So you are preparing for your end of the year fundraising. To continue from Part 1, and to be most successful you want it to be an integrated, multi-channel approach. This means on and off line cultivation and communication as well as solicitation. In the brief multi-channel experience the nonprofit sector has had – we find on line solicitations are most successful when tied to a specific program – not a general ask. Use your off line message to focus on a program, specific need or challenge. Follow up using email, social networks including your website and e-news. Here are some suggestions:
- If you are still sending hard copy newsletters – before your end of the year appeal would be a good time. Cultivate, share stories, update supporters on progress, challenges and successes. Post a PDF of the newsletter to your website – with active links. Determine what the calls to action will be: advocacy, volunteering, giving.
- Update your website regularly. Use video, tell stories, engage viewers with calls to action. Make sure your donation page engages and shows how a donor’s investment will make a difference.
- Engage with your social networks if you have them. This means more than posting an event or asking for money. If there are people online who respond to your posts, you need to respond back. Comment on Twitter, use links back to your website.
- Email addresses – how many do you have, are they current, have you updated your list from undeliverables, opt-outs, updates from your email program? No time like the present! You can do this through your online data base provider or other services.
- Email series – Edit your solicitation letter, content and message for your end of the year email appeal. Will it include photo, video, link to web, Facebook, donation page? Think about it….now. Send this email solicitation according to segment 5-7 days after your letter appeal. Segment, segment, segment, just like in your mail appeal. And more than one appeal and call to action will be necessary.
- Engage online – if you’ve been developing relationships with your friends and followers online, you can post video using YouTube Nonprofit channel, but you need to apply NOW! Connect with Causes and ask your supporters to ask their friends to give. Use GiveForward, FirstGiving and others to create group giving, track progress and share results.
In Part 3 – How to effectively engage those who respond to your end of year campaign.
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