7 things you should do right now to ensure success this giving season

With giving season just around the corner, now is the time to prepare your end of year giving appeals to maximise the giving potential of your donors and potential donors. Right about now, your donors and prospective donors are starting to think about Christmas and how they will choose to support the cause closest to their hearts this year. With the right preparation, you can harness the power of their passion for your cause, and benefit from their heightened generosity. So, before you reach out in your end of year appeal, here are the top 7 things you can do now, to ensure your end of year appeal is a big success:

1. Determine the Why

Behind every appeal, there has to be a clear reason for why your donors should give to you over another charity. Start by asking yourself, what is it that you asking for? Why should they give to your cause and what will motivate them to do so? Research shows that donors give more when they feel a deep connection to your vision and mission. They want to help others and they want to make a difference in their communities by giving back. Knowing your why and communicating it well is key to growing your donation revenue.

2. Think big picture

Determine your campaign objectives and outline your goals. And don’t forget to aim high. You may want to increase giving by a certain percentage year on year, or perhaps you want to increase donor acquisition rates, or the average gift per donor. Smashing last year’s total is possible just by expanding the opportunities for your donors to give, and the more specific you can be in identifying your goal, the easier it will be to attain.

3. Refresh your appeal

Here, brainstorm fresh ideas around aspects of your appeal and what it will look like. For example, what’s your theme? What can you improve on from last year? What about putting beneficiaries front and center? Or will you give meaning to donors by telling them how their money will be spent before rather than after the campaign? Knowing what you want to achieve and how you will inspire your supporters will keep you on track and enable you to execute your strategy effectively.  

4. Know your donors

Give yourself the best opportunity to get your donors attention by sending out tailored communications. You will have donors who give a large sum at the end of the year, those who are regular givers and those who may be looking to be especially generous this year as a one off. Here, creating a specialised segmentation model that enables you to separate your database into low and high-value segments will allow you to focus your resources and communication programs on your highest value donors. Once you have identified them, you can then use this information to design and send appeals to those who are more likely to give, or give more, depending on their giving habits in the past. Based on your findings, think about what issues resonate with most with your donor and what emotional stories can you tell?

5. Find new ways to engage

When it comes to end of year appeals, delivery is everything. Why not take the opportunity to do some research and invest in new technologies you can use to engage with your donors and their networks? Before you launch, make sure you harness the power of social media tools like facebook, instagram and twitter. Already using them? Your profile might need some update, so now is the time to make it engaging, inspiring and have it all ready to go! While you’re there, consider whether video has a place in your appeal. It can be the most effective way to communicate your mission on social media.

6. Get organised

Start asking early and be organised in your approach. There’s no point asking for donations if your donors are already feeling the Christmas pinch, as they will be wanting to hold on to every hard-earned dollar as time passes. Ensure you don’t miss out entirely by preparing a timeline and tracking your progress. Plan things like your launch date, your landing page look and feel, when you will promote your appeal and your offline donation plans. Execute your communications plan effectively, and make sure to hit the last week of the year with at least three asks. Afterall, December is not the time to be rushing last-minute emails as donors will sense your desperation.

7. Write your thank you’s now

We all know how important it is to close the loop. Having your donors feeling valued and highly engaged will nurture relationships with individuals that lead to a lifetime of valuable support. So, while you’re starting to create your appeal, make sure you plan how you will thank your donors in the end. Writing a communications plan and template now, rather than leaving it until the last minute, will mean that each donor receives a timely and impactful response, which means they are more likely to support you again next year! Now that you’re equipped with the tools to kick-start your end of year appeal, why not get started today? Have more questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact us!