The end-of-year season is upon us, and we’ve got a few fundraising software tips to help you end 2021 strong and get a jump start on those 2022 activities. You’ll find all these tips (and more) in our End of Year Strategy Guide for 2021, which is available as a free download now!Should You Hold an End of Year Fundraising Campaign?
Nonprofits often ask if they should hold an end-of-year fundraising campaign with Giving Tuesday so close. Our answer is always YES!
Giving Tuesday will wrap up in early December this year, presenting you with several weeks to tie up your fundraising efforts and reach out to the last remaining donors who pledged but have not yet donated. It’s also a good time to make appeals to those savvy investors looking to take advantage of the tax benefits found in donor-advised funds and nonprofit donations in general.
The end of the year is also a great time to run reports on your nonprofit KPIs. You’ve got just over a month to check in on the progress to your goals. For instance, your nonprofit CRM can probably make fast work of creating a “last year but not this year” (LYBUNT) report, so you can make one last appeal to retain those historic donors.
A Few Facebook Fundraising Facts
If your organization is on Facebook but hasn’t tried their fundraising software, now is the time to do it. Facebook’s fundraising revenue in November and December makes up a quarter of all the money it helps nonprofits raise all year long.
You can get started by applying to receive donations through Facebook. Once approved, you can place donate buttons on your pages, posts, stories, and live videos, making it easy for supporters to contribute in just a few taps. Donors can give a one-time or monthly recurring gift.
You can also check to see if your organization has already been approved to fundraise on Facebook by checking your page status here. You’ll need to be logged in to your Facebook account.
Look to Your Local Business Community
Corporations often partner with local nonprofits during the holidays and the end-of-year period. This is a great time to reach out to local businesses to gain new sponsorship or to co-market an event.
Double the Donation’s fundraising software contains lists of corporations willing to partner with nonprofits on the national level, and matching volunteer grants that offer dollars for employees who donate their time to local nonprofits.
Create Suppression Lists
Donors do not like being treated like ATM machines. It is important that you create suppression lists in your email marketing software so that those who gave recently are not continually solicited for additional donations.
The following types of donors should be added to your suppression list and removed from continued end-of-year fundraising campaign marketing efforts:
- Those who donated during your Giving Tuesday Campaign.
- Memorial/Honor Gifts - These are typically one-time gifts made in honor of or to memorialize a loved one.
- Recurring Donors - these people are already donating on a regular schedule.
Keep in mind, you may still want to approach these groups for a single end-of-year donation, but they should not receive all the emails and communications that other non-donors would receive. Finding the right balance here is critical.
Personalize the Appeal
Don’t ask for a $25 donation when the donor might be willing to give $2,500. Run reports in your fundraising CRM and categorize them by dollar amount giving bands. Use a chart that is meaningful to your organization, like this:
- Micro – under $100
- Small - $101-500
- Medium - $501 - $1,000
- Large – over $1,000
Then use your nonprofit fundraising software and marketing programs to personalize the appeals to each donor. Appeals should automatically insert dollar amounts into emails that are based on the category you defined earlier. More advanced AI can be found in fundraising tools like Salsa Engage, which can use "smart asks" to populate appeals based on the donor’s historical giving and other factors.
Frame Your Ask
The final tip is the most important — frame your appeal with a statement of impact. This one thing can help raise the number of donations you receive and the amount of the donation. Rather than simply asking for money because it’s the end of the year, let your potential donors know how their donation will be used and the impact it will have.
Keep it simple and concise:
- $25 gift will provide one hot meal for a veteran in need
- $100 provides shelter for a homeless family for one week
- $250 pays the heat and water bill for a family of four for one month
Donors want to know that their money is being put to good use and that they have a say in directing those funds. Use images to increase the dramatic effect and narrative storytelling to keep the reader engaged. Always encourage your audience to share your appeals on social media. Even if you don’t get their immediate donation, you might get a few shares that create a new donor down the line.
Start your end-of-year fundraising campaign planning as early as possible. Be clear and consistent with your communication, and always include statements of impact. Look to your local community for potential partnerships and encourage your audience to share your appeals even if they can’t donate right now.
Remember to download Salsa’s full End of Year Fundraising Strategy Guide for 2021 where you’ll find additional helpful information for end-of-year fundraising appeals. And for those already using Salsa Engage, you’ll find new goodies for your favorite nonprofit fundraising software – like end-of-year themed emails, donation pages, and social media messaging examples.
When you finalize and promote your end-of-year fundraising campaign, make sure to tag us on Facebook so we can help amplify your message and bring new potential donors to your virtual door!
If you want to unlock more strategic fundraising tips, check out these additional resources:
E-Guide to Nonprofit Fundraising on Giving Tuesday - Best practices for communicating your Giving Tuesday fundraising events with email and social templates, a branded donation form template, and a roadmap for 6 weeks of donor communication.
Nonprofit KPIs and How To Measure Your Impact - The most comprehensive post on key performance indicators for nonprofits. Download our template and learn how to measure your own nonprofit KPIs.
Nonprofit Editorial Calendar - Download our Guide on creating your own nonprofit content and download our editorial calendar you can use right away to help you plan.
Want More Volunteers and Donors? - Read our article on the Nonprofit Ladder of Engagement and learn how to engage your audience at every level of their relationship with your organization.
Ultimate Guide to Advocacy Campaigns. If you're planning an advocacy campaign our Ultimate Guide to Advocacy Campaigns is the place to start, with communication templates, relationship mapping tools, and more.