If you attended our recent webinar, you know we’re starting early this year in preparing for end-of-year fundraising. Coming out of 2020, we’ve learned the power of trying new things. Richard Shadyac, CEO of ALSAC says “We fundamentally believe that innovation needs to be at the core of what we do. We need to be agile and adapt to these times, and it requires an innovative mind.”
Over and over again, we’ve seen success when you prepare well and can quickly respond to what’s happening in the moment. So in the spirit of preparation, we wanted to outline three things you can do right now to get yourself ready for the end-of-year fundraising season.
1. Focus on Your Data
Since we’re well ahead of the end-of-year giving season, now is a great time to assess if you’re using the right tools to manage your data. Is all of your donor data in one system? Do you have donor records that are accurate? If you’re not using a CRM to manage your data, now is the time to consider getting your systems in place.
Every good campaign starts with great data. After a year of acquiring new donors, it’s critical to certify that all of your data is accurate. Doing so will ensure that your end-of-year fundraising campaign will reach the right donor with the right message, which will maximize the likelihood of a donation. Using products like Insights Platform Data Integrity will help you find duplicates, standardize your mailing address, and automatically update any addresses using National Change of Address (NCOA).
Your Data Trends
Begin to segment your data and understand who your audience is. Do you have a majority of one-time donors that you’d like to convert to recurring donors? Maybe there’s an even distribution in your donors and you want to send separate, personalized messages to both your one-time donors and recurring donors. Maybe you’re looking to acquire new donors in a new service area this year. Whatever your goals are for 2021, use your data to get an understanding of your donor segments (the ones that exist and the ones that you want to exist) so that you can form a content strategy that speaks directly to each one of them.
2. Plan Your Message
Now that you have your segments identified, think about the needs of each donor segment and strategize content might help fulfill those needs. For example, recurring donors may want to be acknowledged specifically for their continued contributions. Create content that clearly outlines your mission and the impact of each gift to build trust and acquire new donors.
This year, their needs may also include safety. While reopening post-pandemic is happening in many areas, some donors may prefer to attend events online from their own homes. Having an online option for typically in-person events means that supporters don’t have to be in your immediate area. Start planning your hybrid event now so that you’ll be ready with any video content you may need for the day of.
Are you fundraising for something specific? Do you have new needs coming out of 2020? Now is the time to identify those things so that you can create campaigns to message those needs to your donors.
One key moment that applies to everyone is Giving Tuesday, which is November 30 this year. Take advantage of this day, as it is one of the biggest fundraising opportunities of the year. Within your end-of-year campaign, plan specific content for Giving Tuesday. Often, setting a goal for this particular day is motivating for donors. You can start weeks ahead with an aim toward finishing that goal on November 30. Be mindful of key moments that are local and/or are more specific to your mission, as well.
When it comes to key moments, timing is everything. Remember, if you’re looking to do peer-to-peer campaigns, you’ll want to start messaging that with plenty of time to help your donors get up and running with their own campaigns. Don’t be afraid to remind your donors several times of key moments and provide different options for participation.
As you prepare for end-of-year fundraising, it’s important to focus on your data, make giving easy, and plan your message now.
3. Make Giving Easy
Easy for Your Donors
Have you tested your giving page lately? Go through a donation yourself and see what it’s like to give on your giving pages. Is it clear what program you’re giving to? Are you able to choose a recurring donation option? Does your giving page match the brand and style of your website and other digital assets? Have you incorporated ask ladders? If you’re doing an email campaign for Giving Tuesday with a link to a giving page, does that giving page also have Giving Tuesday content? Check out our Elevate giving pages — they’re very easy to set-up and customize to your brand and campaign.
Easy for Your Staff
In order to ensure all of your fundraising information is accounted for, you’ll want to have a tool that connects your fundraising data to your accounting systems. Aligning your fundraising data with your accounting system helps break down silos between your accounting and development teams. Accounting Subledger prepares your fundraising information for your accounting system and saves fundraising and finance significant budget and time on reconciliation tasks by connecting systems to ensure a single source of truth for revenue and payment data.
As you’re preparing for the end-of-year Giving, remember to focus on your data, plan your message, and make giving easy. If there are any systems that need to be replaced or updated ahead of the giving season, now is the time to do it.
This post is the second installment in a five-part end-of-year fundraising blog series. Read post number one about 5 Ways to Weave Digital into End-of-Year Fundraising.
About the Author
Product Marketing Manager for Fundraising at Salesforce.org
Listen to her on a podcast: http://bit.ly/classypiper
Watch her speak at Dreamforce: http://bit.ly/salvdf18holiday or http://bit.ly/dfdigitalsalv
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