December is upon us, so it is time to get on board with a simple donation drive this Christmas, writes Content For A Cause co-founder Nicholas Soraghan, who looks at how charities can make the most of their end of year fundraising campaign.
With only a few weeks left in the year (yikes), it’s time to think about how your organisation is going to leverage the holiday period for fundraising. Grabbing a potential donor’s attention is a tricky thing any time of the year, but Christmas and New Year is a time for giving, so it’s important, more than ever, to inspire your audience to donate to your worthy cause.We’re here to share a few tips that can help your organisation lead a successful EOY donation drive.
First thing you’re going to want to do is to take stock of the content you’ve already created throughout the year. Find out what your best performing posts were and collate any powerful, eye catching assets. During the holiday period, compelling stories that are personal and that define the impact of your organisation’s work are most convincing to potential donors. You would have definitely ticked all those boxes throughout the year, so now is the time to reuse that “stand-out” content for your EOY campaign.
Hot tip: Got an awesome piece of content that doesn’t exactly align with your end of year campaign? Repurpose it, redesign it or rewrite it, and try it out on another platform!
Next up is your messaging. It’s a good idea to come up with three to five key messages you want to make clear. For example, you could focus on:
- The impact of your work – success stories;
- What still needs to be done – looking into the future;
- A personal appeal – personal stories/appeals to emotion; and
- A “call-to-action” – donation.
Don’t ask for donations in every post or tweet; this will bombard your audience and potentially drive them away from your organisation. But when you do ask, make it simple. Remember to speak the language of each platform. It’s a busy period but your audience won’t appreciate rushed posts. 240 characters is all that stands between your organisation and a donation.
Also, creating a sense of urgency will encourage your audience to act fast (think about running a 24 hour drive), and when they do, it’s important to thank them. You could thank them with a gift, or a thank you card, but be careful with how you word your messages. “Give a gift this Christmas” and “pledge a donation this Christmas” mean two different things. With gift giving, the donor may expect something material in return, so be clear, and be direct.
Hot tip: In your messaging try to use as much “you language” as possible. Eg: “find out how you can help”, “you can change a life today”, “could you imagine spending Christmas cold and alone?”.
Use what’s already there!
It’s always hard to know what to ask for donations for, or where to direct your traffic to gain the most donation potential. A really great place to start is to use what online infrastructure you’ve already got up and running, and just needs a little tweaking. Your own donation tool on your website could just be updated with a nice Christmas-y banner and a festive blurb, or you could use your Facebook page to add a “Donate” button for the month of December.
There’s also a heap of donation and fundraising websites specifically created to make it easy for not for profits to create a fundraising campaign. GoFundMe is a big one, but there’s others which can not only help with donations, but getting the word of your organisation out there. See MyCause, Snowball, Fundly, Bonfire, and so many many more if you search “crowdfunding”.
Leverage your audience
The greatest source of value you can add to your organisation around key money-making periods is not the money itself, but rather your audience being ambassadors for you.
Ambassadors come in many forms. Sure, it would be great to have some cash to splash at a celebrity or public figure for them to give you exposure through their network, and better still, have a personal connection to them so that they contribute on their own accord.
However, not every charity is lucky enough to have the benefits of being connected in the Insta-sphere. So, have a compelling message and make mini-ambassadors out of your online community. People want to have a cause that they can get behind, so make yours the most appealing out there, and through them sharing your posts and messages through their network, and beyond, traction will grow, support for your cause will grow, and your donation potential will go through the roof.
Hot Tip: Say you follow a cool Instagram identity who aligns with your brand, and may have a personal connection to your charity mission. Why not message them asking if they would be interested in supporting your cause! Send a quick caption and a picture that they can push out on their social media. What do you have to lose?
December is upon us, so it is time to get on board with a simple donation drive this Christmas. It’s never too late to push out a couple of posts and get people talking (and hopefully donating) to your cause. Experiment this year and see what works and what doesn’t, and then for years to come, you’ll be able to structure a whole campaign around these key dates, and get your donor base growing.
It’s a flooded market out there of charities vying for support, but don’t be scared to do something different, or even follow the ideas of others, because if it works for them, why can’t it work for you?
About the author: Nicholas Soraghan is the co-founder of Content For A Cause: a social media and content marketing company exclusively for the non-profit sector. They are the agency of choice for charities to grow their online community.