17 Tips for Successful Year-End Fundraising
On Monday, Dane Grams, director of direct response and monthly giving at the Human Rights Campaign, led a Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association Brown Bag Luncheon on year-end appeals at HRC headquarters in Washington, D.C. Talking with his colleagues in the nonprofit world, he compiled a list "Top Tips for Ensuring a Successful Year-End Fundraising Campaign." Here's what he shared with the group:
"Create a story arch and prime end-of-year fundraising asks by talking in advance about your accomplishments that year, so your audience is already aware of your successes and you're able to make the case about what else needs to happen in the year ahead."
— Shumway Marshall, online director, American Foundation for Equal Rights
"Review past results, base this year on the successes of last year, but assume that you may need to do more touches, advertising, segmentation, engagement tactics, than last year!"
— Mwosi Swenson, vice president, Mal Warwick/Donor Digital
"Thank-you videos are an excellent way to connect with donors at year-end. Recruit program staff or your top dog to do a homespun, iPhone video shot from across the desk a la David Plouffe. Donors will love it — if you're creative enough, it might even go viral."
— Valerie Vierengel, director of donor stewardship, ASPCA
"Use deadlines! Homepage takeover in the last 48-72 hours! More e-mail! Aggressive light boxes! Use resends/forwards from different signers! For C3s, heavily promote tax-deductibility! Use goals!"
— Karin Kirchoff, vice president, MINDset Direct
"As you are considering the rhythm of your year-end arc, be sure to cover all the bases. Appeal to the intellect. And the heart. The serious (fiscally responsible). And the visual (emotionally-captivating). Use different signers, different formats. To cut thru the clutter nowadays, you can't beat the same drum. (Good to remember that not all donors respond to the same thing, and you'll be amazed by how many respond to the one-two punch.)"
— John Graves, principal, Eidolon Communications