Survey Says: ’Tis the Season to Give Online
When it comes to fundraising, Bhagat says, nonprofits must make clear why donors should give.
“Tell people where the money goes and how you are fulfilling your mission; feature other influencers who can tell your story for you — program recipients sharing how your organization changed their life have an impact; (and) don’t ask for more information from constituents than you need,” he says.
The survey also outlined U.S. consumers’ top holiday giving priorities.
Approximately 41 percent of those who plan to give will donate to human- and social-services organizations such as food banks and homeless shelters. Thirty-four percent of consumers will support faith-based organizations, followed closely by disease and health-service organizations with 33 percent. Consumers also cited animal-welfare organizations and disaster- and international-relief organizations as expected recipients, with 24 and 22 percent, respectively, according to the survey.
Here, Bhagat offers some additional holiday campaign tips:
1. For starters, send an appeal!
Research indicates 35 percent to 42 percent of all online giving happens in November and December, yet many organizations still don’t actually ask their supporters during that window.
2. When you send an appeal, use a multipart message.
The appeal should include:
* a main ask;
* a stewardship/“season’s greetings” piece (think e-cards for Christmas, Hanukkah or other winter holidays); and
* a “last chance to give” message sent on Dec. 31.
3. Leverage the direct-mail messaging.
There’s no need to build an online message structure from scratch if you have a look and feel from direct mail you can use.
4. Test, test, test!
Given the economic situation this year, test your messaging (subject lines, content) first to see what will perform better and then follow through with that in the final message.
5. Wrap it up!
Consider implementing a thank-you or year-end celebration of success program to capture interest this holiday season, which can include a simple year-end ask. Then in January, start nurturing supporters for 2009 gifts before and during the holiday season.