Year-end giving amounts to an estimated 40-70 percent of many nonprofits’ annual budgets. The most charitable season of the year is a prime opportunity to secure new supporters and to lift the giving levels of current donors. In this blog series, we will review the steps to devising a strong campaign—including how to use data analytics to target your messaging, the importance of a compelling story, how to distribute your story through multiple channels, and when to follow up with donors.
BREAK DOWN STRUCTURAL SILOS
Many nonprofits tend to operate in structural silos. The development department is often divided up into levels of the pyramid—general fund, mid-level gifts, major gifts, and planned giving. When it comes to year-end communication, each “silo” should work in concert together, building upon each other’s messaging and actively driving donor engagement and involvement with the organization. Communication should be coordinated around a central message with a branded look and feel, so at every level your donors see what you’re doing, how their gifts will make an impact, and how they can join the effort.
To have an effectively integrated campaign, we encourage internal teams working together toward the common goal of lifting giving at every level. This typically includes individuals from the executive, marketing, events, web, finance, and fundraising teams. Having this internal buy-in helps not only rally the teams internally towards one goal, but also helps set the tone for the importance of teams working together to achieve an organizational milestone.
- Call planning meetings with key stakeholders in the organization including representatives from every sector of your development department, including general/annual fund, mid-level, major gifts, planned giving, marketing, events, web, finance, and your organization’s executives.
- Be sure that everyone understands the goals for your campaign and the steps required to reach those goals.
- Ensure that campaign messaging and design is coordinated for every level of the pyramid.
Set Measurable Goals As a Team
- Number of donors by channel (direct mail, email, social media, text, events, face-to-face visits, etc.) year over year
- Average gift size by channel year over year
- Number of gifts given by channel year over year
- Total dollars raised year over year
- Growth percentage increase in dollars year over year
- Number of new donors acquired year over year
- Number of new email addresses acquired year over year
- Did we increase average gift size year over year?
- Did we increase/decrease the number of communications year over year and what was the effect?