Design a Smarter End-of-Year Fundraising Plan

October through December is always the busiest time of year for fundraising, with 50% of not-for-profits say they receiving a majority of their contributions in that time. Though it’s a great season to give, it’s also the most competitive. Canada Post processes 36% of its volume in Q4, and consumers view twice as many advertisement over the holiday season than any other time of the year.

This time of year, it’s more important than ever to stand out from the competition. To make the most of your holiday campaign, always begin with the Holy Grail of Marketing:
Right Audience, Right Message, and Right Time.

Right Audience:

Determining the ideal customers will let you know where to focus your marketing efforts. An important exercise to ensure greater donations, especially during the Holidays, is the RFM Model:

Recency: The freshness of the donor
Frequency: The total number of donations
Monetary: The total donation value

Other considerations include identifying high and low donation percentages in your database, or targeting postal codes that offer a high percentage of charitable donors. You can also leverage your donor’s characteristics to find similar audiences, based on the following information:

Demographic: Age, Annual Income
Geographic: Location
Psychographic: Lifestyle, Spending Habits
Behavioural: Connection to Your Cause, Previous Charitable Contributions

The more insight you have about your data, the easier it is to target “look-alike” donors with Postal Code Targeting.

Finally, don’t forget your top contributors. Typically, 90% of donations come from 10% of donors, so sending messages specifically for them will help keep them informed, engaged and feeling valued.

Right Message:

Direct marketing creates greater attention, heightened emotional engagement and strong brand recall. To ensure an effective end-of-year piece, consider utilizing the following words to prompt action and trigger an emotional response:
Special Reminder, Important, Official Issue
Immediately, Attention, Urgent, Requested
Please, Favour, Chance, Gift, Thank You

Different strategies can be utilized to engage your donors, including:
Giving Back: Thank your donors for their support through-out the year
Share Your Goals: Publicize your year-end goals and share it with supporters
Leverage Social Media: Feature your Social Media handle and utilize #GivingTuesday on campaign material. Also, showcase stories of fellow donors.

Right Time:

Giving Tuesday lands on the first Tuesday after Black Friday & Cyber Monday. It showcases the importance of not-for-profits, and the great work they do all year. It shifts the focus from getting to giving.

In 2017, Giving Tuesday falls on November 28. Engaging your donors in the fall will ensure you remain top of mind when they’re ready to give. 80% of donations generally occur within the first two to four weeks of a mail drop. Once you know your donation responses, timing your piece around Giving Tuesday can help maximize return.

Don’t forget to engage donors after Giving Tuesday as well. A thank you in the new year is a great way to follow-up with new donors. Recognition that people want to share via social media will also help create a new wave of engagement.

Why Donors Leave:

A big lesson for not-for-profits is understanding how vital communication is with their recipients. The following list adds up to 53% of why donors stop contributing:

Reasons Why Donors Leave


Create a Plan: Establish a clear objective, with your best target audience and a clear objective
Extend the Season: Start making your cause top-of-mind ahead of the holidays, and reinforce how they’ve helped post-season
Target: Ensure you have clean data, free from old and outdated addresses
Be Creative: Connect with your donors in a unique way. Make them feel good about supporting your cause

Ready to get started? Contact directworx today!

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