Network for Good
Now is your opportunity to begin turning year-end donors into your long-term partners in good. To do so, you need a solid plan to welcome these donors, keep them informed and build relationships with them throughout the year. The first step is to keep the magic alive with a well-planned donor gratitude strategy. Here are some things to keep in mind: Thank your donors as soon as possible. A receipt is not a thank-you. One thank-you isn't enough. Don't forget other donation sources. Make sure your thank-you is sincere and memorable.
Online gifts in the last two months of 2013 rose 16 percent higher than in the same months in 2012, according to Network for Good, a nonprofit that processes gifts made electronically.
Donations from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 last year rose to $77.9 million, up from $67.1 million in 2012. The size of the average gift was one reason for the growth: The average donation increased 10 percent, from $157 in 2012 to $172 last year.
While it might not be possible for other nonprofits to perfectly emulate charity: water's marketing strategy — in fact, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea for them to try given that each nonprofit has a distinct mission, target audience and way of operating — all would benefit from applying even just a few of the lessons we can learn from its incredible marketing. With that in mind, here are nine marketing lessons other nonprofits can take away from charity: water.
The crucial year-end giving season appears to be producing big increases in donations for many charities. In a spot check of 20 charities, all but one said they were raising more during the last quarter of the year than they did before the fall of 2008, early in the financial crisis. And online donations also show signs of a healthy giving season, according to Network for Good.
I have a really good piece of advice for you. Send a fundraising e-mail the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Dec. 30 and 31 are the biggest online days of the year, in my experience. All those generous procrastinators are just getting their acts together, so your timing is perfect if you send a last-minute reminder at year’s end.
Charity Navigator recently invited donors and charities to take part in a poll about their year-end giving plans and expectations for 2013. 274 donors and 22 charities completed the survey. Below is a closer look at the results, which is an update to the 2012 poll and the 2011 more extensive survey (which tabulated responses from 565 donors and 101 charities).
All signs are pointing to a robust Giving Tuesday haul as nonprofits report big increases in their fundraising. Online donations processed by Blackbaud on Giving Tuesday rose 90 percent, to $19.2 million from some $10 million during last year’s event. The average gift online yesterday was $142, up from $102 on Giving Tuesday 2012, Blackbaud says.
Network for Good, which processes online donations, said it handled $1.8 million in gifts on Tuesday, compared with $1 million on Giving Tuesday 2012.
If you’re planning to wait until December to reach out to your donors, you may be too late. Setting the stage for your year-end fundraising push is as important as the ask itself. This is true for a few reasons. First, no one wants to be ignored all year, only to be asked for money when they finally do hear from you. That’s not much of a relationship. Second, it often takes more than one message to get donors to act.
Our research surfaced five actions nonprofits can take to grow their donor pools and maximize their exposures during the holiday season: 1. Get an early start. 2. Use digital to drive discovery. 3. Video turns viewers into donors. 4. Mobile is a must. 5. Build your brand around your mission.
The year-end fundraising season is almost here. It’s tempting to put off your planning for a few more weeks, but don’t give in to procrastination. Proper planning now is like insurance for a strong fundraising finish in 2013. Take a moment this week to assess your progress toward your year-end campaign plans. Here are five ways to make sure you’re ready: 1. Review your results. 2. Set a goal. 3. Create a plan. 4. Craft your key messages. 5. Test your process.