Donor Experience 101 Creating Successful Year-End Fund-raising Campaigns
  2. 2. Agenda What is a Year-End Campaign? Why You Need to Launch a Year-End Campaign Today Tools of the Trade Best Practices for Year-End Campaigns Q&A
  3. 3. Our Goals Today  Convince you why you need to launch a Year-End Campaign!  Provide ideas and tips to get you going or improve your current campaign  Get you to take action and launch the campaign ASAP  No campaign is ever perfect or “ready”  Start where you are now  Only way to improve is to get something out there and test  Pick one or two ideas and add them to your campaign
  4. 4. What is an End of Year Campaign?
  5. 5. Definition for End of Year Campaign  A coordinated multi-appeal fund-raising campaign that capitalizes on the end of year giving cycles that is a part of a larger donor cultivation system  Key ideas from the definition  Coordinated  Multi-appeal  Giving cycles  Part of larger system (Donor Engagement)
  6. 6. Why you MIGHT NEED to launch an End of Year Campaign
  7. 7. Giving Trends
  8. 8. Why an End of Year Campaign?  NPO’s raise from 40% to 70% of their funds at the end of the year  Up to 22% in the last two days of the year  People like to give during the holiday season Practice altruism. Instead of big gifts for others, buy smaller gifts and donate a portion of your budget to the needy. Sometimes reflecting on those less fortunate helps us regain perspective about how lucky we are and how commercialized our holidays can become. Dr. Janet Frank, Ph.D.   People like to get their tax breaks  Great way to update your supporters about the year’s accomplishments and what you have planned for the new year  Great opportunity to find new donors
  9. 9. Tools of the Trade
  10. 10. Tools of the Trade* You only need four tools to run a solid Year-End Campaign Online  Place to make your case – website  Way to take money – donation form  Way to connect with potential donors – email marketing  Way to track results – online analytics But— A little creativity goes a LONG way!
  11. 11. Best Practices and Tips for End of Year Campaigns
  12. 12. Best Practices - Basics Prepare and Plan  But keep it simple for now  Start from where you are and improve every year  Use the planning guide (end of the slide deck)
  13. 13. Best Practices - Basics  Multiple Touch Points  Direct mail, email, website, online form, Facebook, video, in person or committee asks  Easy Donation Process  Vivid Examples of How Donations Will be Used  Example: $10= 17 meals
  14. 14.  Peer to peer fund-raising  Custom landing pages  Online Video-  Social Media Integration  Drip Marketing  A/B Testing Best Practices - Advanced
  15. 15. Compelling Campaigns Tell a Great Story  Inspire them with your passion  Individual stories are best  People give to people  Emotion >> Rationality  Make it timely  Online Video
  16. 16. Get Your Message Heard The end of year can be crowded and noisy…. Timing  Be compelling, Be First, Be Often Event Fundraising – The 890% Difference  Another way to engage and stand out  Tie the events into your end of year fundraising Create a “Signature” event or campaign
  17. 17. Follow Up / Cultivate Donors  Follow Up  Easy way to stand out from the crowd  Develop donor engagement (Two Way Communication)  Welcome email or series  Small favors  Multiple thank you notes throughout the year  Thank You Update  Thank You and Small Favor  Thank You and Success Story  Thank You.. But still work to do  Measure and test throughout the year
  18. 18. Resources and Templates for End of Year Campaigns
  19. 19. Resources Google is Your Friend  Search for “End of year appeal example,” “thank you card example,” etc. Gets you off the blank page. Mail Chimp, Marketo, Eloqua Techonolgy-  Kimbia  Abila  BlackBaud  Drupal
  20. 20. Samples. Templates. Projects.
  21. 21. Sample Time Line  September – Brainstorm, research, and schedule your campaign § Review Last Year’s Campaign § What worked? What did not work? § What do the stats tell you? § What has changed for your organization in the past year? § What are your organization’s goals this year? § Complete End of Year Campaign Planning Sheet  October – Design, write, and prepare communications § Draft Email Series § Design look and feel of the campaign § Create email templates
  22. 22. Sample Timeline  November – Finalize all communications and test the campaign § Have multiple staff members review all campaign content § Have the campaign approved by appropriate staff members § Run multiple tests of the entire campaign § Run a few tests yourself pretending to be a donor & ask volunteers to do the same § Send warm-up appeal email/letter (optional) § Monthly newsletter or separate mailing § Updates on year, preview of campaign--Send out at least one week before the first appeal  December – Launch Campaign § Appeal 1 – Campaign Kickoff – 1st week in December--Sets up campaign and tone § eCard – For acknowledgement of support – 3rd week in December § If including a holiday greeting, send before the period most applicable to your donors § Appeal 2 – Follow Up/Reminder – Dec. 29 or 30-- Last chance to give in 2013
  23. 23. Compelling Campaigns Step 1  Email sent beginning of December (click letter for samples)
  24. 24. Compelling Campaigns Step 2 (Option)  Email Holiday Greeting appropriate for your audience.
  25. 25. Compelling Campaigns Step 3  Email Holiday Greeting appropriate for your audience.  Break through the clutter.
  26. 26. Compelling Campaigns Step 4  Thank you letter  Handwritten  Custom  Unique
  27. 27. Let’s put this knowledge to work Your Turn!
  28. 28. Conclusion End-of-year campaigns are not as difficult as they seem Take action – Pick one or two ideas and implement Only YOU can figure out what works for YOUR organization
  29. 29. Q&A / Resources Bridget L. Brandt