Year-end Fundraising Tips and Tricks from Our Team

To kick off year-end fundraising for nonprofits everywhere join our staff as we share some tips, tricks and ideas to help you excel.

Consider this post our gift to you. Well, one of many coming this month! Here at Engaging Networks, our staff hear a lot from all sides of the nonprofit sector. To kick off year-end fundraising prep, some of us wanted to share some tips and tricks. We want every cause to have a successful year-end campaign and hope this helps.

These are just a few tips from some of us here at Engaging Networks. For more year-end fundraising ideas, follow our content through the end of 2019 . You can also sign up to get notifications on that page.

Kathy Powers, Director of Marketing

Two words, Paid. Advertising. Unless you just opened your doors and have a small following or somewhat obscure cause, you should absolutely be running paid ads from mid-late November (definitely on Giving Tuesday) through midnight on December 31st. This time of year, people are searching for causes they care about to make donations. You’ll find sometimes your major donors will just ‘Google you’ rather than responding to an email. You’ll receive a gift from someone you’ve never heard of before who searched ‘ocean nonprofit’ and gave a $10,000 gift. The point is, if people are searching for relevant information, you want to be the one right in front of them with an ad and a donation form – not someone else. Likewise for social media where you have an engaged audience or can find like-minded individuals to target with ads. In past work, I’ve seen as high as 600% ROI for select paid advertising at year-end. If you don’t have budget for this, try to find some for this worthwhile investment. Here are a few quick tips but if you want to learn more, register for our upcoming webinar on this topic:

  • If you’re getting started with Search Engine Marketing, consider a Google Grant and also consider a partner to help get you off the ground. I’ve tried to do this on my own and unless you do it professionally, you’ll waste endless hours trying to be an advertiser when you’re a digital fundraiser and you have other things to do. Engaging Networks has many qualified partners who can help you, just email our Account Services team for more information.
  • Segment your audience as much as possible, set goals and test. By segmenting, you can set a goal for each audience and adjust messaging, asks and offers to best suit the target group. For example, you wouldn’t ask your prospects on Facebook for a $1,000 gift would you? Maybe they would convert better if you offered them a t-shirt since they haven’t given yet. Map it out and test it.
  • Very important. Send supporters to an appropriate landing page and be sure you have tracking to analyze your results. Imagine you are the person clicking the ad. Don’t send people to your homepage from an ad if they just clicked ‘donate’ in search. That’s a recipe for page abandonment. If they click on ‘donate’ from an ad, be sure they go straight to a donation page with a clear ask.

There is so much more on this topic so… we have a webinar coming up on October 22nd with accredited partner, Further. Click here to learn more and register!

Joe Gallant, Manager of Account Services

Share impact. Donors in various surveys overwhelmingly report that they want to give more, but choose not to because they are not seeing the impact of their giving. Impact is the measurable, tangible way that your organization is making change and should be one of the central components to your end of year communications plan. It is the reason why you do what you do, and why donors are giving to your cause. Donors want to know that their money is being used effectively and that there is a high return on investment from their contribution. Cultivate your best stories and impact metrics during EOY and make sure all donors at each level of giving receive multiple communications reminding them of the great work you’re doing, and how they played a central role.

Eric Rubin, Director of Business Development

Don’t be afraid to test. For many organizations, there is understandable anxiety around meeting fundraising goals at year-end. There’s also a lot to juggle when managing multi-channel campaigns. It can be tempting to streamline your content and cut testing out of your year-end digital campaigns. However, you might be cutting off significant revenue.
With Engaging Networks, you can split-test donation forms using the same URL – making it easy to answer questions such as “Will a premium perform better with our social media ads?”

Often, however, the best tests are the ones you can actually implement. This could be as simple as testing email subject lines on a sample of your file, and sending the winner to the rest of your list. Depending on how you structure your sample size (a common formula is 10/10/80), if you get even a 1 percent differential on your test, the final results could be increased by as much as 9 percent. Imagine if you could boost your year-end results by that much across the board, and get testing!

Jonathan Purchase, UK Business Director

If you’re collecting recurring donations, you can set up dedicated thank you emails specifically for these donors, meaning their engagement with you is customised straight away. This in turn could help them to remain committed givers to your organization. You’ll see what to do when you go into the ‘auto-responders’ section of your page or you can find information here.

Michael Sabat, Director of Business Development

From Engaging Networks’ marketing automation, send SMS reminders along with email donation asks.

Of course many organizations build marketing automations or welcome series in Engaging Networks. Most of the time an automation will include a few emails asking for donations.

For these “ask” emails it’s possible to also send an SMS message that reminds the supporter about the email. When tested in the past, the SMS reminder message increases conversion rates on the email by 77%!

John Siemiatkoski CFRE, Sales Engineer

Test everything, and test it again! Put your page in “New” status and test every combination – payment options (credit card, bank payment, PayPal, etc.), thank you emails (branding, content), and view the results in the Manage Supporters dashboard. Test your Google Analytics or Tag Manager tracking – make sure your ecommerce tracking is working.

