5 ideas to ensure your holiday campaign is a success

holiday campaign

It’s no surprise that the month of December represents one of the most important times for nonprofit organizations. In 2014, 31% of annual giving happened in December, with 12% happening in the last 3 days (Online Giving Statistics, Charity Navigator, 2014).

It’s not enough to send one campaign to all your donors. Invest some time and create a multi-touch strategy that helps you convince new donors to give again while attracting new ones.

Here are a few tips to help you end the year with a bang.

1. Use what you know about your donors

Know who your donors are and how they’ve interacted with your organization in the past. You should be keeping track of the number of donations you collect and the amounts, whether or not a contact has opened past emails, and what issues your contacts might be interested in based on their engagement. Use this information when communicating with your supporters.

Take “John” as an example. He’s been a supporter for 4 months. He donated 25 dollars to your endangered turtle fund 3 months ago and has opened your last 2 fundraising emails. So what do we know about John? We know that he’s a previous donor, is interested in endangered turtles, and has been opening your emails. But has not given again, which means he’s engaged and may be ready to give.

2. Use what you know to segment your donors

Take the information you know about each of your supporters and use that information to organize your donors into segments. Segmenting lets you target supporters based on their traits and actions, making your message much more personal and relevant. Some of our favorite segments are:

  • New donors
  • Repeat donors
  • Large donors vs. small donors
  • Donation recency groupings

Segments will always stay up to date making it easy to target people on the fly. If a supporter donates for the first time, he or she will automatically be added to the new donor segment. If they make a second donation, they will fall off the new donor segment and be added to the repeat donor segment.

Let’s go back to John. Understanding what John has done is great, but being able to find all the people who behave in a similar way is even more valuable. You can use segmentation to find everyone who acts like John and communicate with them in a direct way that drives engagement.

To learn more about segmentation best practices, check out our 4 ways to segment your nonprofit list blog post.

3. Send dynamic content to those segments

Using dynamic content will save you time and let you be more personal. If you can capture the issues that your supporters care about, use dynamic content so that your supporters are getting the information they care about. Using dynamic tags will pull in their name and the amount of their contributions into your emails.

We know that John is interested in the endangered turtle fund based on his previous donation so make sure to include information regarding that fund in your emails. This will help keep John engaged and increase the likelihood of another donation.

4. Social media

Facebook can be more than just an engagement tool. It can also be a platform that helps you acquire new donors and supporters. You can push segments of your donor base into Facebook and let Facebook find people who look and behave just like your existing list. Then you can show that lookalike audience an ad that drives them to your site (Learn how to do this here: Feature Launch: Integration for Facebook’s Custom Audiences).

You can also use Facebook to re-engage past donors. Create a segment of donors who haven’t given in a few months and target those contacts using ads.

Let’s use John as another example. You can take that segment you created earlier and push it into Facebook. Using lookalike audiences will help you target Facebook users that are similar to John and the people in his segment allowing you to reach a larger and more diverse supporter base.

5. Send great thank you notes once they donate

For those who have chosen to give, make sure you’re sending them a great thank you email. This will help with donor retention. The more relevant and interesting your thank you notes are,   the more likely you’ll be able to keep that donor engaged until it’s time for them to make their next gift. Here are a few ways to get more creative with your thank you notes:

  • Use a personal opening. Include first name and amount of contribution. “Thanks, Daniel, for you $100 donation!”
  • Tell your supporter what you’re going to accomplish with their donation
  • Use photos to strengthen the connection between you and your supporter
  • Share any recent accomplishments your organization has made

To learn more about dynamic thank you notes, check out our Dynamic Thank You Note Emails for Nonprofits blog post.

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