How many times are you planning to reach out to donors to ask for a year-end gift? It’s not enough to reach out once during your end-of-year campaign. Banking your fundraising results on one big ask may net results from that marketing channel but could leave whole segments of your donor base unasked or unconvinced. Instead, develop a multi-touch fundraising strategy to reach more donors and raise more funds!
We get it. Fundraisers are super busy making asks and processing gifts at the end of the year. But what if a little more work could result in much better results for your year-end fundraising campaign? Your end-of-year fundraising strategy should factor in opportunities to remind donors of your initial ask or to reach donors who don’t respond to asks from certain marketing channels. In fact, reaching out more than once to ask donors to give can be what compels them to do so!
Not sure how to create and execute a multi-touch fundraising strategy to inspire donors to give to your year-end campaign? We’ve got you covered. Use these four tips to create your campaign!
1. Understand your donor segments
Most of you will already know this, but your donors aren’t all the same. Your donors are going to have their own unique reasons for why they give, preferences for how you reach out to them, and their own gift size limits. That’s why planning a fundraising campaign with a one-size-fits-all strategy is so likely to leave money on the table. The benefit of a multi-touch fundraising strategy is that you can capitalize on the preferences of donors while covering all your bases.
Research your donors based on the information in your CRM. Segment them into groups based on their giving levels, communication preferences, and the restrictions they give to. Export those donor lists in groups and create different appeals for each group. Make sure you plan out more than one appeal per group. Segmenting your donors is incredibly important. You’re able to ask donors to make gifts in the amounts that work for their budget and to the cause they care about. Not only that, but correct segmentation will show your donors that you know them and respect their preferences.
2. Your appeals should consider donor preferences
Once you’ve segmented your donors by communication preferences, restriction, and average gift size, plan out your appeals. The types of appeals depend on your donors’ communication preferences.
Email appeal strategy
Email appeals should go out to donors who list it as their preference. They’re free and can be scheduled in an email service provider. However, emails can occasionally go overlooked. Therefore, reaching out more than once is ideal. Switch up the subject line and content for each email but keep the theme consistent. Send a follow-up email once every couple of weeks until they donate, unsubscribe, or your campaign ends. Be sure to remove donors from your email list who gave in response to one of your email appeals.
Direct mail appeal strategy
For direct mail donors, send one mass letter appeal with a return envelope included. Then, follow up the appeal with a reminder postcard closer to the end of the year. Postcards are inexpensive and make a great reminder to donors to make their annual gift. Include a simple link to a donation form for donors who decide to give online instead of mailing in a check.
What if communication preferences are unknown?
For donors who don’t have a communication preference, send a combination of appeals. This way, your multi-touch fundraising strategy can also help identify their communication preferences. Send one of each appeal type. Because less prep work is needed, it’s recommended to start with an email. Then, send a written appeal. Follow up with a reminder postcard if a gift isn’t received. Reach out to your major donors and make an ask personally. Like your other donor segments, you should send targeted appeals that align with your major donors’ communication preferences, preferred restrictions, and donation amounts. Unlike your other donors, a phone call to make a personal ask and thank them for their tremendous support can be what inspires these donors to give again.
3. Reinforce end-of-year campaigns on social media
Social media offers an easy opportunity to reinforce your year-end campaign messaging. Add another touch point for your multi-touch fundraising campaign by talking about your different programs and requesting support in a public space like Facebook. This strategy can expand your reach and may also show up on your donors’ timelines to inspire them to give. Make your posts more visual. If your nonprofit has been approved to fundraise on Facebook, you can create a fundraiser for your greatest need and accept donations right from your social media page. Bear in mind, though, that the donor information you’ll receive from Facebook is limited to what donors agree to share.
If you’re not using social media regularly, it may be time to dust off your Facebook page and get it ready for the biggest fundraising season of the year. Not social media savvy? Don’t worry! Use our tips to turn yourself into a social media mogul.
4. Really want your message read? Send a text!
If your nonprofit engages in text fundraising and has the capability to send a campaign text message to your supporters, incorporate it into your multi-touch fundraising strategy. Your text messages are likely to be seen because texts have an open rate of around 98%. Reach out to donors who opted in to receive text messages from you and ask them to donate. Qgiv’s Mobile Suite makes this easy. Create a keyword, build your text campaign lists, then send your fundraising text. With text-to-donate, your text message can include a link to a mobile friendly donation form so donors can give right from their phones! With text-to-give, donors can give (and even set up a recurring gift) that’s added to their phone bill with no mobile form necessary.
As the end of the calendar year approaches, donations to nonprofits are likely to ramp up as people try to get their donations in before January first. This year don’t bank all your success on one appeal. Inspire your supporters to give to your nonprofit by crafting appeals that ask multiple times throughout the campaign.
For the best success, familiarize yourself with your donor database. Segment your donors and craft appeals specific to each segment. Plan for more than one attempt and reinforce giving by incorporating your campaign messages into your social media posts. For an added influx of donations, reach out via text to donors who’ve opted into receiving text communications from you. A text with a link to your donation page may be the final push your donors need to complete their gift. Ultimately, the key to your success is creating many opportunities with multi-touch fundraising for donors to give and feel good about giving.