Don’t stop with Donor #1. Easily add social share and link to ecards to encourage Donor #1 to get their friends and family to give too. Get some good eCard ideas here.

Use Peer-to-Peer to crowdfund for gift cards and holiday presents for the families you serve. This was wildly successful at a large hospital where I worked.

Josh Miller, Director of Client Support

Plan ahead. You can use the email scheduler to get a jump start on year end communications. Build out to emails ahead of time and schedule them so that you don’t have to work on content creation last minute.

Related Posts

Chloe Green is a copywriter and digital campaigner with almost a decade of experience in the charity and political sectors. She’s delivered campaigns, copy and consultancy for a raft of good eggs including Anthony Nolan, the National Union of Students, St Mungo’s, and Hillary for America. She was Social Media Manager at the Labour Party between 2016–2019 and now she’s Head of Creative with the lovely team at Forward Action. She leads on fundraising emails, UX copy, and all creative facilitation. She’s an expert in email list growth, digital strategy, organic and paid-for social media, and digital mobilisation.

Rachel founded the specialist charity web agency, Rechord, in 1999. Between 1999 and 2012 they created hundreds of different web applications for organisations in the UK and internationally.
In 2013 she became the 'Donor Whisperer' and focused on helping small to medium-sized non-profits to reach new donors and activists and from there increase their income. She uses a unique process that combines the benefits of consultancy with capacity building.
Her clients include Traidcraft Exchange, the Overseas Development Institute, Jubilee Debt Coalition, the Leprosy Mission of England and Wales, Tax Justice UK, The Canary, Humanity and Inclusion, the Anti-Tribalism Movement, BRACE, New Family Social, Arseh Sevom - and that's just the last year.
She also feels weird writing about herself in the third person.

Ellen is Campaigns Manager overseeing national and local campaigning at the MS Society. She has worked at the MS Society for 2 and a half years, with roles at Scope and Guide Dogs prior to this.

Hannah is Senior Campaigns Officer at the MS Society, working on their local campaigning programme, Local Action for MS and also on social care and carers. She’s worked at the MS Society for a year and a half, and was previously at the MND Association and National Voices.

Executive Director of C6 Digital, London based agency

Emily has worked at Guide Dogs for the Blind Association since 2019, working on a range of campaign areas to empower people with vision impairments to live the life they choose. Prior to this, Emily working in parliament and severed as a borough councillor.

Brani Milosevic ia a digital consultant and coach at https://www.digitalleadership.ltd/
She helps individuals, teams and organisations to learn how to seize the opportunities offered by digital and navigate its challenges.
Brani set up the Digital Leadership Forum, is an NCVO trainer, a CharityComms mentor and a qualified executive coach.

Rhiannan Sullivan is the Vice President of strategy and partnerships of social action network, Care2.com. Over the past 10+ years, she has worked with hundreds of UK and EU charities helping them grow and develop their digital fundraising programmes. Prior to working for Care2, Rhiannan worked at then political campaigning agency Blue State Digital, a global leading digital strategy agency who has helped many organisations build and engage online communities, clients included political and advocacy campaigns, non-­‐profit organisations, cultural institutions and global consumer brands.

Calum manages social, email and some digital campaigns at CPRE, and is CPRE’s expert Engaging Networks user, working on development and helping other teams make the most of the platform. Happiest working on campaigns for change or rambling around in the countryside.

Brandon Fuller is Engaging Networks alumni and owner of Raise the Roots, a digital agency that has supported over two dozen organizations on Engaging Networks - helping them to maximize their digital engagement using this powerful platform. He previously managed global online advocacy campaigns for the Pew Charitable Trusts and has worked in the nonprofit community for nearly two decades.

I joined the Woodland Trust in 2018 and now lead on policy and engagement campaigns working to improve protection, restoration and high quality creation of woods and trees. Prior to campaigning for trees, I worked in Peterborough, tackling fuel poverty in the community. I care deeply about the climate and nature crises and the many, intersectional impacts and solutions. Endlessly inspired and energised by the dedication and passion of our supporters and the public who take action time and time again.

Hannah Mudge is Digital Innovation Manager at The Leprosy Mission England and Wales and has had the privilege of seeing the 147-year-old international development charity evolve over the last decade, from sending out its first online fundraising appeal to achieving record levels of income despite the challenges faced since the start of the pandemic. She is based in Peterborough and enjoys running, cooking and reading in her limited spare time when not parenting two lively boys. During 2020 she added ‘homeschooling’ to her skillset although what Ofsted rating she would achieve is probably best left to the imagination.

I am a campaigner in the Woods Under Threat team at the Woodland Trust. My role is to help protect ancient woods and trees from damaging developments across the UK. Ancient woods and trees are irreplaceable, so we work hard to stop any further loss of these precious habitats and ensure they are protected for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Matt Strong is the Campaigns and Engagement Officer for the Ramblers.

He has recently run campaigns on increasing the number of new green walking routes in some of our biggest cities, including London and Manchester. He has also been leading on the Ramblers’ campaigns work around the Environment Bill. Matt has a background in politics after spending a decade as an elected councillor on Manchester City Council and having previously worked for two Members of Parliament and a political party.

