Inspired by the giving spirit of the holidays, there is no better time to send an appeal to supporters to direct their money to your cause.
Approximately 31% of all annual giving occurs in December and approximately 12% of all annual giving occurs in the last three days of December. And 28% of nonprofits raise between 26 – 50% of their annual funds from their year-end ask. *
“While there are many facets to an effective year-end fundraising strategy, writing a powerful year-end giving letter is one of the most important contributing elements,” says Bill Crouch, founder of BrightDot, the nation’s premier fundraising consultancy. “We’ve written hundreds of year-end appeals and have learned successful campaigns include all of the following.”
TOP 8 ELEMENTS FOR AN EFFECTIVE END-OF-YEAR APPEAL
- One of the most essential elements of a good end-of-the-year appeal letter is to give thanks to your donors and supporters. Make sure your gratitude is enthusiastic and genuine, whether you’re thanking them for their monetary donation, a donation of their time, or their support of 2022 special events and campaigns.
- Giving thanks ties in well with showcasing the impact 2022 donations have made for the beneficiaries and furthered your nonprofit’s mission. People are motivated to give in order to make an impact, not just so an organization’s yearly financial goals are met.
- The year-end giving letter should have a positive tone and include an emotional story of how one person’s whose life was directly impacted through their giving. This can motivate your reader to tap the “DONATE NOW” button faster than any other message.
- Before sending out your year-end giving letter, be certain that your donation forms and donation page are in top shape. Your donation page is the single most important thing you need to invest in if you want to get donors to give online.
- Don’t hide your donation button! Your donation link should be seen within a couple of seconds of your donation page loading. Placing the link on the top navigation in the website’s header and/or highlighting this button/link by using a bright and eye-catching color are both effective.
- Keep your donation page to one page, integrated with your website, simple and clear, with a CALL-TO-ACTION displayed front and center. Use powerful images and offer multiple payment options to your donors.
- Use a countdown clock to convey urgency in your year-end fundraising. “We’ve seen research that suggests introducing a countdown clock too early in your campaign doesn’t make much of a difference,” explains Bill. “But using a countdown clock in the last week of your year-end fundraising campaign could increase donations by as much as 61% studies show.” **
- Remember follow-up is IMPERATIVE! You’ll want to provide a tax receipt to your donor, acknowledging their donation and thanking them for it.
Reinforce a sense of community and ownership and ensure that donors keep that warm feeling throughout the process of giving. A powerful year-end giving letter requires some thinking and creativity, but it is an effort that’s very well worth it.