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6 communication tips for year-end fundraising campaigns

December 02, 2020
This image shows a nonprofit professional smiling at her laptop as she considers year-end fundraising communications.

During the year-end campaign season, most nonprofit organizations are busy thinking about how they can stand out to get more donations. Do you send out more asks? Do you post more frequently on social media? What is the best strategy to reach your fundraising goal?

Standing out from other organizations at year-end is a long game that revolves around your communications with both new and existing donors. Strong messages and marketing content build relationships, and relationships lead to donations. Consistent communication is your secret weapon for year-end fundraising.

Now is the time to get your year-end communications in tip-top shape. Here are six tips you can implement today.

1. Have a consistent narrative

Your campaign’s narrative is made up of messages, stories, and communications that reinforce a central theme to your audience. Your narrative should focus on the initiatives you’re raising money for and how donors can make a difference.

Carve out 15 minutes today to brainstorm the central message of your year-end campaign, then make sure it’s at the center of your communications through the end of the year.

2. Create a calendar for campaign communications

To ensure consistency in your communications, plan out each message and organize them in a calendar. Communications calendars should document all the social media, email, PR, and other messages you plan to send during your year-end campaign. You can use something as simple as a table in a Word document or Excel spreadsheet, or download a campaign calendar template.

After you’ve created your communications calendar, you can schedule task reminders using Bonterra Donor Engagement’s Guided Fundraising solution (formerly Network for Good).

When planning and drafting your messages, always ask, “How will this communication move the conversation and relationship forward?” Make every communication an additional touchpoint that exposes donors to your year-end giving campaign, and you’ll drive more supporters to donate. 

3. Make your messages donor-centric

donor-centric approach helps existing and prospective donors alike see that they play a key role in making a difference. Use these tips to focus your writing more on donors:

  • Use “you” often, concentrating on the donor’s role in your organization’s story and the difference your year-end campaign will make with their help.
  • Incorporate real stories from long-term supporters and beneficiaries.
  • Give concrete examples of the impact donations make.
  • Add impactful images of supporters or volunteers to show your nonprofit’s work in action. 

These donor-centric communication strategies will connect supporters to your purpose and make them feel like a crucial part of your organization’s team.

4. Rely on segmentation and personalization

Use segmentation to personalize communications for groups of supporters with different preferences and needs. Supporters tend to connect with personalized messages that show your nonprofit cares about them as individuals. Create a variety of different segments of supporters based on:

  • Giving level
  • Engagement history
  • Campaigns or programs they prefer to donate to
  • Communication preferences
  • Donors and non-donors

Once you’ve created these segments, tailor your messages for each group.  Remember, your segmentation strategy does not need to be complicated. Think about using it strategically to improve donors’ experiences.

5. Integrate your communication channels

Your staff puts a lot of work into the emails you send out, the content you post on social media, and everything in between. But do you know what portion of your audience sees what you put out there? 

To increase the number of supporters who see your content, use an integrated, multi-channel outreach strategy for your year-end fundraising campaign. 

Post the same underlying message across multiple channels, and connect all of the platforms you use. For example, add links to pages on your website in social media posts, and prompt readers of your email newsletter to follow your social media accounts or sign up to receive direct mail. The more integrated your communications are, the more united your year-end campaign will be.

6. Measure your results

Finally, a strong year-end communications strategy includes measuring results and adjusting course as needed. Use your fundraising software to track which types of communications are working well and which need to be improved. By looking at your metrics on an ongoing basis in the last quarter of the year, you can leverage what’s working for this year-end campaign and improve your planning for next year. 

Find out more about how our fundraising software can help you achieve your year-end fundraising goals.

Enhancing year-end fundraising with stellar communications

Year-end campaigns are your nonprofit’s chance to shine. Improve your communications as well as your fundraising materials to get your message in front of the right people. By using the tips we shared in this post, you’ll be on your way to having communications that are effective, strategic, and memorable. 

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