We spend a lot of time talking with our nonprofit customers here at CauseVox, and they all say that end of year giving accounts for a large percentage of overall giving throughout the year at their organizations. Many people feel especially generous around the winter holidays, and it’s also the last chance for tax-deductible charitable donations.
For fundraising professionals, the end of the year is an important season, and also a very stressful one. Sometimes, it feels like being one of Santa’s elves would be more relaxing than being a fundraising professional in November and December. At least those guys get a break after Christmas Eve.
Tis’ the season for end of year giving. Here are five quick tips to help you raise more money this year-end.
1. Make It Easy
At CauseVox, we like easy. We think your fundraising website should be easy to use–for you and your donors. We think it should be easy to process your payments. We think your supporters should easily be able to donate whether they’re using a desktop computer or a mobile device. We make things easy for a reason: the simpler it is to do something the more likely people are to actually do it.
We would never recommend you make an elaborate maze to your fundraising page any time of the year, but the end of the year is a particularly key time to make things easy for donors. Put your donation options prominently on the homepage of your website.
“The end of the year is a particularly key time to make things easy for donors…” tweet this
In the final days of the year, consider making your homepage all about giving. The fewer clicks it takes to make a donation the better—people are very busy and easily distracted during this season.
To make donating as simple as possible, CauseVox fundraising websites feature a persistent donate button that follows users as they browse your website. There is always the option to donate–they don’t even need to scroll back up to the top of the page.
2. Show The Impact
Your supporters want to know how their gift will make a difference. Demonstrate your impact with:
- Hard numbers that help donors understand just what their dollars do
- Engaging stories that put a human face on your work
- Strong visuals, photo or video, that provide a picture of your impact
- A person-to-person approach, like sponsoring a specific person who benefits from your work
- A description of items their donation has provided, like, “Your $50 gift provides twenty pairs of warm socks to people struggling with homelessness in our community.”
Wondering which numbers to focus on? Take a look at your stats from your last year-end campaign. What was the average online gift? Aim a little higher by showing the impact of a reasonable increase. If your average gift was $75, then explain what $100 does.
3. Ask For A Share
It may not naturally occur to your supporters to announce that they made a gift, so you’ll have to ask them. Add a social media share button to your thank you page, or a request that they email their friends and families to share about your cause. CauseVox’s fundraising platform integrates both social media and email sharing with every page–making it easy to spread the word.
4. Enlist Your Key Donors
Make contact with key donors early in the season and ask if they’d be willing to help you out by sending a personal email to their friends and family about why they support your work. Let them take their involvement to the next level by advocating for you. Provide these donors with:
- Clear messaging with a call to action—some people will want to write their own emails, but others will appreciate a template
- Tools to send a good mass email —we like the Mailto Email Builder, it’s very simple to use
- A special thank you
CauseVox’s personal fundraising pages make it very convenient for your key donors to raise funds for you. Your donors can focus on sharing your story, rather than collecting payments or keeping track of pledges.
Maternal Health Matters board member Emily created a personal fundraising page for their annual campaign. She wrote a personal appeal to her family and friends, and surpassed her personal $500 fundraising goal, raising $600.
5. Stay Strong Through The Very End
You’ve got until the ball drops to make your end of year fundraising goals, so keep up the good work until it is officially 2017. Many, many people wait until the final days of December to make year-end gifts, so keep asking during that week after Christmas. Motivate giving by reporting on how close you are to your end of the year goal, and what kind of work meeting that goal would help you do.
“You’ve got until the ball drops to make your end of year fundraising goals, so keep up the good work…” tweet this
Don’t be worried about over-communicating during the end of year season. Communication drives donations, so keep sending out your message over all your channels–phone, mail, email, and social media. Your supporters need to know that you need their help to do the good you do in the world.
Are you ready to raise more money this year-end?
Check out CauseVox’s helpful guide 60 Day Year-End Fundraising Plan For Nonprofits (+ Checklist) to get started planning for a successful and productive year-end season.
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