The holidays are just around the corner. That means it’s time for your nonprofit’s annual appeal, one of the most lucrative times of year for most organizations. According to NeonCRM®, almost one third of annual giving happens in December, with 12 percent of donations coming in during the month’s final 3 days.
The majority of nonprofits reach out to donors one to three times to promote their annual appeal. Explore several ways, including the use of promotional products, to make those touch points count.
4 fundraising tips to make your annual giving campaign count
- Make it personal: According to email marketing company Campaign Monitor®, personalized emails see an increase in click-through rate of 14 percent and conversions of 10 percent. QuickPivot® tells us adding a personalized message to your snail mail can increase the average response rate from 2 percent to 6 percent, too. At minimum, personalize email subject lines and direct mail envelopes and greetings. Add an extra element of personalization by crafting a handwritten note on a chalkboard magnet or removable memo board sticker to accompany your annual appeal.
- Be consistent: The Fundraising Authority reminds us, communication with donors is an ongoing commitment. Make sure you touch base with supporters year round—not just during annual appeal Regular newsletters, invites to special events and recognition for past support are just a few ways to keep the conversation going. Consider sending a magnifier to accompany your newsletter or a banner pen to complement invites and thank you notes. These promotional products help show appreciation while keeping your organization top of mind.
- Diversify your channels: Although direct mail is the most popular format when it comes to annual appeals, email, in-person and online asks are common mediums, too. Remember, the majority of nonprofits reach out one to three times; an additional 10 percent reach out more than five times. Consider sending your official annual appeal in the form of a letter. Include a smartphone wallet or pocket phone stand imprinted with a URL, directing potential donors to your website. Follow up with an email, and when appropriate, a phone call from a board member or volunteer.
- Convey a sense of urgency: Whether you send a letter or an email or make a phone call, the value is in the message. According to FundRaiser Basic® you must ensure your holiday appeal conveys a reason to give—and sooner, rather than later. Reward prompt donations (and all donations, for that matter) with a thank you. A box of holiday goodies or a candy cane tumbler are nice ways to show appreciation.
We hope these annual appeal fundraising tips have been useful. Give one or more a try and make this year’s annual giving campaign count.