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Staff Blog: Turning Holiday Heroes into Annual Champions for Your Cause

It's the holiday season and the season when 1/3 of donors are looking to give back and get a nice tax break in return. In fact, 12% of all giving happens in the last three days of the year. So, make it easy for them! Make your campaign easy to access on your website, ensure the least number of clicks and information collection possible on your giving page, and thank your donors at least three times.

There are a number of ways to plan for your end of year campaign, but I have found that segmenting your audiences and messaging is best. 

For "Major" Donors:

Only you can define "major" in regards to your organization's budget. Maybe your larger donors are giving $5-$10K a year. Maybe you are just starting out and your larger donors are monthly. Aim for moving this group to the next level (whatever that might be for your organization). Remember, asking for too much is never insulting to a donor. It shows that you believe in their commitment to your organization's mission. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone and make a BIG ask.

  • Don't be afraid to ask…

Remember, your mission is worth the gift and it takes you championing this message within your network for change to happen. Take this time of the year to get personal--call, grab coffee/wine, or send a personal note to some of your more regular donors. Urge them to increase their annual gift or make a leadership gift that can inspire other donors. 

For Volunteers:

Volunteers are often the life blood of your organization. They are some of the most vested in your mission and see the impact every time they join a service project. This group will often give of their time instead of their treasure. This is a great group to target for monthly donation. Monthly donations can be anywhere from $5-$100 a month—don't put an emphasis on amount, but rather focus on number of monthly donors you want to achieve by January 1, 2019.

  • Volunteers are twice as likely to donate than non-volunteers…

Volunteers often build a community within your organization. Help them realize the impact that is possible when many people come together for one cause. Monthly donations work the same way! A small monthly commitment multiplied by lots of love and passion can lead to a more beautiful and healthy city, state, and nation. Thank this group often (as I am sure you do), and remind them that their time and talent is a huge asset to your mission. 

For Your Social Base:

Your social base usually enjoys you as a resource, but may or may not choose to give back. This base usually has a small attention span, so the easy giving method noted above is a must. Develop a robust plan ahead of time with automated emails, social posts, and interactive touches. It is a good rule of thumb to have at least three touches a week. Emails are usually overkill and not going to be thoroughly read, so focus on making your social media posts fun while telling a story.

  • Social storytelling…

People don't give to organizations. People give to people. Remind your social base why your mission is important and how many lives their gift will touch. This group is also best to encourage for monthly donations that can boost your annual budget line. Tell a story by releasing a beginning, middle, and end throughout the day that inspires impact. Remember, this audience is getting blasted with ads all the time. They have an attention span of 1-5 seconds. If you are going to use video (recommended), add captions.

  • Make it fun…

When people can get something when they give or compete for a giving goal, they get excited. Try doing a raffle that you are entered in when you sign up to be a monthly donor. Fun holiday prizes like gift cards and wine tastings can be provided by a corporate sponsor. Use these fun prizes to incentivize your donors and allow them to do a little holiday shopping with each gift.

  • The gift that keeps on giving…

Give your donors a clear understanding of who/how their gift will help. Allow them to give a gift in honor of a friend or family member. Sweaters are over rated—why not give your husband a tree this year?

RESOURCES: Classy has some great examples of successful campaigns listed on their site linked HERE. Feel free to check out these ideas and share your campaign with other affiliates. We hope to hear all about your end of year success! Happy Asking!

​Blog Post Written by Development Director, Eliana Mijangos-Brown. 


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