4 Ways to Engage Donors During the End-of-Year Giving Season: From our Friends at Double the Donation
Keeping donors engaged is one of the most vital aspects of a successful donor retention strategy. When it comes to year-end fundraising, whether a donor chooses to support your efforts in the following year can depend greatly on your EOY tactics and ideas.
To do so, it’s vital that you make your organization stand out from the crowd. We suggest incorporating the following best practices into your year-end fundraising:
- Promote matching gifts.
- Participate in Giving Tuesday.
- Share stats and reports.
- Personalize your communications.
Maintaining high levels of engagement throughout the donor journey ensures supporters continue to play a key role in advancing your mission. Ready to learn more about our favorite strategies for boosting donor involvement? Let’s get started!
1. Promote matching gifts.
Corporate matching gifts essentially offer nonprofits a “two-for-one sale” on charitable donations, which seems too good to pass up. Yet billions of dollars in available matching gift revenue goes unclaimed each year, largely due to a lack of awareness of these programs among donors.
In order to combat this obstacle, promoting matching gift opportunities to your donors is of utmost importance (year-round, but especially during the end-of-year giving season). Here are a few of the most effective ways to inform donors about matching gifts and drive additional match requests:
- Donation form: One of the easiest ways to market matching gifts is by incorporating matching gifts directly into your online donation process. And luckily, you can integrate your matching gift software directly into your online fundraising platform to further streamline the process. As a donor completes your online giving form, they’ll simply be prompted to enter their employer’s name, and they’ll be provided with information on that company’s programs on the confirmation page.
- Email: Highlight matching gifts via email—whether through e-blasts and virtual newsletters or more personal outreach. It’s an easy and low-cost way to get matching gift information directly in your donors’ inboxes!
- Social media: Take a mass marketing approach to matching gifts with social media promotion. Create eye-catching posts to publish on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more, then encourage your followers to interact with and share your content.
- Website: Make sure to incorporate ample matching gift information on your nonprofit’s website in multiple, easily accessible locations. For example, include matching gifts in your “ways to give” page, create a dedicated matching gift web page, and highlight matching gifts in your website navigation.
Regardless of your chosen promotional tactics, be sure to provide supporters with access to a searchable matching gift database of company information. The easier you make it for donors to research and determine their eligibility status (and how to request a match), the more match revenue you’ll collect for your cause.
2. Participate in Giving Tuesday.
Participating in Giving Tuesday 2021 is one of the best ways to launch your team’s year-end fundraising efforts and jump into a successful giving season. In fact, many of your donors will likely be feeling particularly generous. Here’s what you can do to maximize the results of your Giving Tuesday campaign and increase engagement levels at the same time:
- Begin promoting your Giving Tuesday efforts in advance.
- Remember to mention matching gifts in your day-of Giving Tuesday appeals.
- Follow up with Giving Tuesday donors to retain support throughout the new year.
Giving Tuesday is a huge day for fundraising organizations, and you’ll want to make the most of it to start your year-end giving season on a positive note.
3. Share stats and reports.
Donors like to see the tangible impacts of their charitable gifts. When the end of the year rolls around, it’s the perfect time to share information about what your organization has accomplished in the last several months. Depending on your nonprofit’s mission, the types of stats and stories you include can differ—but here are a few examples:
- X cats were fed in our shelter this year, and Y dogs found forever homes.
- We raised $X,000,000 this year for our no child go hungry initiative.
- X donations were matched by donors’ employers, adding up to $Y,000 in corporate revenue.
By providing your audience with powerful nonprofit fundraising statistics like these, you can better illustrate the impact of your mission and collected fundraising dollars. Then, dedicated donors will jump at the opportunity to give more and do more for your cause!
4. Personalize your communications.
Ensuring personalized outreach is critical for building deeper relationships with donors and collecting more dollars for your cause. It also makes your messages stand out when tons of other organizations are asking your same donors for support as well.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to tweak your communications to instill a sense of personalization:
- Address the donor by name. “Dear Alex” is always going to be more relational than “To whom it may concern,” or even “Dear Donor.” The way you greet donors in your messaging is one of the first impressions they’ll have of your outreach. A too-broad salutation implies that you just need somebody’s help rather than needing that particular recipient’s assistance in supporting your organization’s mission.
- Acknowledge previous involvement with your organization. This lets donors know that you know who they are—and it reminds them that they clearly support your mission already! If you’re inviting a supporter to attend your upcoming fundraising auction, for example, be sure to mention that you’ve appreciated their attendance at last year’s annual event as well.
- Incorporate company-specific information in matching gift reminders. If you’re sending matching gift reminders, you’ll want to incorporate company-specific information about their employer’s corporate gift-matching programs. This should include donation minimums and maximums, match ratios, submission deadlines, and request instructions.
When donors see that you take the time to reach out to each individual, rather than taking a blanket approach to fundraising, they’ll be more likely to support your campaign and help you reach your goals. And when you prioritize crafting lifelong donor relationships, you can set yourself up for the following year’s giving season as well!
The year-end giving season is one of the most important times of the year for all sorts of nonprofits and fundraising organizations. But with so many other groups vying for your donors’ attention (and wallets), keeping your engagement levels high is of utmost importance.
We recommend highlighting matching gift programs and opportunities, preparing for and participating in Giving Tuesday campaigns, sharing powerful mission statistics and reports, and personalizing your donor messaging as much as possible. Good luck, and happy fundraising!