Outside-the-Box Strategies for Your Year-End Fundraising Campaign
It's never too early to start planning your year-end campaign. After all, the bulk of most organizations' donations come in during the end-of-year holiday season.
With that in mind, three fundraising professionals at bbcon 2012, Blackbaud's nonprofit conference, shared some statistics on year-end giving and provided ways to make your end-of-year fundraising campaigns stand out from the crowd in the session "Taking Your End of Year Campaign … Outside the Box."
Here are some those stats and ideas shared by presenters Miriam Kagan, lead consultant at Blackbaud; Karen Jaeger Collins, senior project manager and strategy consultant at the Zuri Group; and Chris Coletta, social-media coordinator at Conservation International earlier this month.
- Organizations raise as much as 40 percent of their annual non-event revenue at year end.
- Donors are inundated with messages: Convio clients sent nearly 200 million e-mails in the final week of 2011, and FedEx, UPS and the USPS deliver more than a billion packages during the holidays, not counting regular mail and catalogs.
- Online shopping and purchasing grew by 15 percent in 2011, according to comScore.
Use your data
- Clearly define your year-end goals and how you measure success.
- What worked last year during year end? What changed from last year?
- What didn't work? Why didn't it work?
- What has been working this year? Are there new tests, messages, campaign that have been improving results? If so, how can you incorporate them at year end?
- What is your file composition? Has it changed compared to last year? How? What adjustments to targeting and expectations should you make based on what you know about your file?
- Are there factors impacting the marketplace that you should consider — timing of holidays, price of gas, economic outlook, etc.?
Think outside the box
The key at year end is to stand out from the oversaturation that bombards donors. Think of incorporating something different or putting a twist on triad-and-true fundraising classics. For instance, try incorporating the following:
- A lightbox on your website highlighting urgent year-end messaging, with a simple call to action to donate now.
- Online catalogs, such as the one World Vision utilized inviting donors to create "Gift Catalog" fundraising page to get donors to fundraise for the organization.
- A virtual mission, a la the Salvation Army's Online Red Kettle campaign.
- Mobile credit card processing, which makes it easy for donors to give to street fundraisers even if they don't have spare change or cash handy. Plus, it could lead to larger gives left on a credit card as opposed to dropping some change in a bucket.
- Virtual realities, such as Malaria No More's "donate a symbolic pole" virtual site in collaboration with Pike Electric Corp. to erect 14,600 utility poles in Tanzania.