What’s Your Why? Differentiating Your Nonprofit’s Year-End Appeal
October 6, 2022
The end of the year giving season is approaching, so now is the time to start planning how you’ll reach out to your supporters. But how will you stand out from the wave of emails, letters and social media posts encouraging donors to make their year-end donations?
Lead with your “why.”
The Why Exercise
This exercise involves a small group of people from your organization that may include:
- Your most consistent or generous donor
- A member of your board of directors
- A volunteer who helps at every event
Start by asking them the broadest why question: “Why did we set this fundraising goal for our year-end appeal?” Each participant may have a different response, such as:
- “We’re anticipating a deficit in our operating budget next year.”
- “We need to make building improvements.”
- “We’re expanding our service reach.”
Then, ask why again about each of the responses.
Repeat this process until you’ve drilled down to the most fundamental reasons you set that year-end appeal fundraising goal. Then, use that information to weave an impactful story that resonates with your core supporters.
Tell a Story
Crafting your year-end appeal around a story creates a compelling rationale for support that encourages donors to give and volunteers to participate.
After the Why Exercise, you may find that you have several stories to tell. If so, you have an opportunity to create specific messaging for different donor segments that will receive the year-end appeal. Each version should speak to the audience most likely to respond to the issue at the center of a particular story.
Review testimonials and success stories that relate to the fundamental reasons for your appeal. Featuring someone who’s benefited from your charitable services highlights the importance of expanding your service reach. Testimonials and firsthand accounts add a human element to the metrics and numbers you’re trying to explain to donors.
Share Your Year-End Appeal
Use multiple channels: You’ll need to share your end-of-year campaign on several marketing channels to ensure your target audience sees your message. Selecting the right channels based on your goals and timing will help optimize your campaign’s effectiveness. Use your website as a hub and include donation information and incentives on the homepage. Direct potential donors back to your website via these.
- Social media
- Email newsletters
- Direct mail
- Radio and TV
- News articles and press releases
Be consistent: Pushing the same message across multiple marketing channels is more likely to move your target audience to action. Create a schedule for weekly social media posts and email newsletters. The frequency of your outreach should increase as you approach the end of the year. It’s not unusual for initial notifications to go unnoticed, so it’s important to follow up with more reminders.
Use a landing page: A dedicated landing page condenses all your digital promotional materials. Your website’s homepage should direct potential donors to the campaign landing page with a link or floating button to keep your visitors focused.
Are you ready to plan your year-end fundraising campaign? Contact MadAveCollective, and we’ll help you get started.