If you have questions about using the year-end engagement plan built into your Donor Management System, check out our FAQs article for more details.
Before you start tackling those email tasks in your donor management system, it can be helpful to set goals, gather the stories and assets you will use in your year-end campaign, and set up your year-end donation page.
Deciding on a goal for your year-end campaign can be accomplished a few different ways:
Review your fundraising goal for the entire year and use your left-to-raise amount as your year-end goal. Depending on your fundraising throughout the first 9 months of the year, this number could be very large or very small.
Run a filter in your donor management system to discover what you raised during year-end last year and decide to increase by 10-20%.
If you'd like to work towards a number that is outside of dollars raised you can always focus on number of new donors, engaged donors, and renewed donors.
Having a goal makes it obvious how you will measure success and communicating it to your internal stakeholders helps get others excited about the campaign and encourages them to help reach that goal.
Gather Assets and Stories
When you open the year-end templates in your donor management system you'll notice that the templates suggest using some language that you might not have on hand immediately.
Here are the details and assets you will need to fill out the templates when you're ready:
your mission statement
number of individuals your programs reach each year
at least three "impact" statements (these can be pulled from your annual report)
a powerful client story + image of that client or a stock photo to represent that client (this story will be used in more than one email)
a #GivingTuesday goal (this can focus on a specific program like "Raise $10,000 for scholarships" or a more general dollar-focused goal)
Also recommended: branding for your year-end campaign. This means using imagery, calls to action, tone of voice, graphics, and messaging that wraps every piece of communication together and presents it as one cohesive campaign. Read this blog post about a Network for Good customer who did a great job of keeping their branding consistent throughout their campaign.
Set Up Your Donation Page
To help track donations that come in from your year-end efforts, you should create a donation page that is specific for this campaign. Remember: you can add offline donations in Donor Management and attach them to this page's campaign and those gifts will be reflected in the donor scroll and appear towards your goal's total!
In addition to being able to easily monitor success of your campaign, having a dedicated donation page creates a cohesive experience for your donors.
The headline, image, call to action and other language featured on this donation page should match the message in your emails.
Also recommended: if you are emphasizing #GivingTuesday as part of your year-end fundraising campaign, you could also create another donation page specifically for #GivingTuesday gifts. Again, this makes it easier to track gifts that come in on #GivingTuesday and being able to create a sense of urgency with a headline that emphasizes the day of giving will encourage your donors to give and give now.