The end of the year is prime-time for people to donate to nonprofits they love. Some are trying to fit in a last-minute tax deduction and others are just in that giving spirit and want a case of the warm and fuzzies for the holidays. Whatever their reason, your job is to oblige them by giving them lots of opportunities to give!
However, your nonprofit does not exist in a vacuum. There are other nonprofits, other causes, and other events and people all competing for dollars this time of year (well, really all year). And as a result, just letting people know your org is accepting year-end donations probably won’t be enough to entice them to give.
You must give them a compelling reason to give. Which begs the question: how?
Check out the 3 easy strategies below for some ideas to boost year-end giving through your website.
1. Feature a prominent call to action (cta) on your homepage
A Call To Action is literally just a way to ask someone to take a certain action (in this case, donating). This seems so obvious, but seasoned sales people know that you almost always need to ask for the sale and the latest web research backs up this approach to online fundraising also.
My suggestion is to create an eye-catching element or box on your website with the donation form embedded in it. By-pass using a plain button if you can, as the more times someone has to click through to complete an action, the less likely they become to actually complete it.
Use bold colors and fonts, and make it impossible to not see this form. If possible, include the form on the homepage as well as several other high-traffic pages to give people more opportunities to take the plunge.
2. Use storytelling and data from this year to make your case
Words matter. You’ve probably heard me say that before and I’m sorry to sound like a broken record, but it’s true. If you want people to give, you have to give them a reason to do it and that reason will be contained within the copy you write.
My recommendation is to write copy talking about this past year’s achievements, the lives your org has touched with its work, the difference you’ve made, and plans for the next year.
Pair this up with links to your holiday newsletter, 990s, annual reports, or any other fundraising reports you are able to share. More and more data is coming out all the time showing that people want evidence of impact and financial responsibility before they make the decision to give.
By providing a compelling story and all the details about your org they could ever want in a convenient location next to the donation form, you are hopefully making this an easy decision for them.
3. All roads lead to the donation form (and you need multiple roads)
I said earlier that your nonprofit doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Well, neither does your website. The days when a website could contain basic information and no way for visitors to interact with it and still expect to be effective are over. Nowadays, you absolutely need to integrate your website with your other marketing tools in order to see a big return on your efforts.
In the context of end-of-year giving, this means pairing up your website with your email marketing, text-to-give, traditional marketing, and social media strategies. Why? Because all of these approaches appeal to different groups of donors and you will be vastly more successful if you have a targeted approach for each.
Here are my recommendations:
The older crowd (50+)
Those 50 years of age and older still respond best to traditional marketing techniques like snail mail, phone calls, and personal visits. This means they may send you a traditional check. However, all of us (older generations included) are busier than ever so giving them an easy, convenient way to give without whipping out their checkbook is still a smart bet.
Include links and references to your “easy, fast online donation form” in your calls, mailings, and conversations. Many will take advantage of it!
This group also has a substantial presence on social media platforms, primarily Facebook. When you put together your year-end social posts, make sure you’ve included some with imagery and copy that appeals to this crowd and be sure to include a link to your donation form or the page the form lives on.
The Middle Group (35 – 50)
This group still responds to some traditional approaches like phone calls and mailings, but they are much tech savvier than their parent’s generation. A mixed approach works best for them.
By all means, send them your marketing mailings. But also try to include them in your emails, social media, and crowdfunding efforts. As always, use imagery and copy that is likely to appeal to those in this age group (working the kids and family angle is often effective) and always, always provide links to your donation form/pages.
The Youth (18 – 35)
This group is special (and sometimes frustrating for nonprofit staff). They are super tech-savvy, digitally connected, and seemingly impervious to any traditional marketing techniques.
Don’t waste stamps or phone calls on this group. They won’t respond to it.
Rather, social media and text-to-give approaches are your best bet. Having said that, you are going to need to step up your game in regards to copy and imagery in ways you don’t have to with the other groups if you want to reach them.
And make no mistake – this group wants to give. In fact, they are hungry for meaning and social change in ways that many members of the other 2 groups are not. But if you come across as anything but humorous and genuine, they will look for a different organization to spend their small amount of pocket change on.
Make them laugh. Make them cry. Just make them feel something and you will convince them to give. Videos, memes, and cartoons work well for this. Of course, no matter what format you decide to use, make sure you tell a genuine, compelling story and include that link to your donation form/page!
You also have to make it lightning fast and dead simple for them to give because this techie crowd has no tolerance for waiting around on outdated technology. Which is where text-to-give comes in. Snowball and QGiv are 2 good text-to-give platforms you could use.
Try out these strategies and watch your end-of-year giving get a much-deserved boost!
Comment below and let me know what your biggest challenge around end-of-year giving is! I read every comment and may be able to give you some targeted suggestions!
You can also download this free PDF for a little more help: 5 Bonus Strategies for Using Digital Marketing to Boost End-of-Year Giving