A Dozen Year-End Fundraising Ideas
7. What about video? Should you invest a boatload of cash in a slick video to promote in e-mail and online properties? Not so fast … video can be great for online cultivation efforts (and a nice way to hit home your "thank you!" message to donors). E-mails with videos almost always have higher open rates. However, they typically don't generate direct donations — with a few exceptions (think starving children or baby animals). The great thing about videos is they don't have to cost big money. Homegrown videos that make you laugh or cry (or both) are often best. Even if your leadership is camera-shy, voice-overs on images of your work can be effective too.
8. There is fairly limited data and therefore limited reported successes in using mobile in your fundraising strategy, but it shouldn't be overlooked as a year-end fundraising channel. Constituents who provide mobile numbers are more valuable than those who don't. Text-to-give programs are popular (you know these — text SOMEWORD to 12345 and make a $5 donation on your cell phone) — but you're likely to get larger donations by directing your mobile subscribers to a mobile-optimized donation Web page or even to an 800 number to make donations over the phone. The real value here isn't in the direct donations, but rather in reinforcing the message in other channels.
9. Speaking of 800 numbers … by a show of hands, how many organizations are optimizing their inbound donor-services efforts? When a supporter calls to change an address or ask a question, are you inviting him or her to make a donation to your current campaign (or renew his or her membership)? Do you invite the donor calling to give $25 to increase it to $30? Consider whether your call center/donor-services group is staffed during the last week of the year when so many people choose to make year-end gifts. If not, think about changing that now.