As we move into the end of the year, we become aware that for area nonprofit organizations it is indeed the busiest season of the year. This is the time when giving campaigns and year-end giving plans take center stage. In many cases, fourth quarter fundraising is the most important time for proper donor communications. While things get crazy and days fly by like minutes, we have some suggestions to help keep your cool and make sure that your newsletters, updates, and appeals are communicated with maximum effectiveness.
The easiest way to get our your newsletter to potential donors is to create a nice looking email template and blast it out to your entire list, right? Well, not really. Remember that your donors are special and each has their own way of wanting to do things. From the way, they want to receive your information to their giving habits. We have found that the best way to get the maximum benefit from year-end email appeals is to segment your list.
Segmenting your list will allow you to send the specialized email to different groups. For example, if you have a group of donors that prefer to give, based on a specific designation, then create a list segment which will send to that specific group. Some donors may always give a little more than others. Segment that group to start your year-end appeal at a higher recommended gift. Email Segmenting will give you the best opportunity to deliver the right message to the right people. Most top-notch email marketing services like MailChimp or AWeber have segmentation available.
Remember the Cause
It’s easy to get overwhelmed towards year-end, by the numbers that need to be met. When sending your appeal it’s very important to remember the cause itself. Make sure that your message does not come across as a desperate attempt to get a bunch of money really quick. Take the time to talk about the cause(s) and how these gifts are essential to their success or how gifts actually make the difference. Another suggestion is to make sure you are addressing the importance of the donor to your organization or program. After drafting your message, go back and try rewording to get rid of “me”, “my”, and “our”. Focus more on “you”, “your”. Here’s an example;
“We rely on these donations for our overall program success.”
May sound better like this:
“Your gift is important to the overall success of Child Development Center programs.”
Remember Your Donors
This brings us to the most important reminder…to remember your donors. Often times, people will go online and be excited to give a gift to their favorite non-profit. After which, they get an email receipt and then never hear from the organization again. Be sure remember your donors. If they give online then you will have collected some contact information from them. Here are a couple things you can do to remember your donors after they have given that gift:
1) At the beginning of the year, send them a personalized thank you for their year-end gift, reminding them of how this gift will help the organization through the next year. Personalization can be as simple as using the first name in your email message.
2) Send quarterly email updates to inform donors of new programs or status on programs they have given to. If donors can see their gifts going to work, it may prompt them to give again.
3) Make donor thank you calls. It’s traditional, but setting up volunteers to make quick thank you calls to donors can mean the difference between additional giving or not. Besides, who doesn’t like a little personal recognition for a good deed?
These are just a few things to remember this year as we proceed into the season fo giving. Take some of these small steps to make a big impact on the actions of your donor base.
If you need assistance with your year-end giving email newsletters or appeals, give DEV406 a call today.