End-of-Year Fundraising and Marketing

in Cultivation & Stewardship,Email

How’s your end-of-year campaign coming along? Getting the response you hoped for?

Whether it’s going like gang busters or floundering a bit … consider giving your year-end campaign a shot in the arm.

You don’t have time to create and send out a direct mail package … probably not even a postcard … but you can send email. What might that email be?

Christmas, Hanukah, New Years and all the holidays are a joyous time of the year. People like to smile. It’s that simple. Boost response by bringing a smile to the face of your supporters.

So why not send out an e-card that’s fun. Perhaps even a little silly. Humor has to be used with caution but certain light-hearted themes are quite safe and bring a smile. One example is Teddy Bears.

Download a royalty-free image from iStockPhoto.com (or any similar site) for less than $2. Have a Teddy Bear send best wishes on behalf of your nonprofit.

Another neutral symbol that’s found in all the major faiths is a candle. Find a suitable graphic and add your message to it. It may not invoke a smile but it will still be appreciated. Or how about a friendly snowman?

If you’re a faith-based organization then you can safely choose an image appropriate for your supporters.

A simple e-card (or even an email with an embedded graphic) is a great way to send out another inexpensive cultivation message. And cultivation boosts overall response. Depending on the number of communications already sent, it might be appropriate to include a soft ask reminding donors there’s still time to give.

Warm the hearts of your supporters. Bring a smile to their face with a thoughtful and perhaps humorous e-card.

What ideas do you have for fast, simple, and cost-effective tactics that boost year-end fundraising?

Related posts:

Making a list and checking it twice

Emails timed correctly can boost direct mail response

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sean Williamson December 9, 2011 at 11:47 am


Most of my customers are “grandparent-age”. I’ve found that, for my audience, pictures of children (ages 2-5) are a big hit. Even folks with “older” grandchildren respond to these images. Thanks for the idea of injecting more humor!


Karen Zapp, copywriter December 9, 2011 at 11:54 am


Thanks for reading my blog and sharing your thoughts. I think there’s a great deal to be learned when the nonprofit and for-profit sectors look at what works for each other and what doesn’t.

And your comment highlights the value of knowing your audience … knowing the people who respond to your messages. Children are a terrific subject for an image in an e-card. For the end-of-year boost I’m recommending, I would choose happy children who are somehow benefiting from the cause. And in your case Sean, perhaps a happy grandchild next to an equally happy grandparent on a mobility scooter.

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