So: your mailed appeal dropped two weeks ago. You’ve got six emails locked and loaded between now and the end of the year.
It might be tempting to tell yourself that there’s nothing left to do but check the mail and generate thank-you letters. But have you used every tool in your arsenal?
Here are two things you can do this week to maximize your organization’s year-end fundraising:
- Think like the Gap.
Major retailers make no bones about getting your attention. Two emails a *day* aren’t out of the question, and before major deadlines (like Christmas Day) they’ll send even more.
But that’s just the beginning. They’ve got rotating lightboxes on their home page. They’re investing heavily in advertising and social media. They’re using paid influencers. They’re putting flyers in the Sunday paper. They’re in the games you play on your phone, and on the websites you consult for recipes.
What’s the takeaway? Quit worrying about annoying your audience, and worry instead about whether you’re visible amidst the holiday noise.
Could you add a lightbox or special graphic to your home page? Are you beating the drum on social media? What about asking your corporate supporters to post a link to your appeal on their own social media accounts (which gives *them* a PR boost in front of their own audiences)?
According to the 2019 M&R Benchmarks survey of 135 nonprofit organizations, the average open rate for a fundraising email is 14% … and the average response rate is (gulp) only 0.06%. It’s never been more important to get creative about how, where, and when you deliver your message.
- Pick up the phone.
You probably have a list of donors who have given to your organization in previous years — but haven’t yet made a gift this year.
They’ve received your appeal. They’re getting your emails. But are they really aware of how important their support is to your organization?
There’s one way to make sure: give them a call. Hearing from a live person is a lot more effective than getting a mass-produced letter. If it’s not too late, enlist your board, your staff, absolutely ask your ED to help.
The script is simple: thank them for their past support, and tell them why it (still) matters. You’ll leave a lot of voicemails. And they really will make a difference.
This time of year can be exhausting for fundraisers! Focusing on a few strategies will help you finish strong — and set you up for a successful year to come.