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Holiday Hustle: Is Your End-of-Year Giving Campaign Ready Yet?

As sweet summertime takes its last turn towards shifting into fall, now’s a great time to consider refreshing your nonprofit or community organization’s year-end giving campaigns before the holiday rush.  The year-end campaign is one of the most important initiatives a nonprofit will tackle in any given year because it requires planning, hard work, and commitment.  It also requires a lean and agile approach to work, learning fast, and listening to supporters and donors.  It needs innovation, courage, and creativity. 

This article features a compilation of our team’s top tips for donor engagement and a step-by-step guide to help make your 2022 year-end giving campaigns a success.  Hopefully, this outline will provide you with the roadmap and playbook required to reach your supporters in new and meaningful ways this fundraising season.

Year-End Fundraising Campaign Goal Planning

Year-end giving and #GivingTuesday are great opportunities to meet your fundraising goals. Organizations seeking to outperform past years must hone a clear understanding of the specific goals related to upcoming fundraising and donor engagement campaigns.  Are you reaching a particular number of new donors or working to meet a certain donation total?  After teams reach measurable decisions, it’s showtime.  Below is a list of tips we suggest teams implement to re-optimize the upcoming year-end campaign season for your updated goals:

Step-By-Step Year-End Giving  Strategy  

Step 1: Review Your Previous End-of-Year Giving Campaign

Data can be a powerful guide.  Looking at what you did the previous year, the channels used, audience segments, messaging, and what worked and didn’t.  Challenges of the prior year can help steer the direction of your current year (2022) Giving Campaign. 

Step 2: Reflect & Set 

To succeed and progress, nonprofit organizations must set specific, incremental goals, stay resilient, and keep themselves accountable.  Evaluate the overall state of your nonprofit and how close you are to achieving all of your 2022 goals. Get creative; end-of-year giving helps increase more than just fiscal goals.  Boost your public profile, help you acquire new donors, grow your mobile list, and establish yourself as the leader in your impact area.

Step 3: Audience  

To execute the most effective and successful year-end Campaign possible, you’ll need to consider your audience first.  Create donor segments and craft your message accordingly. And remember, before your Campaign officially launches, you’ll want to have your ‘thank you’ materials ready to go for later.

Step 4: Create a Timeline 

We suggest that end-of-year giving campaigns should last no longer than 6 weeks.  #GivingTuesday hasextended the year-end giving period, so you can use it as a benchmark of when to start with the year-end campaign appeals.

Step 5: Make the Ask

Once you have a goal, audience, messaging, theme, and timeline, use channels to deliver an ask that will reach and resonate with your audience.  A combination of channels can be a great way to build a rapport with your audience.  Leverage multiple channels to amplify your message while keeping it authentic.  Use email, social, text, website, events (live and virtual), and video messaging to tell a story, humanizing the ask.

Bonus tips to drive audience engagement:

  • Solidify core messaging. 
  • Create a “master” messaging calendar.
  • Forecast social media agenda and email schedule(s).
  • Explore more creative options to help convey your messaging.  
  • Remember thank yous, see you next year’s, and day after follow-ups.

Don’t forget video messaging! 

Incorporating video messaging into communication strategies allow organizations to say and interact much more than traditional text message character limitations allow, creating the opportunity to increase your brand or organization’s memorability through more authentic human-to-human connections.  Here’s our list of practical ways to get the most out of Hustle Stories video messages for your #GivingTuesday push:

  • Personalize! Video messages should feel relevant and personal to the audience member receiving it. What sets Hustle’s Personalized Videos apart from other tools is that it’s one person sharing something directly with another. Nothing is more powerful than that of human-to-human connection.
  • Leverage Hustle Clips. Separate your messages into short bursts of digestible information instead of sending one long video. Even a quick 10-seconds of behind-the-scenes action or a product testimonial carry a lot of weight.
  • Always include a call to action. Located towards the end of your Hustle Stories video messages, best practice call-to-action signposts signal what to do next for supporters. Failing to include a call-to-action in your videos often confuses how to sign up for an organization or service or make a purchase.
  • Always record vertically. People view content, particularly video content, on mobile devices more today than ever before. Vertical video is the best orientation for holding devices in one hand, requiring less space in crowded environments compared to gripping horizontally for landscape orientation.
  • Include some text in your text message. Ensure recipients will open each message by echoing the most important aspects textually and through video. Remember that P2P messaging means communicating and keeping up with your audience wherever they may be, like in noisy environments. Additionally, offering text in your video messages helps keep followers with accessibility engaged for what’s next.
  • Focus on strategy. The best conversational messaging strategies focus on being consistent with a thoughtful messaging cadence. Taking time to develop a robust outreach strategy enables groups and organizations to be intentional in their messaging, constantly treating customer phone contacts carefully and with consideration. 

Between deciding which channels to use, which donor segments to focus on, and creating all the fundraising materials and tools – crafting and executing a good year-end fundraising campaign can be complex.  As the leading person-to-person conversational text and video platform, we release an updated EOY Fundraising Guide as well as an annual Donor Engagement Guide, which is a playbook to reach your supporters in new and meaningful ways via text and video messaging. 

More on Hustle: Text, Video, and Broadcast Texting 

Since 2014, Hustle has helped hundreds of relationship-driven clients initiate more than 1 billion personal texting conversations within their communities.  We are a market leader in texting, video, and now broadcast communication, transforming how organizations and their members talk.  The first-of-its-kind and best-in-its-class, Hustle enables organizations to convert simple text messages into a powerful and dynamic tool to meaningfully engage with people and drive them to take action.  

Contact us today with questions or to request a demo, and let’s turn your text into action!

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