Your Summer Fundraising Checklist
The "dog days of summer" are in full swing, and before you know it, Labor Day will be here. That means one thing — the busiest time of year for many nonprofits is not far behind.
The final days of summer can offer a great opportunity to try out a few things that may have been stacking up on your "new ideas" list. Whether that's dedicating time to update e-mail lists, setting up a profile on a new social-media channel or planning how to build buzz for your year-end fundraiser, the path to tomorrow's success starts today.
Following are some simple ways you can take advantage of any downtime you have during the last few weeks of summer to get more out of you fundraising marketing efforts come the fall.
Improve your e-mail efforts
Many nonprofits already know how powerful e-mail can be as a communication and fundraising channel, but it is important to leverage that channel well in order to be effective, particularly as you look to make your organization stand out. Here are some quick tips for fall e-mail success:
- Try out a mobile-friendly e-mail template for your organization's newsletter.
- A recent Constant Contact study found that 80 percent of consumers say it's "extremely important" to be able to read e-mails on smartphones, so you want to make sure your e-mails are mobile-friendly. Be as concise as possible in both design and content, and make sure you include a single, clear call to action.
- Review your e-mail reports to identify what's working and what isn't. It's important to look at open rates and social-sharing metrics, but another dimension to consider is which supporters are actively spreading the word about your organization. Send those who are most engaged personalized notes thanking them for their support — that can go a long way.
- Encourage people to stay in touch with your organization across all of your marketing channels — include an e-mail sign-up form on your website and all of your social-media sites. If supporters can visit your organization's physical location, leave a paper sign-up sheet somewhere visible. One of the best places to encourage constituents to sign up is via your e-mail inbox signature. Today, fundraisers conduct most of their interactions with current and prospective donors, supporters and volunteers through the e-mail inbox so giving them an easy way to sign up goes a long way.
Experiment on social media
Social media has become an increasingly popular marketing tool for many nonprofits, but it is essential to have a sense of where your supporters are hanging out online and what drives them to take action in order to be successful. Here are some quick tips for fall social-media success: