The Countdown is on: 10 Tips for Nonprofits to Get Ready for Giving Season
October 30, 2023 | 7 min read
With giving season quickly approaching, now is the time to start preparing. Having the right tools and strategies in place can help ensure your nonprofit takes full advantage of donation opportunities because December accounts for 30% of annual donations, with 10% occurring in the last three days. From showcasing your mission to managing donations, it’s important to get prepared now.
Here are 10 ways to prepare for giving season:
- LEVERAGE LEARNINGS. Consider last year’s efforts and create a strategic plan based on key learnings and takeaways to maximize your success. Analyze initiatives and programs that worked well and ones that could have been improved. Did you have a successful campaign that brought in significant donations? Did certain strategies take a lot of effort but yielded little results? Identify the campaigns that brought the most success and consider doubling down on them and letting go of strategies that took up time and resources without producing significant results. This is an excellent opportunity to think outside the box and try something new. Consider ideas or strategies you didn’t implement last year and explore new and innovative approaches to engage with your donors. Maybe you can launch a social media campaign or partner with local businesses to host fundraising events. Don’t be afraid to take risks and step outside your comfort zone.
- SET AND SHARE GOALS. By setting specific, measurable goals, you can have a clear vision of what you want to achieve during the giving season. Once you identified goals, communicate them to your donors. Let them know the impact their donations can make and how their continued support will impact your mission. Creating a sense of urgency can also encourage donors to take action. Set a deadline for reaching these goals and emphasize the importance of meeting them within that timeframe. Use compelling language and visuals to inspire donors and convey the urgency of your cause. Regularly update your donors on the progress towards your goals. This transparency will keep them engaged and allow them to see the collective impact of their donations. Share success stories and milestones to show donors their contributions are making a difference.
- UPDATE PROFILE PAGES. To maximize your donations, ensure your profile page on donation platforms, like NPOconnect, is up to date. Donors use these platforms to search and learn more about nonprofits and make one-time or recurring donations. Take the time to review and update information. Ensure you clearly convey your nonprofit’s purpose, the impact of donations, and current and relevant data and statistics. Use compelling language to highlight the value of contributions in supporting the communities you serve. Consider enrolling in ACH to receive donations faster and more efficiently, which is especially important during the busy giving season.
- EMPHASIZE IMPACT. To showcase your mission, highlight programs and initiatives directly benefiting from donor support. Emphasize the impact these programs have on the communities you serve and the positive changes they create. You can inspire potential donors to contribute and support your cause by showcasing the specific ways donations make a difference. Use engaging storytelling, compelling visuals, and real-life examples to effectively communicate your mission and connect with your audience on an emotional level. This will help build trust, generate interest, and ultimately drive donations.
- MAXIMIZE CHANNELS. It’s essential to leverage all the communication channels available to you, such as your website, email, text messaging, social media, physical mail, etc. Each channel serves a unique purpose and can help you reach different segments of your donor base. Craft compelling and personalized messages that highlight the impact of donations and the importance of continued support. By effectively leveraging your communication channels, you can reach more potential donors and inspire them to contribute to your cause. Each channel serves a different purpose, so feel free to experiment and find the best strategies for your nonprofit.
- TARGET AND SEGMENT. Deploying personalized and segmented outreach is a key strategy to maximize donations during the giving season. By tailoring your messages and targeting specific groups of potential donors, you can ensure your outreach is more relevant and engaging. Take the time to understand the interests and preferences of different donor segments and craft messages that speak directly to them. Whether it’s through personalized emails, targeted social media ads, or direct mail campaigns, thoughtful outreach can significantly increase your chances of connecting with potential donors and inspiring them to support your cause.
- NETWORK YOUR NETWORK. Engaging your supporters and leveraging their networks is a powerful strategy to maximize donations during giving season. This can be as simple as asking them to share your social media posts or forwarding your fundraising emails to their friends or colleagues. Your supporters are passionate about your cause and want to help make a difference. By asking them to actively engage in your fundraising efforts, you can reach new audiences and tap into potential donors who may not have been aware of your organization. By networking and asking your supporters to help with fundraising efforts, you can leverage their enthusiasm for your cause and reach a broader audience. Together, you can make a more significant impact and achieve your donation goals.
- MAKE IT EASY. Donors want to avoid jumping through hoops when making donations. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure your website and communication channels have clear messaging about how to donate to your nonprofit. Make it easy for donors to contribute by providing a prominent donation button and straightforward instructions on your website. Try removing any barriers to make the donation process as seamless as possible. Every step you take to simplify the process can help increase the likelihood of donors supporting your cause.
- MAXIMIZE DONATION MANAGEMENT. It’s important to have a system that allows you to track and manage donations efficiently. This will save you time and effort and ensure that every donation is noticed and acknowledged. Make sure you have a donor management software or CRM system that can streamline your donation tracking process. Resources on NPOconnect integrate data into your existing CRM to further help you record and organize donor information, track donation history, and generate reports for analysis. Additionally, ensure you have clear and timely processes in place for acknowledging and thanking donors.
- CONSIDER CAPACITY. It’s important to consider what your staff can achieve. Carefully assess your team’s workloads and priorities before adding more to their plate. Overloading your staff can lead to burnout and inefficiencies, so it’s crucial to prioritize and allocate resources effectively and consider their expertise and availability when planning for the giving season. By understanding your staff’s capacity, you can ensure they are set up for success and can contribute effectively to new initiatives and priorities.
As you prepare for the giving season, remember that success lies in careful planning and strategic execution. Taking the time to plan now can help you make the most of year-end giving and continue working toward your mission.
For more information about NPOconnect or to sign up, visit https://nonprofit.yourcause.com/login/create-account.