This year is like no other for fundraisers. It is more important than ever that nonprofit organizations plan carefully and have a strategy that their marketing team can fulfill. Last year, the team at RolloutSF helped raise over $3,000,000 for our clients with a strategy of focused messaging, timely social media posts, and engaging print campaigns. Here are some tips that will help any organization meet or exceed their goals for the Giving Season.
- Plan ahead and start early
The first step is to create a campaign calendar with the key dates for all your marketing efforts. By the time GivingTuesday happens on December 1st your campaign should be in full swing, with emails and social media posts alerting your donors to your needs and goals having gone out at least a week in advance.
- Create timely and effective messaging for all your marketing channels
People are more likely to donate when there is a story that touches them at the right time. It’s important to share stories that are different from ones you have shared in the past, and if possible will tie them into current events or a social issue. The day and time it is sent is also very important. You can look at past campaign statistics that got the most engagement to help determine the best times. Our successful GivingTuesday campaigns are sent out during the time of day our followers are most likely to be engaged online, and we send follow-up reminders during a time of day when competing organizations are not sending them. Always remember to be considerate: don’t inundate your donors with too many messages too quickly or they may unsubscribe or tune out completely.
- Use simple and compelling graphics and photos
Campaign graphics should have an instant appeal and tell your story without words. Photos with children, nature, animals or graphics with soft shapes and symbols that help people relate to your cause or message will make a huge difference. Using your brand colors or seasonal colors may work, but to stick out from the rest during the holiday season you might want to surprise people with a different color or graphic element. We suggest creating two versions of a custom graphic and do an A/B test when possible to see which one performs best.
- Include as many marketing channels as make sense
If your organization has the means to fundraise using social media, email, postal mail or even radio we suggest using every channel you can afford. Since many people will not be traveling due to COVID-19 postal mail might be more successful than ever. One inexpensive option is to design a simple postcard and promote a landing page on your website that has an easy-to-remember URL, donation form, and provides other ways that people can give.
Do you have a related tip? Need advice about your specific situation or help with your marketing campaigns? We’d love to hear from you.