It's the "Salsa Weekly Highlight," your quick hit on what's what in Salsa to help get the most out of your online program. As always, you can find plenty more news, updates, and conversation throughout the week on SalsaCommons.org.
We at Salsa have processed hundreds of millions of dollars in online donations, and we can tell you that if the year's online fundraising is a pie with six slices:
- The first three fiscal quarters are one slice apiece.
- The fourth slice is October and November.
- The fifth slice is December through approximately Christmas.
- The last slice is the last week of the year - as valuable as months and months of fundraising in spring or summer.
Those critical last days of 2010 are here, and we wanted to dedicate this week's highlight to encouraging all Salsa users to help themselves to a nice, heaping slice of that pie.
Ask, Ask, Ask
Are they ready for company? Then it's time to send out some invitations.
Christmas itself is typically the deadest fundraising day of December. This year, it falls on a Saturday, which means it'll be especially slow. (There are fewer donations on Fridays and weekends than other days throughout the year.
But online giving will explode as soon as the next work week begins: Monday, Dec. 27. This is not the time to be bashful: risk asking too frequently rather than not frequently enough.
- Ask on Friday, Dec. 31. You should always email at least one fundraising ask on New Year's Eve, which might be more lucrative in a few hours than some entire months elsewhere on the calendar.
- Ask at least twice in the Dec. 27 - Dec. 30 span.
- Our friends at Network for Good recommend Monday, Dec. 27 and Wednesday, Dec. 29.
- Or, target the combo of Tuesday, Dec. 28 and Thursday, Dec. 30. (Midweeks raise more than Mondays: in 2009, Tuesday, Dec. 29 and Wednesday, Dec. 30 each generated nearly twice as many gifts as Monday, Dec. 28.)
- Don't be afraid to ask more than just those three times! While a few supporters might unsubscribe from repeated asks, the reward of converting others into donors is considerable.
Cross Your Channels
Email is still the go-to fundraising tool for most organizations, but ask everywhere else you're online, too. Remember as you deploy different asks to plan ahead with donation tracking strategies so you'll know what worked.
- Ask on Facebook.
- Ask on Twitter ... and repeat that Tweet.
- Ask on your website. It's not just email subscribers who'll donate! Get a donation pitch front-and-center on your home page and any other typical entry pages.
Keep It Simple
Your email has, at best, a few seconds to prove its relevance to the potential donor.
- Succinct. (Emails should rarely exceed 500 words.)
- Direct. Don't bury the ask, or diffuse it by mixing in links to non-donation actions.
- Powerful. Ask the heart, not the head. An image really is worth a thousand ... clicks.
- Repetitious. Link to the donation page multiple times - early, middle, and late in the text, plus any sidebars or buttons.
- Optimized. Data junkie with a big list? Do A/B Testing to see how different emails perform.
Hopefully a few of these tips will make your 2010 holidays merrier. We're proud to ring in the New Year with you. If there's anything we can do to make 2011 even better, drop us a note at email@example.com.