It’s the most critical time of the year. (Can you hear that tune playing in your head?)
Despite that song now being stuck in your head, year-end really is a critical time for just about every nonprofit. Now is the time to make sure that all your online tools are up, running and that they make it easy for every visitor to donate. We developed a checklist to help our clients get prepared for year-end and we thought we’d share it.
10 Point Checklist to Maximize Online Year-End Giving
1. Promote non-traditional gifts as a great way to avoid the crowds at the mall. Encourage donors to use your giving catalog or make a tribute gift. Get those pages ready for year-end traffic. See how we helped National Audobon Society launch an online gift catalog and check out the newly launched Defenders of Wildlife online Wildlife Adoption & Gift Center.
2. Take advantage of “Giving Tuesday” which is December 3 this year and that means having your messages and donate pages built, tested, and ready to launch before Thanksgiving week.
3. Spruce up your website, landing pages, lightboxes and social media pages to mirror artwork and messages to make them consistent throughout your site and with what people will see in their direct mail campaigns.
4. Appeal to the procrastinator! Did you know that 10% of annual online donations are processed on December 31st (Network for Good)? This means that if you’re using advertising campaigns, be sure to time them so that those who need to make donations on the last day possible can easily find your organization. Send a reminder eblast on the morning of December 31st.
5. Make sure that each touch with a constituent offers other ways to connect and to stay connected via social media, text messaging, email and postal mail.
6. Now is the time to make it even easier for a prospect or donor to make a recurring gift. Not sure how to do that? Give us a call, and we can help you audit your current process.
7. This is the time of year when employer-based matching gifts get more traction. Don’t forget to remind donors and to ask them if they work for an employer with a matching gift program.
8. Need a boost in your email list prior to launching your year-end campaign? Consider an e-append this month. We can help you turn it around just in time.
9. Know how your donors and visitors are seeing your site on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone. Make sure pages and forms work properly regardless of the device. Run extra tests to help assure you are ready for an increase in traffic from a wider variety of devices than last year.
10. Work your entire donor file. Just because someone is a direct mail donor doesn’t mean they will not appreciate what you have to offer online. This is the time of year to ask your entire constituent base – donor, prospect, activist, and program participant – for a 2013 contribution.
Year-end giving is an ideal opportunity to grow your donor base and engage in a meaningful way. Planning ahead and thinking beyond December 31st will help you maximize your year-end donations, allowing you to fulfill more of your mission in 2014. We hope this 10 point checklist will help you to get your ducks in a row. If you need help with preparing for year-end, please let us know. We’d be happy to assist you with just one item or all ten!