The Latest from the ABM Experts
December 18, 2018
5 Essential Tips for Marketing Your End-of-Year Fundraiser
Written by Brad Beutler
This guest post is brought to you by the amazing team at OneCause. Joshua Meyer brings over 14 years of fundraising, volunteer management, and marketing experience to his current role as the Director of Marketing for OneCause. Currently, as a member of the OneCause sales and marketing team, Josh manages all of the firm’s marketing efforts. He has a passion for helping to create positive change and loves that his current role allows him to help nonprofits engage new donors and achieve their fundraising goals.
The end of the year brings a lot of things (hello Black Friday and holiday parties!), and for nonprofits, it also means deadlines.
When you’re working towards a goal, whether it’s financial, donation-based, or even simple brand recognition, nothing looms so large as the end of the year.
Luckily, the end of the year is also a time of incredible opportunity and generosity from donors. Thanks to a combination of advertised campaigns like Giving Tuesday and good old-fashioned holiday spirit, the end of the year typically means a spike in nonprofit donations: nearly 30% of all charitable donations come during the month of December.
While nonprofit teams have their donors and are ready to get started, the actual logistics of a year-end fundraiser are another thing altogether. With so many promotions, greetings, and messages hitting your audience from all angles throughout the end of the year, breaking through this noise can seem somewhat impossible.
We’ve rounded up a quick list of 5 essential tips for marketing your end-of-year fundraisers:
1. Know your audience
You’d be surprised how many nonprofit teams blindly assume people will donate or support their cause just because. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case. You need to show your audience why your cause should be important to them. Ask questions like:
- What is the value you’re bringing to your community?
- What benefits are you providing?
- What is a personal anecdote connecting you and your donors?
You can jump-start your personal messaging by leveraging a detailed CRM platform that houses all sorts of supporter information including how they heard about your organization and how they have been involved in the past.
2. Pay attention to location
When it comes time to reach out to donors (both returning and new) to promote a fundraiser or drive donations, you need to have a good sense of where these engagements are coming from.
While a local 5K might sound like a great idea, if a majority of donors are from out of town, then this might not make that much sense. Consider these location-specific aspects of your fundraise:
- First, think about the location of your supporters, as well as the past campaigns and events you’ve hosted.
- Then, go back through feedback and results to see what worked and what didn’t, and allow this to be the basis of your marketing strategy.
Make sure you’re a using top event management platforms designed specifically for nonprofits. More generic software might not provide easy access to data like past engagement metrics that you’ll need to plan an engaging, location-specific event.
3. Have a clear CTA
Too often, nonprofit organizations want (and need) so much from their supporters that they ask for it all instead of narrowing their focus.
While end-of-year giving is all about meeting goals, there should be a clear message in your marketing efforts to actually spark action from your supporters.
If you’re trying to drive ticket sales for an end-of-year gala, for example, then ask people to ‘Buy Tickets Now’ in your CTAs. Designing a bold, interesting design for your email signature banners will always be a smarter move than using vague, forgettable messaging like ‘Get Involved’ or ‘Learn More’.
While there are always ways to cross-promote your campaigns (such as providing a donation field on your registration page), choose a main CTA and stick with it across your marketing efforts. This will help streamline your internal team and keep all of your supporters on the same page.
4. Make it personal
While individuals crave an emotional, personal connection with a nonprofit, they also want to be able to share this personal experience with others. As you’re marketing your end of year campaign, share stories of donors and supporters who have created lasting relationships with your organization. Consider:
- Showcasing how these special people got involved with your team and your mission to help hit on a personal note for others.
- Making it easy for your supporters to help you out and share their stories with others.
5. Make it modern
When you think of an end-of-year charity event, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
If you’re thinking posters in a coffee shop bathroom, you’re not the only one. But, as technology and solutions for nonprofit teams have evolved, so too has the technology in place to help market and promote these campaigns.
Online giving is just the tip of the iceberg. There are solutions in place that make it easy for donors to get involved, to actually make donations, and even to promote your organization to their networks.
Nonprofit marketing channels have stepped their game up as well. From innovative direct mail to email signature marketing, there is nothing but opportunity. It’s just important to know where to look.
Take your nonprofit marketing to the next level
Emails aren’t just for sales anymore. As more and more businesses enter the world of corporate giving, email has become one of the most well-used (and well-received) channels to promote fundraising efforts. With the right segmentation, the right message, and the right design, your team can break through the noise this holiday season.
Don’t be afraid to share amazing content, drive your supporters to engaging, exciting landing pages, and really deliver unique nonprofit experiences. Whether you’re a nonprofit or corporate charity, email marketing can help take your fundraising efforts to the next level.