In my previous Year-End Fundraising Planning Editions One and Two I promised I would have more for you as year-end – and the biggest fundraising time of the year for most nonprofits – inexorably approaches. Salsa reports that
Online giving gets particularly frenetic at this time of year.
- Salsa reports there’s more giving in the last 5 days than the other 3 weeks combined
- Network for Good reports 12% of 2014 online giving happens in the last 3 days
- Network for Good and Blackbaud reported (2003 – 2009) that 33% of December giving online happened the last day, with most between noon and 7:00 p.m.
There are lots of things to be thinking about right now, and it’s easy to miss stuff in the crush of all that must be done. Take a few minutes to skim these articles and see if there are any tips and tools that will assure you maximize your chances for a successful year-end campaign.
For the second year in a row, I’ve gone shopping and will offer you one or more free holiday gifts every week from now until the end of the year. Look for them at the bottom of this page. And be sure to check back next week when I’ll have a bunch more — including one that’s a real doozy.
Some Seriously Useful Articles
Click-it: Fundraising is a “choose your own adventure” story. Jeff Brooks shares how to give donors choices for giving that they simply can’t resist. You know, an offer they can’t refuse. You simply make it clear what will happen if they give — and if they don’t. And, of course, you make the latter option completely unthinkable.
Click-it: How to Fund Infrastructure Costs by Telling a Compelling Story. When it comes to making a compelling fundraising offer, there’s nothing that inspires and connects with would-be donors as much as a story. Here Vanessa Chase of The Storytelling Nonprofit discusses how to tell a story when your goal is to fund infrastructure.
Click-it: This book could make people open your year end fundraising email. This book review article from Mazarine Treyz of Wildwoman Fundraising offers up some great food for thought about the power of speaking about your organization’s benefits, rather than its features. And the Twinkie video alone is worth the “click.”
Click-it: The Simple Sales Booster That Almost Nobody Uses from Roger Dooley on the Neuromarketing blog suggests you consider using a timer on your website to convey the urgency of responding prior to the expiration of your deadline. Urgency relates to some well-established principles of persuasion psychology: scarcity and fear of missing out (FoMO). Scarcity is one of Cialdini’s six tried and true principles of persuasion. One study found that businesses who used a timer on their website generated noticeably more sales than before they used the timer. It’s a great way to visually demonstrate to folks that their opportunity is about to run out. To double their money before your challenge grant ends. To grab a deduction before the tax year ends. To keep your doors open before the shut-down date arrives. The more effective you are creating a sense of urgency and tapping into the scarcity principle, the more folks will give now.
Click-it: Tech Tips: 12 Online Fundraising Best Practices. This comes from Connect, a program of the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence. It’s packed with practical stuff about your website, donation pages, mobile optimization, thank you pages, launching a social fundraising campaign and much more. I’ll bet there’s at least one thing in here you haven’t thought of. You’ve still got time!
Click-it: [VIDEO] Keys to Year-End Fundraising Appeal Success. From the Bloomerang blog comes this recorded webinar by Tammy Zonker and R. Trent Thompson, winners of Fundraising Success Magazine Multichannel Campaign of the Year 2014, moderated by my pal Steven Shattuck. It’s not too late to take the content and messaging you’ve developed for your mail campaign and repurpose it to a host of online channels. See some examples, learn to empower your volunteers as ambassadors, get clarity on your goals, set up a calendar, segment your targets and much more.
Click-it: 10 Tips to Increase Sales with Social Media and Email Marketing This Holiday Season. I’m a firm believer in borrowing best practices from other disciplines. Here on the Maximize Social Business blog Amy Hall suggests 10 things that align well (with a bit of creative thought) with what nonprofits should be doing to extend the reach of their year-end fundraising campaign through online channels. Here are 3 of my favorites:
- Add share buttons to everything
- Use Canva.com to create custom images with photos you can purchase from Canva for $1
- Leverage word of mouth by drawing on your current donors’ influence networks
Click-it: Sprucing up Your Donation Page. Salsa offers up some great tips to assure you don’t lose folks just as they’re ready to give. It also includes some options for your thank you landing page (you were planning one, right)?
Click-it: 7 Most Costly Sins of Donation Forms. John Haydon knows what he’s talking about, so listen up! No point driving folks to the point of readiness to give; then making it so difficult they give up. Mistake I see most often? Not being optimized for mobile. John notes: “If your website and donation form is not optimized for mobile, you are likely leaving donors behind. Moreover, we found that responsive websites have a 34% higher conversion rate over other websites.” And for one you may not have thought about, how about taking into account your donors who may be visually impaired? John says: “This is about real money because 9% of donors have trouble using the web even while wearing glasses.”
Click-it: 4 Extra Features Your Mobile Responsive Site Needs. John Haydon mentioned how important this is (above) and the folks at Convince and Convert are taking you into the weeds so you can make it happen. Share this with your marketing and/or IT team.
Click-it: How to Add a Donate Now Button to Your Nonprofit’s Facebook Page. Nonprofit Tech for Good has provided this step-by-step guide to help you incorporate a donation tool right onto your Facebook page or ad (make sure your organization is designated in settings as a nonprofit organization first). Though this may not get you a whole slew of gifts, why not get those you can?
Click-it: 5 Checks to Ensure Your Facebook Page Is Up to Date. Kristi Hines on Social Media Examiner offers this reminder that you’ve got to do holiday clean-up of all your social media sites to make sure you’re maximizing your chances for success. One thing to consider: Adding a relevant video to your page.
OPEN-IT: How to Transition Your Giving Tuesday Campaign Into Successful Year-End Giving [Free Whitepaper]. Learn how to leverage your #GivingTuesday momentum from the folks at CauseVox. I know you’re focused on getting more year-end gifts now, but don’t set yourself up to lose the folks you’ve just acquired. That’s what’s called “penny-wise and pound-foolish.”
OPEN-IT: The Mobile-Friendly Checklist: Get Seen On the Go. Conductor Blog is giving you some specific tools in the form of a handy checklist. They note: “70% of mobile searches convert to some sort of online action within the first hour, meaning having a mobile-friendly site is no longer optional—it’s a necessity.”
OPEN-IT: How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website [Free SEO Guide] Get a free guide from HubSpot to test your site for mobile-friendliness and pick up some great tips to get the job done.
OPEN-IT: Make Your Content Adaptive with Marketing Automation [Free Webinar]. Brian Clark of Copyblogger will explain what you need to know to plan a smart, adaptive content strategy, and Jerod Morris of Rainmaker Digital will explain what you need to know to plan and execute it. It’s December 17th at 3:30 p.m. EST.
And speaking of year-end fundraising…
Want More Year-End Tips?
There are still a slew of things you can do to maximize your fundraising success this year. Are you pulling out all the tools in your tool kit? To double check, get my newly revised and expanded Year-End Fundraising To-Do’s and Checklists.
Don’t just wait for the best and hope to get lucky. Take charge and grab your copy here!
It helps to know you’ve dotted your “i’s” and crossed your “t’s.”
I wish you peace of mind.
Infographic courtesy of Salsa; Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net