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How To

Craft Your Year-End Campaign

Your year-end campaign should begin with a story that shows and tells the change you’re championing and end with your donors saving the day through their support and generosity. There are many ways to tell the story of your mission, but the most successful year-end campaigns attribute their success to the ability to hone in on the “how.”

This article will help you pinpoint how to tell your story, providing you with the right questions you should ask and answer through reporting, along with essential content components that make your message memorable.

Use Reports to Guide Campaign Decisions

The messaging that motivates your supporters to give isn’t a mystery. It’s revealed by the reports you can pull on previous campaigns you ran throughout the year, as well as last year at year-end. If your donor management software integrates with your email marketing tool, measuring engagement as it relates to specific donor segments will be a snap.

Take a deep dive into your data to pinpoint your most successful appeals and identify the following:

  • Which channels resulted in the highest amount of donations?
  • Do donor segments favor particular channels?
  • Which subject lines resulted in the highest amount of opens?
  • Which stories drove the most recipients to donate?
  • Which donor segments gave the most?
  • Did any particular days bring in a rush of donations?
  • What successful aspects of your #GivingTuesday campaign could be carried into year-end?

Note this information and create a list of takeaways you’ll want to implement into your year-end campaign.

How to Create an Emotional Appeal That Resonates

Your year-end fundraising and retention efforts should revolve around rich content that connects your supporters to the progress that results only through their generosity.

Melissa Sciacca, Executive Director of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust leverages content as the focal point of her fundraising campaigns. “We connect our supporters to the work we’re doing on the ground in ways they can relate to,” she explains. “It takes a lot of effort to maintain that connection between our work in Africa and our donors in the States, but we create content that shows our mission as something people want to get behind.”

The Anatomy of a Winning Year-End Appeal

1. A Stunning Story or Testimonial
A less-is-more approach to copy is ideal, so whittle down the year’s most inspiring stories into 2-3 line mini-narratives. In seconds, your donors should know exactly why they should give to your year-end fundraiser.

2. Beautiful Photos of the Change Donors Fund
Illustrate your bite-sized snapshots with photos that show the recipients of your appeal the direct impact their donations can have. A high-quality photo can say it all solo, so be sure to invest time and talent into generating memorable photos of your mission at work.

3. Compelling Design
Tie all of your year-end collateral together by weaving a campaign-specific design through all of your assets, from your emails and website to your social media posts and direct mail pieces.

4. An Unmistakable Call for Donations
For emails, your donate button should be brightly colored. For direct mail, include a stamped, self-addressed envelope and bold headers. On social media, pair your posts with a link to your donation form.

Remember, the holidays are a time of year when most are in a giving spirit, so your appeal should invite your donors to be an integral part of the change they care about most.

4 Strategies to Build Multichannel Donor Relationships

Taking a multichannel approach to your year-end fundraising campaign can help you ensure that you reach as many donors as possible. This guide provides you with the tips and tools you need to prime all of your channels, from your website to your direct mail appeals, for maximum exposure and engagement. Read it now!

Engage Donors More Effectively with DonorPerfect Fundraising Software and Constant Contact Email Marketing