Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 39 seconds

new-yearThe end of the year is closer than you think. In only 15 weeks or so, we will bid adieu to 2014. Since many organizations rely on year-end, giving campaigns to make their financial goals for the year, so inboxes everywhere will be flooded with appeals.

How to stand out from the crowd
The competition for donor’s attention and dollars is fierce. In an inbox crowded full of appeals how do you make sure your message and call to action is received?

One way is to give your message a sense of urgency; you can establish a timeline for action and ask your donors give a certain amount, so that you can make your financial goal by the deadline.

To get your email read you need to create a subject line that is bold and stands out from the crowd in the inbox. Don’t be afraid to use powerful words and images.

Share tangible descriptions of what a donation amount means for your mission. Give specific examples of how a donation will make a difference and make it personal. For example, a $25 donation provides 75 meals.

Make sure your email messaging is consistent with their website messaging. You want it to be a cohesive experience for the recipient. Don’t forget to design your landing page to reinforce your message.

Don’t worry about repletion. Across social media, only 9% of your audience sees any given post. That means you can keep your overall theme and just reword your call-to-action to keep it fresh.

Use all social media
While it Facebook and Twitter are the “go to” social media don’t be afraid to use different channels to spread your message. Some other ways to get your message across is to add your homepage image to your Pinterest board make and include the URL to your donation form.

Update your Facebook and Google+ cover images to match or complement your homepage. Post an image of your mission in action to Facebook with a link to your year-end donation page.

Record a short video of a recipient of your services expressing how he or she was helped post to your website and upload to YouTube. Create a short video solicitation from your executive director or board president, upload to YouTube, and share across all the social media platforms. Create a slide presentation of images of your mission in action and use SlideShare to feature it on your website and LinkedIn page.

The power of the click
Clicktivism, using social media to spread information about a cause, is sometimes used derisively to mean someone who clicks (or shares) a link, but doesn’t actually “do” (donate) anything.

You shouldn’t dismiss “clicktivists”, because they are doing something, they are spreading your organization’s message and building awareness.

Consider it the first step towards increased donations. Before someone donates, they have to know who you are and care about what you are doing.

Remember to catch someone’s attention online is hard. Exposure is everything; it can take 7-8 times (exposures) before you catch someone’s attention. The more your message is shared (or clicked) the better the chance of exposure.

Some ideas to try:
Thankful Campaign
In November, consider sharing specific examples of how your organization is thankful for volunteers, donors etc. and post messages on Facebook and Twitter.

#Giving Tuesday
Started in 2012, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving designed to counteract the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Non-profit professionals are of two minds about #GivingTuesday. One camp believes that #GivingTuesday is a great opportunity to tap into social media to drive donations and others feel that #GivingTuesday is a very crowded pool and it maybe hard for small organizations to stand out from the avalanche of #GivingTuesday appeals.

If you choose to participate in #GivingTuesday let your donor base know ahead of time that you’re participating to build excitement for the day of giving. Another choice is to run your campaign before or after #GivingTuesday, so you stand out.

Text Messaging
Use text messaging to drive awareness of your year-end giving campaign or your upcoming #GivingTuesday campaign.

With careful planning texting can greatly increase your donor awareness and donations. Tailor your mobile list by interest, level of involvement or giving history and send out educational messages first before soliciting donations. Use your social media platforms to let your donors know they can give by text.

Last modified on Thursday, 11 December 2014
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