The Journey Before Year-End Part 2: Engaging Donors, Converting Prospects and Increasing Revenue

(This is the second in a two-part series on laying the groundwork in September and October for better than expected year-end fundraising results. Read part one here.)

Quick, what’s your game plan for content for the next two months? If you don’t know, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and read this blog.

It’s no secret that year-end fundraising is critical to nearly every nonprofit. In order to garner the best results in those last 30 days of the year, it’s crucial to build and deepen the connection with your donors and prospects in the months before December.

Are you planning to improve your year-end revenue? Maybe you’re thinking about the donation page tests you want to run, or home page banner and interstitial tests. Maybe you’re testing email formats and offers. Are you lining up some acquisition tests and reactivation efforts? If so, that’s great! Those are all important elements to a successful year-end campaign.

What about engaging the people you already have on your lists and as social followers? How are you planning to get their attention and keep it?

Connecting with your supporters now – in September, October and early November -- will pay off in December. You’ll have their attention going into year-end … and data on their interests to inform your year-end messaging to improve succeed during this crucial time of year.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Identify content: Make a list of upcoming content your team is developing or would like to develop. Don’t forget national holidays and awareness days. Where are the gaps? What can you repurpose? Is there a series of videos that can be shared? Line all this content up and try to organize it into a calendar.
  • Curate content: Start curating content from reputable external sourcesSocial Engagement.png and begin sharing it with your followers. Post relevant content from other publications, as seen here from the Ocean Conservancy.

    This kind of content adds credibility to your mission and offers your followers a new perspective to the issues your organization addresses. Before you share something, be sure the articles are recent and by a reputable source. If there’s not a direct connection to your mission, don’t try to make it fit. 
  • Calendar content: By now, you should have a bevy of content to drawfrom. (Hint: it’s okay to post something twice). Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.15.11 PM.pngPut it into a calendar to see where there are holes and where you may have saturation on a topic or issue. Look for a balance between video, images, articles and original content.Aim for 60% original content, 20% articles with attribution and another 20% for video and images. Don’t forget email! Send your email audience successful social messages and your email audience to help spread the word.

  • Listen and respond: Now put your content in front of your supporters and listen for their response. What are your social followers responding to – liking, sharing and commenting on? Be certain to comment back … responding will increase your reach and built trust. On email, what’s getting traction? If something is working, find ‘more like this’ content to keep the momentum going. And remember, give each post and email a little time to be seen before concluding it a winner or loser. We recommend up to 24 hours for a social post and 36 hours for an email.
  • Be flexible: In addition to getting your content lined up, listening to how your audience responds, it’s also critical to be flexible should a moment warrant it. National and local events can suddenly consume the news cycle. Be prepared to either wait out the news cycle or respond to it, should the moment warrant it. Failure to do either can appear tone deaf. Think carefully about whether or not it’s worth responding to a news moment and if you do, be thoughtful and authentic.

With thoughtful planning, you can execute effective journeys with donors and prospects before year-end and it may even be simpler than you think!

Need some ideas for your plan and journey? That’s why we’re here! Reach out to find out how Causemo helped Cradles to Crayons double their year-end fundraising revenue using donor journeys.

For additional ideas continue reading, "Where Do I Find New Donors and Advocates That Look Like the Best Ones I Have?"