The onset of autumn can be a stressful time for ministries as they plan their End of Year Campaigns. Donor management software can enhance the performance of fundraising strategies and make life easier for organizations during this busy time.
According to a Nonprofit Insider Network survey, 28 percent of nonprofits earn between 26 and 50 percent of their entire annual revenue during their year-end campaign. Meanwhile, 36 percent of respondents raise between 11 and 25 percent of their revenue. These figures demonstrate the high importance charities need to place on their funding efforts in the autumn and winter months.
October is the most popular month for planning end-of-year strategies. Just over 53 percent of participants stated their planning occurs in October and 42.6 percent begin initiating the program in November. Kivi Leroux Miller, a board member and consultant in the marketing sector of the nonprofit industry, told Nonprofit Hub that Thanksgiving is an ideal target date for rolling out the year-end ask, and any later than that may not garner as much response. However, she also mentioned the planning process needs to start much earlier in the year depending on the key strategies that a group would like to implement.
For instance, 100 percent of the Nonprofit Insider Network survey respondents used direct mail as part of their end-of-year campaign. Leroux agreed that this is one of the best methods for garnering funds, as long as information is sent out far enough in advance that any returned mailers can be re-sent with the correct address. This also demonstrates the importance of utilizing multiple channels for advertising year-end giving opportunities. Chances are that even if a mailing address is incorrect, that giver will still have the same email address.
Methods nonprofits can try
Another successful method of fundraising during this season is hosting an event – either physically or online – and informing constituents far enough in advance that they can mark their calendars and plan accordingly. If the event is a kick-off to an elongated period of online giving, consider deciding on an ultimate goal the charity would like to reach within a particular time frame. After invitations or notifications have been sent to constituents, the homepage of the ministry’s website should reflect all activities devoted to the campaign.
In addition, the website should have a special page for the year-end fundraising. Nonprofit Hub encourages offering a unified call to action to simplify the process for donors. During the holidays, people are busy, and any process that is too complicated may get overlooked. Offer clear routes on the website to the donation page. In fact, employees and volunteers should try out the donation form themselves to find out how user-friendly it really is.
One challenge many ministries face is getting lost in the shuffle of giving opportunities. Patrons may receive several, if not dozens, of personalized letters and emails asking for year-end donations. Find a way to truly make the ministry stand out among the crowd. Infographics and testimonials are excellent tools for demonstrating past funding successes and real stories about people who benefit from the ministry’s actions.
Donor management software can also help ministries stand out during this time of year. With advanced tools for tracking donor contact information, updating mailing lists is easy and efficient. Donors can also access their own profiles to track their past giving habits and easily make online donations. Event planning is a much smoother process with donor management software. Organizations can send automated emails to patrons and thank them quickly after receiving funds. Ministries should give themselves the gift of donor management software this year.