We’re rapidly approaching the best time of the year for fundraising. With all of the activities coming up in the next 3 months, it’s important to be sure your cause’s messages are not lost in the crush of holiday activities, end-of-year fundraising appeals, and events. Many organizations use the end-of-year for their big annual appeal… but only send their traditional message… once.
Here are three things you can do to mix up your messages, enhance your connection with your supporters, and increase the results of your fundraising activities.
1. Include an “upgrade” message
Are you acknowledging your supporters at different giving levels? If so, the end of year offers several opportunities for people to make an additional gift to bring them up to the next level of recognition. What unique opportunities can you create to acknowledge donors who add to their gift at this time?
An upgrade opportunity is a great chance to showcase your programs and the impact your supporters have already made. Upgrades are so often overlooked as fundraising opportunities that we have built special sessions into Ask Masters, our fundraising webinar series, to help you find your cause’s best opportunities and build fundraising programs that bring you needed results. Just think what your supporters could help make happen with an additional gift!
Be sure to use a deadline with an upgrade message to keep your supporters focused. With a little ingenuity, you could run 2 upgrade initiatives before the end of the year.
2. Use various holidays to trigger specially themed fundraising messages
Now here’s where you want to be creative. Everyone’s got their holiday themed fundraising messages. So, how can you stand out from the crowd? Instead of running out the same repeated message about holiday cheer and community why not try messages that tie into other holiday themes? There are so many to choose from in the next 3 months that you could certainly create several fundraising initiatives and have them all working for you before the end of the year.
With a little creativity you can have them compliment your tried and true holiday messages. Here are some unique holidays in the next 3 months that offer great opportunities for fundraising messages:
5 – Do Something Nice Day
7 – World Smile Day
21 – Count your Buttons Day
27 – Make a Difference Day
10 – Forget-Me-Not Day
13 – World Kindness Day
17 – World Peace Day
23 – You’re Welcome Day
3 – National Roof-Over-Your-Head Day
9 – International Children’s Day
21 – Look on the Bright Side Day (Winter Solstice)
21 – End of the Mayan Calendar
31 – Make Up Your Mind Day
And December just happens to be Bingo Month! The possibilities are mind-boggling!
3. Plan a “Thank You” fest
After the holidays have ended and we are in the holiday recovery period, give yourself (and your supporters) something to look forward to. Schedule a thank you fest for the 3rd week of January.
This is a great week because everyone is tired and recovering after the turn of the year, bills are getting paid, and… you have an extra handful of days to let your last-minute donors get their support in to your cause and acknowledgements to be sent and received.
A good round of thanks helps lift your mood when you’ve hit the after-holiday slump and keeps your cause’s messages in the forefront. How many ways can you send messages of gratitude to your supporters for seeing the new year in with your cause? How can you involve volunteers in your Thank-Fest? What ways can you thank your staff and leadership?
With the holidays upon us multiple messages are the key to visibility and increasing your fundraising results. Be creative and have fun. The holiday season is the most fertile fundraising time of the year.