Making a List … Checking it Twice …

in Email,Fundraising,Online Fundraising

Gonna’ find out who’s ready or not; year-end fundraising has already come to town!

[Note: The headline and first paragraph are based on the lyrics from the Christmas carol, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”  Bit of holiday humor.]


How is your year-end fundraising coming along?
  Are you following Santa’s example by using a list and checking it at least twice?  

Tis the season for giving

Today I’m expanding on what I covered on this topic three weeks ago in my post titled, “Re-engage Inactive Email Subscribers” during the holiday season.  I shared how to use email to not only boost year-end fundraising, but how it’s also the perfect time to re-activate dormant email subscribers.

Consider today’s post as a progress check with a few more ideas tossed in for good measure.  Here are a few items to have at or near the top of your list of year-end fundraising tasks:

Email reminders to offline donors. Send a reminder to give out to every offline (e.g., direct mail) donor you have an email address for.  These reminders can be for year-end direct mail campaigns and for separate email appeals.  Remember, the life-time value of a donor increases when they’re engaged via multiple channels.

– Send targeted year-end email appeals to your pure online donors, advocates, volunteers, etc. (i.e., people who only interact with you online).

– Have you mixed in one or two PURE cultivation emails?  Emails with absolutely ZERO request for money.

– Are you ready with thank you letters for offline AND online donors?  A warm and gracious thank you letter tailored for the season.

– Is your friendly autoresponder thank you email ready (one you can personalize with a few data fields) for online donations?

– Ready to send a couple very short reminder emails in the last week of the year?  And you may not want to rely on your last email going out on the 31st.  This will be a holiday for many Americans and they might not be checking their email on New Years Eve.

– Emphasize the 2010 tax deduction.

Something else I hope you’re ready with is information on your website as to WHY someone ought to support your cause.  As people decide which charities they’ll give to and how much they’ll give, MANY will visit your nonprofit website to help them make the decision.

I read a news article the other day that reminded me how important it is for donors and prospects to easily find the info they seek on your website.  It was in the Wall Street Journal.  This article cited “10 financial mistakes people make when giving to charities—and how to avoid them.” 

In addition to the basics on your home page and anything else you’re already doing to reassure donors . . . perhaps add a link to a new page that addresses some of these ten mistakes.  On the new page explain and give examples of why donors won’t have these negative experiences when working with your nonprofit.  Perhaps even give a link to the news article to show you’re current and care about helping donors any way you can. 

Where on the home page could you put this link?  After the short paragraph in the main column that summarizes how you help people . . . you could add the anchor text link taking people to your new web page:  More reasons why you can feel confident and safe giving to <insert name of your org>.

And if you’d like more tips on making your nonprofit website stronger, I share lots of them here in my blog (category is called “Website – Nonprofit”) and in the articles within the Resources section of my website

In summary: Check your year-end fundraising list several times a day.  Be vigilant.  Show interest in your donors beyond their wallet.  Share value.  Shower donors with appreciation.  Have a great year-end!