Ministry software supports end-of-year campaign efforts

A ministry software program can offer much needed support during a nonprofit's end of year donation campaign.

According to Turnbull Marketing Group, the season beginning in October and extending through December is the busiest and most profitable for most nonprofit organizations. Due to the larger-than-normal volume of mailers that will likely be sent out to current and prospective donors, a reliable ministry software program will come in enormously helpful.

Over the course of the year, ministry software helps nonprofits organize every donor they've come in contact with during fundraisers, public events or online giving. Organizations can view giving trends among all of their donors to determine if a particular mailer should be sent to one group level or another. It's also important to see which givers have offered the most in terms of funding over the course of the previous year. These donors certainly should get a phone call, in addition to and before any mailer goes out to them.

Send effective mailers
‚ÄčTurnbull advised focusing mailers or letters on a central story that is compelling and exemplifies the purpose of the nonprofit organization. Do not be shy about appealing to donor emotions during the holiday season. Most people are more likely to give to causes they believe in during these last months of the year than any other time. Catching their attention with effective storytelling, and adding a pinch of urgency, will likely encourage more donations than a simple fundraising reminder.

However, Getting Attention, a marketing site devoted to helping nonprofits increase funding, warns against forcing donors on a guilt trip. Invoking guilt will push donors away; reminding them why the charity exists in the first place will encourage them to give. It's also wise to steer clear of seasonal cliches. With so many different organizations vying for funding, it's important to stand out as a unique presence. The bottom line is: stay true to the ministry's unique message. Don't follow someone else's path. 

Emails as friendly reminders
The marketing group also advised sending emails about end-of-year fundraising as a series, rather than just once or twice during the season. The holidays are hectic for everyone; it's possible that even those with the intent to donate will forget amidst other gift buying and stress factors. Sending routine emails, each with an immensely personal touch, will reach more people and decrease the likelihood that they'll be deleted instead of read.

The Nonprofit Marketing Blog also encourages mentioning online donation platforms, which many donors may prefer over sending physical mail. Ministry software provides nonprofits with excellent online giving platforms that seamlessly integrate into the organization's website, generating a better experience for users, as it will not feel like they are interacting with a third-party processor.

Also, do not ignore the power of simplicity. Posting large buttons on the nonprofit website or in email messages that send contributors directly to a donation page is a must. Make sure a button appears on every page. Try altering or enlarging the button that normally resides on the homepage so it stands out to visitors.

Invest in established communication
Interestingly enough, Getting Attention advised against using this time of year to launch a social media campaign if a nonprofit has not previously been present on a site. For instance, if a church has a Facebook page but no Twitter presence, now is not the time to start a Twitter account. Focus on reaching out to Facebook friends and followers, as this is the platform they are most familiar with and can trust. Save any new endeavor for the new year.

Using ministry software can make this entire season a much easier and fluid time for nonprofit organizations.