Five easy things you can do to improve your year-end fundraising

Between now and the end of the year, most nonprofits will raise between 25% and 50% of what they will raise online all year. Don’t be overwhelmed! These easy tweaks don’t take much time but can make a big difference.

  1. Resend to non-openers. You don’t always need to go to the trouble of creating another email message for your campaign. Make sure the one you just spent all that time on is really being seen! Generally fewer than 22% of your intended recipients open your email messages. Wait a day or two, pull a report of who did open the message the first time, and suppress them from your re-send. Or wait until later in your campaign, choose the message in the series that performed best, and send that one to non-openers. Be sure to change the subject line.
  2. Include people who already gave to your email series. We usually go out of our way to ensure we’re not sending messages to people who already gave to the current campaign. However, at year-end, your donors are motivated and may be ready to give again. Rather than suppressing donors once they give to your campaign, add them back in to a message or two. Include a paragraph recognizing that they already gave and their gift is appreciated—and you hope they’re inspired to make another donation.
  3. Add an upgrade request. If your current donors have given a certain amount in the past—for your organization that could be $25, $50, $100, or $250 or more—ask them to give a little more this time. Add a paragraph to your email message that thanks them for their past gift and asks them to do even more this year: “Thanks for your last gift of $x to Friends of the Unicorns. Your donation made a huge difference, and now we’re doing even more to help save these amazing creatures. This time, I hope you can give $y.” Or, if you’re not certain about the accuracy of your data, you could simply choose a higher donation level to be pre-selected on the donation form when former and current donors click through (vs. non-donors).
  4. Make sure there’s an option for monthly giving. Tis the time of year for one-time gifts…but just in case your donors want to commit to giving year-round, make sure the option is available to make a sustaining gift rather than a one-off. You’ll be glad you did at this time next year.
  5. Ask your donors to tell their friends. Your donors are at their most fired up right after they give. Make it easy for them to share their excitement with their friends by adding share links to the acknowledgement autoresponder email and thank-you page (the web page they are automatically led to after pressing the Submit button on their gift). Make sure you include a link to the donation form with a source code—and for Twitter, include any relevant hashtags.

Wendy Marinaccio is a Senior Account Executive at Donordigital, the online fundraising, marketing, and advertising company.  Contact:

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