Some Practical Magic for Year-End Giving Campaigns

Is your data frightening? We’ve conjured up a special brew just for you!

Welcome to October!
Pumpkin Spice abounds and the 4th quarter is upon us. Let the countdown begin for all those year-end giving campaign opportunities. Since this particular brew is timely for year-end donation requests, I thought I would share some practical magic directed toward this sort of project.

What does your data look like?

What should you consider as you set your plans in place?

Have you added all the essential information you can to be specific in your communications to each person?

This year, planning ahead is especially important as I believe e-giving requests have been a bit overdone during COVID-19. Most nonprofit organizations have more need than ever before. They have been hit hard and many donors have tried to support them in every way possible. There is, however, a limit to how many emails we can respond to and how often.

Specific information about your donor or prospect is critical for success in your year-end campaign or giving a letter. Knowing as much as you can, and having that information in your data fields is invaluable.

Here are a few suggestions as you approach your campaign:

  • THINK about what message or messages you want to express with your campaign.
  • FOCUS on your wants and needs, your accomplishments, and triumphs.
  • EMPHASIZE thoroughly how you have continued to serve your community during these terrible few months.
  • RESEARCH your past donations and pinpoint where supporters have reacted and donated. 
  • IDENTIFY what pulled at their heartstrings and prompted them to give? 
  • EXAMINE Which cause or campaign reaped the best financial returns and why?

*Most important, MAKE IT PERSONAL

For example, if you know that your donor always gives to your educational programs, focus on that in their letter. If they always support sports programs for kids, then feature that in your ask. Always tag the fields so you know what worked, and when you last solicited that individual in a campaign.

Remember you can always spend a little more on a larger donor! Ask how often someone wants to get your requests and tag it. There’s nothing worse than dunning a prospective donor.

Moving on here…. you have your campaign organized and targeted, your data is in order and you are ready to print and mail.

  • We suggest you are in home right before Thanksgiving. You need to allow ample time for the check to come back in.
  • You must also consider how to mail, first class? nonprofit? bulk?

Each of those options has costs related to the timeline on delivery. Make sure you know before you decide.

You should also consider that outer envelope at this point. Use it to your advantage with COLOR and PHOTOS if appropriate. Print technology allows you to be personal here as well. Color is affordable, you see it first in your mail delivery and you do get a better open rate when you use it.

An example of how to use the outer envelope:
For any of our organizations that help children, we always put photos of the little ones on the outside envelope.

Trying for funding for animals?… same thing, put them on the outer envelope. You already know your donor wants to help… so let them.

I always try to drive home the importance of data. Data and Print are actually quite perfect together…. so now is the time to scrutinize those fields of information. The data about your clients, customers, donors, partners, regardless of which industry you are in, is the greatest asset in your business. So, why not use it to your advantage in all of your marketing efforts?

Many of you have donor software that you use, no worries here. Your vendor will know how to extract that data and they will work with you on the best way to get exactly what you need. Want to do 300 different messages? with images to match? no worries… we write all of our own programmings to assist with that. This ability allows limitless options in personalization.

Fixing your data is not an overnight thing. Sometimes it takes a very long time to pinpoint exactly which fields are critical for communications in your industry. Addressing the issues in your data may be the most painful, yet fruitful exercise you have ever endured.

The age-old dilemma of “where do I start” is the same. Bottom line is, “today is as good as any!”

Like they say in the commercial,
“The More You Know!” 

Would you like to have a free consultation and discuss your options?
Please Call 856.547.1600