This month, thousands of charities across Australia will launch their end of financial year appeals, taking advantage of the public’s willingness to donate and enjoy the accompanying tax breaks. But with so much noise and such fierce competition for dollars, how do you make sure your message is heard?
Read on for the inside track on how to leverage tax time and encourage your donors to dig deep.
Show your appreciation.
No one likes to feel like they’re just a wallet, no matter how noble the cause they’re being asked to support. If you’re reaching out to supporters at tax time, make sure that you acknowledge and thank them for their contribution to date. Include an update on what funds raised last financial year helped to achieve so that they get a sense of the difference their donations are making, as well as outlining what this year’s donation could achieve. The positive feelings this generates will incentivise them to donate again.
Make it personal.
In the same way, a one-size-fits-all message is unlikely to make your supporters feel valued or strike the right chord. Segment your database (for example by age or previous donation amount) and customise the message and suggested dollar handles accordingly so that it’s more likely to resonate with the person reading it.
Create a compelling focus.
‘Because it’s tax time’ is not a powerful message, nor is it likely to inspire people to choose to donate to your charity over another. Think about how you can frame your appeal in more engaging terms and make this the focus of your campaign. Are you fundraising for a particular event, program or project? Why is it so important and how will it make a difference?
Keep email comms simple and highly visual.
Long, copy-heavy emails are less likely to be read, so keep it brief and to-the-point. Use powerful images and even video to tell your story and engage the reader.
Include a clear call to action.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. While it’s important to strike the right tone and not appear too pushy, it’s equally important to include a call to action in your appeal so that donors are inspired to immediately act on the information you’ve given them. Make it even easier by including a clickable link that takes donors directly to a secure donation page.
Speculate to accumulate.
Increase awareness by investing in some paid advertising techniques to promote your appeal. This doesn’t need to involve big budgets – a simple Facebook campaign targeted at the right users can be highly effective and allows you to set the budget to suit.
Play the long game.
Ultimately, your network of supporters are far more likely to donate at tax time if they’re invested in the cause and you’ve built a genuine relationship with them. That’s why it’s important to work on your donor relationships year-round, not just at the end of the financial year. Keep in touch regularly, let them know about what’s happening in your organisation and the positive impact they and their fellow supporters are making. Invest in them, and they’ll invest in you.