Nonprofits: 6 Things You Can Still Do to Boost Your Year End Fundraising Efforts

October 13, 2020

Direct mail campaigns may be already off to the printer and year end ads ready for trafficking, but it’s not too late to enhance your year end fundraising plans. Small adjustments at this stage can make a big impact.

On average, nonprofit organizations generate upwards of 70% of their annual revenue during the last three months of the year. It is pivotal to take a moment right now to ensure campaigns are as optimized as possible to guarantee a successful fundraising season. We reached out to key members of our nonprofit strategy team to see what last minute advice they have for nonprofits.

1.       Keep Your Foot on the Gas

It’s been a tough year for many organizations with the loss of event revenue, but direct response—and direct mail in particular—is seeing success across most, if not all sectors. Do not pull back on direct mail investment, rather, enhance your previously planned campaigns to make it as easy as ever to give. Drive mail recipients online and include BRE’s or Stamps where possible. Plan to execute attribution reporting as a part of your campaign performance plan to measure the full impact of campaigns.

          Cate Gamache, Associate Director, Direct Mail Client Services


2.       Take Time to Focus on the Whole Donor Experience

Competition will be high across digital channels with nonprofit budgets being pivoted to capitalize on increases in digital activation. Make sure the full donor experience, from website visit to retargeted advertising, to thank you pages, email receipts and welcome series are relevant and make sense in a COVID-world. A set and forget welcome series could trip up the donor’s experience if it promotes content like “Find events in your area” or has photos that aren’t relevant.

          Bailey Bernius, Director, Nonprofit Strategy


3.       Don’t Wait to Engage Your Social Audience

Try to reach and engage new audiences NOW with interesting and relevant social content. That way, when you start including a stronger call to action around holiday season, you’ve got a bigger audience that’s primed and ready to participate. Organic social is about community, conversation and relationships – not transactions… so be realistic with your expectations.

          Katie Hood, Director, Content Strategy


4.       Optimize Key Donor Paths

Tell donors where their money is going. Our recent research and live experiments prove that people are more likely to give when organizations are specific about how funds are used. Include a callout on your donation form that clearly communicates mission impact.

          Kevin Limongelli, Senior Director, Creative and Design Services


5.       Get on the Phones

Making small timing and script tweaks to currently planned telemarketing campaigns can enhance performance. Wait until after the election to call donors and use the opportunity to express gratitude. This technique can be particularly impactful in efforts to retain donors recently acquired through COVID. Call donors shortly before your big year end direct mail or digital fundraising campaigns will be in market. A quick thank you, even in the form on a robocall, can provide a lift to campaigns in other channels.

          Tori Richards, AVP Nonprofit Strategy


6.       It’s Not Too Late to Innovate

With in-person events cancelled this year, many nonprofit organizations are surprised to find themselves with last minute marketing dollars to reach fundraising targets by year end.  If you have compelling :15, :30: or :60 video spots, consider leaning into Connected TV to support year end surround sound campaigns. Stay at home orders have driven a surge of CTV viewership and inventory, producing CPM efficiencies as much as 41% lower than previous periods. Now is a great time for nonprofits to lean into this emerging channel.

          Jessie Mamey, SVP, Strategy


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