4 Lessons Learned from Virtual Fundraising to Bring to Your Year-End Strategy

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End of the year campaigns are essential for a nonprofit’s fundraising success. A large percentage of annual giving happens in the last month of the year, making this prime time for nonprofit strategy and engagement.

The end of the year brings some of the biggest giving months for fundraisers, and it is the time where donors are willing to give more and in greater quantity.

To ensure the greatest impact, it is essential to start planning your year-end campaigns early.

With COVID-19, nonprofits have been forced to adapt and grow their fundraising in a digital world. Now, with the things still changing and evolving, let’s not forget the important lessons and value shaped in an online environment.

No matter what type of campaign you plan to create, we have outlined 4 important lessons learned from virtual fundraising to help strengthen and increase your year-end campaigns:

  1. Choose the Best Fundraising Technology for Your Cause
  2. Leverage a Multichannel Approaches to Increase Donor Reach
  3. Communicate & Cultivate a Connection to Your Mission
  4. Design Your Fundraising Site with Your Supporters in Mind

1. Choose the Best Fundraising Technology for Your Cause  

Nonprofit fundraising software is your most powerful ally. It streamlines the donor experience, offers engagement online, and automates the fundraising experience. Nothing says easy like taking your giving online!

Because of the time spent online, donors are now accustomed to ease and connectivity. They want their virtual giving experiences to be easy, just like their shopping experience. That means it is important to utilize virtual features that increase your reach and drive more conversions.

When evaluating fundraising software solutions, look for a platform that includes:

  • Customizable online giving  forms: These allow donors to pick and choose donation amounts, leave messages, and share with their networks.
  • Branded microsites: Showcase your mission, impact, and expand your reach through built-in social engagement tools.
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising (P2P) technology: Engage supporters before, during, and after your event with social media connection and team functionality.
  • Text-to-donate opportunities: Make it easy for people to quickly donate to your cause throughout the day regardless of where they are.

All these software solutions provide opportunities to help broaden the reach of your campaign and achieve year-end campaign success.

Pro TIp Finalizing your fundraising software early in your campaign planning allows for time to leverage your software to its full potential. Plus learning the fundraising solution creates a better user experience for your donors.

2. Leverage Multichannel Approaches to Increase Donor Reach

Expand your reach and donor engagement through a multi-channel marketing approach using your online fundraising software.

Online campaigns allow for multiple touchpoints with your donors, making your campaign more accessible to a larger audience. To attract a wide range of supporters, leverage the multiple online channels, promoting your year-end campaign in a variety of ways online. Be sure to use:

  1. Social Media: Reach a more socially connected audience. By using a campaign hashtag, you can leverage supporters to widen the reach of your campaign.
  2. Website: Promote your campaign on a prominent place on your organization’s homepage. This increases the awareness for your cause and can drive engagement.
  3. Email: Leverage email to promote your year-end push and activate donors.
  4. Mobile: Let’s face it – today’s donors are connected to their phones! Mobile and text messaging allows you to send quick reminders to your supporter base. Include a clickable link in the text so your supporters donate right from their phones.

These channels will help increase awareness of your year-end campaign and connect donors with your cause.

Because the target audience for each of these mediums vary, a multichannel approach allows nonprofits to disseminate their audience and expose different potential donors to your campaign. A larger reach for your end-of-year campaign allows you to drive higher donor conversion.

Pro TIpBe sure to provide a variety of information across channels as a way to engage visitors in different ways. Some viewers might engage with you via your website, social media, and email and are more likely to stay engaged with your organization’s campaign if the content is fresh.

3. Communicate & Cultivate a Connection to your Cause

Though virtual fundraising is an effective way to reach more donors, it is important to find way to connect them to your cause in a digital space.

Make sure your mission is at the forefront of your messaging, and you are using a consistent communication message before, during, and after your campaign.

The key to maintaining donor connection is through strong communication and tapping into the top 3 motivators of today’s donors:

  1. Making communication and engagement easy!
  2. Understanding the mission of your organization.
  3. Articulating how their gift will make a difference.

This will help your supporters feel a bond to your organization, inspire them to give and help them stay connected to your mission into the new year.

Here are key tips on what to do (or not do) for successful donor communication.

Do and Don't chart

These tips will help cultivate deeper relationships with your supporters and foster a sense of community that lasts past the end of the year.

4. Design Your Fundraising Site with Your Supporters in Mind

When leveraging a fundraising site during any campaign, it’s important to focus on how the site will function for the user.

It is important to create a campaign site that will attract supporters and maximize their donor experience.

Here are some considerations when designing your year-end fundraising experience:

  • Optimize Your Virtual Space: Consider what donors will want to know when visiting your campaign. Make this information (like registration, donation, etc.) easy to find and intuitive to ensure an easy giving experience for donors.
  • Make it Mobile: The number of nonprofit transactions made through mobile devices increased by 50% in 2020. It’s essential that your software is optimized to meet donors where they are – their smartphones.
  • Social Media Connection: Linking social channels to your giving site allows donors to share out your campaign and maximize their reach. It turns donors into champions for your cause.
  • Site Communication: Make it easy for donors to gather information about the campaign and communicate their value. Send out reminders and updates through the site to keep donors connected and engaged.

Wrapping Up!

In the crowded year-end fundraising arena, it’s time to think outside of the box and launch a year-end campaign that will cut through the noise and make your mission stand out!

With the help of these top 4 tips learned from virtual fundraising, your year-end giving can take your fundraising to the next level.