A lot of events take place as the year comes to an end. On the one hand, folks try to catch up on lost time; on the other hand, some want to make the most of the holiday season. The latter may simply be about flowing with the tide of the Giving Season. So, for an intentional fundraiser, the end of the year is not one to joke with. Why [you ask]? – The reasons are shared below:
Path To Increased Donations
A year-end giving campaign is a path to increased donations for your (fundraising) cause. This is because people's urge to give remains activated during this season. Interestingly, a good number of non-profits raise over one-fourth of their annual earnings through year-end giving campaigns. These campaigns make it possible for fundraisers to meet up with their goals in a timely manner.
You can tap into the generosity of this season if you have had a rough ride before now. With many willing givers on hand, getting a better result from your fundraising drive is more likely now. However, you may need to do a little tweak of strategy to attract these givers. You may need to rework the messages you've been sending out – how appealing is your storyline?
A Good Time To Start Your Giving Campaign
Any non-profit organization or fundraiser looking to kickstart a giving campaign can leverage the season of generosity – the end of the year. The probability of raking in appreciable donations will serve as a big boost for your fundraising project as a whole. You will be more encouraged to keep at it as you envision project accomplishment. In essence, you can build on the gains of your year-end giving campaign.
Optimization Of Resources
You don't have to be big on spending to get the best out of your year-end giving campaign. This is based on the fact that resources are well-optimized during a year-end (giving) surge. You just need a winning strategy to hit the bull's eye – this will be discussed later in this article.
This optimization benefit should indicate why the season is a perfect time to start or scale up your fundraising campaign. You should be more about getting the right message about your project and watching people commit to the cause.
Steps Towards A Successful Year-End Giving Campaign
The success of your year-end giving campaign is mainly dependent on the steps and actions you take. You cannot afford to lose cognizance of these measures considering the many interests competing for donators' attention. Therefore, you should be mindful of the following (steps) as you finalize the plan for your campaign:
A good first impression can bring about tremendous returns for fundraisers. But then, the possibility of leaving a 'good first impression' on prospective donors may be negatively affected where there is no clarity of purpose or goal. Owing to this, you must first do some background work internally – and thoughtfully – before reaching out to donors.
You should identify and clarify the "why" – what is the reason for running a year-end campaign? You don't have to run one just because others are doing it. You can save the energy for a later time and avoid cutting across [to prospects] as a disorganized brand. It is also vital that you communicate your fundraising goal using simple words/sentences.
If, at all, you will be telling a story, you should make sure it is compelling and relatable to your audience – that the prospective donors. In addition to clarifying the motive behind the campaign, you should also be specific about your ask. Let donors know how much is needed – in other words, be intentional about transparency.
Strategy – an effective one at that – is all that matters for a year-end giving campaign. It is not a season to go on a hit-and-miss run while expecting the best. It is to this end you will need to consider donor prospecting. This means assessing donors based on their giving affinity and capacity – this takes some research, though.
You can prospect your donors right from within your close network, colleagues, social media friends, and so on. Referrals may even work for you to some extent in this regard. Interestingly, there exists a software application to get the work done for you.
After a successful prospecting exercise, you can create a more purposeful fundraiser that matches the donors' capacity. Plus, you will be more focused on communicating with prospective donors. Relatedly, you can send donor-centred messages after properly evaluating your targets.
An Effective And Efficient Communication Framework
The relevance of an effective and efficient communication framework to your year-end giving campaign cannot be undermined. Your communication has to be laser-focused and properly structured. This is important for any fundraiser looking to gain new donors or sustain a thriving relationship with old donors.
You should be mindful of the theme and tone of the messages you'll be sending out. So, it is not just about putting some words together. Again, you should consistently update your donors about the progress made so far. This could prompt some of them to commit more to the fundraising project. You must also be attentive to answering the queries of donors – and volunteers as well.
One major aspect of communication that is sometimes neglected hovers around showing gratitude. You should fall into this trap; ensure that you send "Thank You" messages to your donors – individually and even generally [probably through social media]. You don’t have to follow the routine of just saying “Thank You”; the objective is to make them feel highly valued. So, your message should always reflect that.
A year-end giving campaign could be all you need to achieve or hit the ground running (on) your fundraising project. The season is rife with great opportunities for non-profits and fundraisers. It is certainly not a season you want to miss out on as a fundraiser – you shouldn't even think about it. But you have got to put in some work from this moment onward. Do the necessary research, make formidable collaborations, and stay optimistic.