A Dozen Year-End Fundraising Ideas
You know how Christmas decorations seem to show up at the local Target earlier and earlier each year? They used to appear after Thanksgiving … then before … then just after Halloween … then before … and now, it seems like the kids are barely back in school when inflatable Santas, giant plastic snowmen and fancy-schmancy LED lights (that don't work half of the time even though you paid twice as much) start filling up the aisles at your local big box store.
Well, the same holds true for year-end fundraising.
Yes — you read that correctly. No time like the present to start your year-end planning. To get you going, our early Christmas gift to you is some new ideas (and a couple of old ones) to make this year even better than last — maybe your best ever!
1. Trying to determine what issue or theme to focus on for this end-of-year campaign? No time (or funds) to do a formal test in the mail? Try a head-to-head message test in e-mail, on your website and potentially on the phones. Keep in mind the audiences across channels are not identical and you won't have the Dec. 31 deadline to drive responses. However, when deciding whether to focus on sea turtles or polar bears, on helping villagers in Somalia or Haiti, the winning issue in the fall is typically the best for rollout across channels at year end. And this is a great way to do a cost-efficient test!
2. The direct-mail marketers among us still have time to use multichannel data for segmentation and targeting for year-end appeals. When making segmentation decisions, consider factors such as presence of e-mail, presence of a phone number, recency of telemarketing pledge, most recent e-mail action, etc. Then use this data to marry messaging (perhaps with an online push) or select deeper lapsed donors who might normally fall out of your strategy. Consider using data from one channel to personalize communications across all channels. For example, thank the donor in the mail for attending an event or taking action online.