Setting your digital strategy for your EOFY Appeal
— Written by Samara Gentle, Head of Digital Fundraising and Marketing at Marlin Communications.
As the end of the financial year approaches, many organisations like yours are gearing up for their annual fundraising appeals.
Your concepts, timelines and case studies are all in full swing as you inch closer towards your lodgement date.
But is your digital mix ready to go? Have you factored in digital as a strategic element of your appeal, or is it just ‘there’ as a way for donors to transact?
Here are a few things to consider to ensure you have an integrated approach to your Tax Appeal that ensures digital is working for you.
Be data driven
Data and analytics are valuable tools for measuring the success of your fundraising campaign, but also to ensure you’re making data-informed decisions for future campaigns.
A few metrics to look at from your last campaign:
- Volume and average gift by channel
- Break this down further by individual email, ad sets etc
- New and existing donors by channel
By tracking metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and donation amounts, you can identify what’s working and what needs improvement. You can use this data to refine your message, adjust your fundraising channels, and optimise your next campaign for better results.
Personalise your communications
Personalisation is key to building strong relationships with donors. By using donor data such as past giving history, donation amounts, and interests, you can personalise your communications to make them more relevant and meaningful.
For example, you could segment your donor list and send targeted messages to different groups based on their giving history or interests.
Use personalised URLs to prepopulate information and suggest giving handles closer related to a donor’s past giving. Using this tactic can increase your conversion rate by over 23%*.
HOT TIP: Personalisation is often sidelined due to the effort required to pull in and set up the data in the way it’s needed. Do not fall into the trap of ‘it’s too hard’. If nothing changes then nothing changes.
Offer a matching gift challenge
Matched giving challenges can be a powerful motivator for donors. A matching gift is where a donor or corporate pledges to match every donation made up to a certain amount.
Dollar matches provide an extra reason and touchpoint for a donor to support you. It can also be a powerful tool to communicate with Major Donors or Corporates about how they’re support can also be doubled.
When looking at the timing of matched giving, you want to ensure it won’t cross over to other timely moments such as 30 June or 24 December. These days are already naturally high fundraising days, use your matched giving to create an additional revenue peak 1-2 weeks prior to those naturally high days.
HOT TIP: Depending on the size of the gift and your typical donor volumes the matched giving can be 1x, 2x or even 3x. When you hit milestones towards your target make sure to share with your donors and community
Build a strong team
A successful appeal requires a strong team with the right skill sets, ensuring they are set up for success. In some organisations this may mean leaning on your communications and marketing teams to support your digital efforts.
If your organisation is at a point where capacity is tight, there’s been staff turnover or a lack of skills in a particular area, this is when outsourcing to an agency can be very beneficial.
By outsourcing and seeing the impact, this can help build your business case for getting internal or external support for future campaigns.
Follow up and thank your donors
Finally, it’s essential to follow up with your donors after your appeal has ended. This can range from personalised cards, emails or phone calls.
From a digital perspective you can create very plain emails that are hyper-personalised so that your supporters feel they’ve been sent a more real email rather than just a generic thank you.
In particular you should be pulling out donors who have gone the extra mile for you in this appeal for a personalised 1:1 thank you:
- Major Donors
- Mid Value Donors
- Donors who increased their gift by 10%+ this appeal
- New Donors
Thank them for their support and let them know how their donations have made a difference. This will help build strong relationships with your donors and can encourage them to continue giving to your organisation in the future.
Setting your strategy early for an end-of-financial-year fundraising appeal is critical to its success.
▢ Define your goals
▢ Define your audience
▢ Develop a compelling message
▢ Plan your fundraising channels, i.e. email, social, SMS
▢ Develop your timeline
▢ Building a strong team
▢ Utilise data and analytics
▢ Personalise your communications
▢ Offer a matching gift opportunity
▢ Follow up and thanking your donors
By following this checklist you can create a campaign that inspires donors and raises critical funds for your organisation.
And don’t forget, nothing changes if nothing changes. If your campaign is a rinse and repeat of previous campaign strategies you’re unlikely to see a change in the result.
*NextAfter Experiment 36944