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6 Nonprofits That Aced Their Year-End Fundraising in 2017

As a fundraiser, I lived and breathed best practices. If I were helping to compile our monthly newsletter, I’d research the best donor spotlight interview questions. When I was prepping for a fundraising event, I’d mark to-dos off my methodology-inspired checklist.

But when push came to shove, nothing was more helpful to me as a fundraising professional than a good example.

Words, rules, and methods are helpful in guiding your efforts, but seeing practices in action brings it all together in a nice, neat package.

For this post, I put together a list of 6 nonprofits that aced their year-end fundraising in 2017. Look at what they’ve done, and see if you can add one or more of these best practices into your end-of-year efforts.

Masters of the Match: Hope Youth Corps and GLAAD

In 2017, HOPE Worldwide’s Hope Youth Corps aimed to raise $50,000 to boost scholarship opportunities for program participants. But there was a hook. One supporter offered a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $50,000. Therefore, each donation was essentially doubled!

“Recently, a member of our community challenged our supporters and friends to raise a total of $50,000 by December 31, 2017 for HYC Scholarships. That donor would match what we raise dollar-for-dollar! The money raised to meet this challenge will help students experience this amazing program.”

This match was a great catalyst to help the Hope Youth Corps meet their financial goals, and they wound up raising $62,000+, bringing the final campaign total over $112,000.

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Efforts for this campaign were spearhead by Melina Cruz, who maximized her employer’s volunteer match program and raised $5,000 for the Corps.

GLAAD, who ran an online peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, promoted a match opportunity as well. Here is the message they posted on their online fundraising page:

The Ariadne Getty Foundation will match up to $100,000 by the end of the year, so we’re counting on GLAAD’s best supporters like you to help us take advantage of this generous offer. If we can raise $100,000 for the Fight For Our Future campaign in the next five days, along with this incredible matching grant, we will reach our goal for 2017!“

According to Double the Donation, 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer gift matches, but close to $10 billion in matching gifts go unclaimed each year. Plus, simply mentioning a gift match in an appeal increases the response rate by 71%.

Puns aside, you can’t put a price on a gift match!

Takeaways

  • Look for gift matches to leverage your donor’s dollars from local businesses, corporations, board members, and major donors
  • Inform donors of any known employer volunteer hour or donation matches. Or, ask them to talk to their HR departments about company policies.
  • Find an online fundraising platform that can accommodate your organization’s specific needs. These two nonprofits chose to power their campaigns through CauseVox because our websites are designed for you; they’re built for the small fundraising team and include your brand and other personalization options.

Impact Crusaders: Grow Dat Youth Farm

Younger generations are demanding more impact-driven nonprofit reporting as opposed to pie charts and graphs, but for some nonprofits, it’s hard to move past these tried-and-true methods. However, Grow Dat Youth Farm proved just how persuasive impact is when inspiring donors.

During Grow Dat Youth Farm’s 2017 year-end campaign “Growing the Green 2017,” the organization ran a peer-to-peer fundraiser. Over the course of the campaign, organizers mobilized 20 personal fundraisers and close to 200 donors, raising over $40,000 in the process.

But this organization really shined when it came to describing the impact of each gift. Aside from their stellar fundraising video which explained impact, they also featured a handy impact chart on their CauseVox-powered website.

year-end fundraising

This type of donation transparency informs donors about what they’re funding, and give a clear picture of the eventual result.

Takeaways:

  • Explain impact through your nonprofit story, such as through a client story
  • Create donation tiers that include impact-specific information
  • Use an impact meter on your online fundraising website
  • Regardless of the options you include, seek out a platform like CauseVox that is purposely simple. Make sure it’s easy to set-up the campaign, and includes helpful templates, easy design options, and a smooth overall experience to drive up your dollars raised.

Communication Kings: BAYCAT

When you’re knee-deep in year-end fundraising efforts, there are, undoubtedly, a lot of moving parts. You may be communicating through email, direct mail, social media, phone, and messaging apps. It’s possible you’re collecting donations through an online fundraising website, donation page, your website, through Facebook.

Managing all of this is overwhelming.

But some nonprofits, such as BAYCAT, decided to streamline their communications in one place to help control the chaos. BAYCAT made perfect use of their CauseVox-enabled blog feature.

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Here, they told stories and updated donors on the campaign’s progress. This helped them streamline their efforts, and drove supporters to one central place.

Takeaways:

  • Direct supporters to one place for content
  • Use an online fundraising platform with strong communication features, including blogs and social sharing options
  • Include images to encourage readers to click

Peer-to-Peer Professionals: PICO National Network and National Center for Youth Law

As of 2018, nearly ⅓ of all online donations are from peer-to-peer fundraising efforts, and the average personal fundraiser raises upwards of $563 from seven donors. With community-driven fundraising techniques such as peer-to-peer, your audience of supporters can help elevate your campaign to a whole new level, and expose you to new prospective donors in the process.

Many organizations choose peer-to-peer as their year-end fundraising technique, including PICO National Network and the National Center for Youth Law.

In 2018, PICO Network blew their $100,000 goal out of the water, and raised nearly $108,000 to support their powerful social justice movement. They mobilized an astounding 157 personal fundraisers, many of whom participated as part of a fundraising team. In the end, these personal fundraisers rallied over 800 donors by setting up personal fundraising pages and telling personal stories about why PICO matters to them.

year-end fundraising

The National Center for Youth Law, another organization that used peer-to-peer fundraising, also surpassed their goal by $3,000 with the help of 19 personal fundraisers.

year-end fundraising

What does all this mean for your nonprofit? If you haven’t tried one already, consider running a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign this year-end. It’s a perfect way to engage your supporters, expand your donor base, and raise money.

Takeaways:

  • Use community-driven fundraising, such as peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, to appeal to year-end donors. Through community-driven fundraising, your campaigns can inspire, activate, and rally supporters, while also growing your impact and empowering your community to raise money on your behalf.
  • Recruit and support personal fundraisers
  • Find an online fundraising platform that supporters peer-to-peer

As you map out your year-end fundraising efforts, don’t hesitate to seek out examples from organizations that have been in your shoes. Take a look at the platforms they use, the emotions they evoke, and the people they recruit to help inspire others. Observe their media, their language, and their stories.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Look to other nonprofits for guidance, and you may find that it makes your job a bit easier during this busy time.

Plus, CauseVox is here to help. We offer expert, human support, best practices guides, helpful documents and a customer success team to help you through the process.

If you’re eager to learn how CauseVox can help you with your year-end fundraising efforts, schedule a one-on-one demo with a member of our team. We can help you find the right fundraising techniques to meet your goals before the New Year.

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