Yesterday, December 1st, was GivingTuesday, an exciting addition to the year-end giving season. Remember it’s important to pay attention to the messages you are sending donors right up until the year ends. To help we some ideas, I’m honored to present this guest post by Candace Cody from CauseVox.
Guest post by Candace Cody
GivingTuesday 2015 is officially in the history books, and it offered a great experience for your nonprofit. But, your mind is immediately jumping to what’s next. Knowing that nonprofits receive 50% of their annual donations between October and December, you want to keep this GivingTuesday snowball rolling into an exceptional year-end giving campaign.
Luckily, using GivingTuesday as your lead-in to your year-end ask is a completely natural and effective fit. Here’s a few steps to leveraging that GivingTuesday momentum for your best year-end campaign yet!
A. Tweak Your Branding and Messaging
Using images, posts, and messages that are still branded with the GivingTuesday identity will just make you look sloppy and out of touch. So, take the time to make any necessary tweaks to your materials. Even if your fundraising goal, narrative, and overall campaign stay the exact same, it’s important to keep all of your promotional tools up-to-date!
B. Choose Your Methods
Conversing and engaging with the supporters who donated to your GivingTuesday campaign is going to be crucial for the success of your year-end ask, and there are numerous ways you can connect with them.
Before crafting your messaging, determine what methods you’ll use in order to spread awareness. Here are a few ideas:
- Send a series of emails
- Craft engaging social posts
- Author a series of blog posts
Or, you can implement a combination of all the above options. Deciding which communication channels you’ll use early on will be helpful in refining your year-end strategy, and ensure that you appropriately target your messaging for each outlet.
C. Update Your Supporters
Recognition and appreciation is crucial for a successful relationship with your community. So, wrapping up your GivingTuesday campaign is essential before diving in with your year-end ask.
Announce how much you raised on GivingTuesday, and explain the impact those funds will have. Perhaps that money will help to rebuild a certain number of homes. Or, maybe it will provide so many weeks of groceries for a family in need, like the Project Renewal example below. Whatever it is, be sure to not only spout out statistics—but also the implications of that number.
D. Illustrate the Impact
Now, it’s time to transition into your year-end campaign. But, in order to make your ask effective, you need to craft a powerful narrative around it. Creating a story and a cause that your supporters can connect to is important for motivating them to open up their wallets and donate. Consider this the soft sell of your year-end campaign.
Perhaps the narrative you used for your GivingTuesday campaign just needs a few tweaks and updates. So, make the necessary changes, and remind your community of the power behind their dollars.
E. Demonstrate the Continuous Need
Once you’ve laid all of the groundwork, it’s time for the hard ask of your year-end campaign. So, it’s your job to enlighten your supporters about the continuous problem your efforts are working to address.
How do you do this? Here are the basic things you need to include in the hard sell of your year-end campaign appeal:
1. Gratitude: Thank them for their support and recognize the donations they’ve made already.
2. Update: Let them know what has already been funded.
3. Transition: Explain what is still left to be funded.
4. Invitation: Share more about your year-end fundraising goal, and invite your supporters to participate in your cause.
5. Call to Action: Drive the point home and make it easy for your supporters to contribute right then and there.
6. Gratitude Again: Here it is again—gratitude is crucial. So, end your hard ask by thanking your supporters once more.
Send that message off or post it on your social accounts, and your hard ask is complete! Now you just need to wait patiently for donations to continue rolling in.
GivingTuesday is a great standalone fundraising event. But, when you can leverage the momentum it generates to transition into an amazingly successful year-end campaign? Well, that makes the whole thing even better! So, use these tips to wrap up GivingTuesday and move into your year-end ask, and prepare to end 2015 on a high note! Want more? For more extensive tips download our guide to year-end giving.
Candace Cody is the Fundraising Insights Editor at CauseVox, a platform that helps nonprofits create fundraising websites. She works to empower nonprofits on crowdfunding best practices and curates the latest fundraising insights on the CauseVox Blog.