Claire Warner is a former charity Fundraising Director & Senior Leader, turned Culture & Wellbeing consultant.

It was in trying to throw herself back into her beloved Fundraising Director role after 12 months' treatment for aggressive breast cancer, that Claire realised the focus & memory loss and heart condition side effects she'd been left with after her treatment, plus the life-changing experience of the illness itself, meant (guttingly!) a 300% commitment, 50+hours a week Fundraising Director role was no longer an option.

On looking into what others do in this situation, Claire discovered the field of workplace wellbeing, the research work of Prof Cary Cooper, the Gallup Organisation and Simon Sinek, and hasn't looked back since.

In 2018, Claire created her own piece of research into the wellbeing of fundraisers and when it concluded in 2019, over 700 fundraisers had taken part. The results of the research were used to further inform and refine the work Claire does with organisations and individuals in the charity sector.

In 2020 Claire won the Best Digital Leader Award at the Social CEO Awards and in 2021 curated the first Charity Wellbeing Summit.

Today, Claire works on organisational culture and wellbeing projects with charities and offers coaching and mentoring programmes to sector professionals.

Becky has spent the last decade building people power and people-powered movements to hold the most powerful to account for a fairer, more just, and cleaner future.
She helped build 38 Degrees UK into a movement of over 1 million citizens and led many of the biggest campaigns. As part of OPEN’s senior team, she helped build and sustain a network across 19 different countries, by supporting, coaching, and building fast-growing digitally facilitated organisations.

She's currently Senior Strategist at The Sunrise Project leading the Global Banks Program and building grassroots activism on finance around the world. She’s on the board of Skiftet, Sweden’s biggest online campaign community and Left Foot Forward in the UK.

Andrew Taylor-Dawson is Development Manager at Liberty, where he leads on member and support engagement. He has been in fundraising for around 13 years. In this time he has worked in the human rights, homelessness and social justice sectors as well as having been a freelance consultant.

He has held board positions with Global Justice Now and the adoption support organisation We Are family.

Rebecca is a Digital Project Manager, who recently led the redesign and redevelopment of The Children's Society's website.

Rebecca worked closely with senior stakeholders, subject matter experts, and digital agencies to create a new platform that demonstrates the organisation's refreshed vision, mission and brand. There has already been astounding results in the 6-months since launch.

I have worked as a web developer for about 20 years and for Which? since 2015, primarily on their WordPress sites. This has involved integration with a variety of different APIs, most recently the Engaging Networks API, along with the creation of APIs to allow sites to talk to one another.

Glyn Thomas is a digital strategist and web developer. He built his first website in 1997 and has been working in digital communications since 2002.

For the past 12 years, Glyn has almost exclusively worked with charities and non-profit organisations. Almost all the projects he works on are focused around campaigning, fundraising or supporter recruitment, and often a mixture of all three.

Now based in Berlin, Glyn works with organisations in the UK, Europe and North America.

Rhian is the Strategic Programme Manager for Physical Activity at Versus Arthritis. Alongside Sport England under the Richmond Group ‘Movement for All’ programme, Rhian is co-developing a long-term, sustainable programme to support those living with Musculoskeletal conditions to increase their physical activity levels and improve their quality of life. Rhian has over 15 years’ experience of supporting people with long term health conditions to become more active. She is passionate about prevention, working in partnership and using an effective knowledge base to create impactful change at scale.

Having gotten his start organizing with anti-war veterans and working as Sala Labs, Sales Engineer, and Partner Manager, Bryan now brings his expertise to non-profit and mission-driven clients as 4Site Studios Director of Digital Strategy. Specializing in challenging and complex projects, Bryan works with each client to craft holistic approaches tailored to goals, budget, and outcomes.

Mary Margaret Callahan is the Chief Mission Officer for Pet Partners, where she is responsible for leading mission delivery including the therapy animal program and grassroots advocacy program. She joined Pet Partners in 2013 and has worked to establish the organization as both an influencer and a resource within the animal-assisted intervention (AAI) and human-animal bond (HAB) community. In 2018 she was named one of PetAge Magazine’s Women of Influence. Mary Margaret lives on a small farm outside Seattle with her husband, daughter and menagerie of animals including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, chickens, goats and miniature donkeys.

Joe Derry Hall is a freelancer working on creative digital and communications. His interests include tech innovation, upending power and reimagining different futures. Joe has been the winner of a Mozilla Creative Media Award and the joint winner of a BAFTA digital award. He was previously in-house in campaigning and communications roles at Amnesty International, the Climate Coalition, the Ecocide campaign, Save the Children, Scope and others. He is one of the initiators of Right Way Up, an experiment to create a radical, practical new vision for the social change sector.

Anna Chowcat is the Digital Manager at Refuge and oversees the charity’s digital function and output. Since joining Refuge, Anna has been instrumental in introducing a number of digital engagement programmes including digital campaigns, bespoke email supporter journeys and user friendly donate/campaign pages. Before joining Refuge, she has worked in digital engagement and campaign roles at The Labour Party and Leonard Cheshire Disability.

X
X