It seems like the headlines EVERYWHERE are about the growth in online giving and the importance of multi-channel giving.
It’s all true but you don’t have time or money. So, here are a few tips about adding an online component with steps to save time/money in the process.
Reduce the number of printed letters. How? Create appropriate lanes to remove names from your print mail list.
Those lanes can include the following:
- Remove donors from your snail-mail campaign who gave online in the past 24 months.
- Review and remove donors from the print letter who give below $100 annually.
- Evaluate your list of new donors in the past 24 months and consider who can be removed from the print mailing list.
Create an online landing page (or Swell page) that highlights the main points of the print letter.
- Include a video message recorded by your CEO summarizing the print letter. (Note: there are many, free or almost free platforms for self-recordings.)
- Add a dropdown of your board members or junior board members so that donors can acknowledge their connection to your cause.
- Send a link to this page to your board members for sharing purposes and use in email
Reduce the number of letters signed by board members. (see item #1) First, this exercise of preparing, delivering letters to board members or inviting board members to your office to sign letters is extremely time consuming. Second, it is also effective for recipients to have a personal connection through the request. Save time with technology.
Create an example email, much like your print letter, for your board members to use to email their peers, especially those who can be reached best online. Check out this video about creating custom emails in Gmail
Leverage merge tags in your e-blast: Ask each board member for a specific message that they want to write on their solicitations and use merge tags to incorporate custom messages into an email from your platform.
Post the CEO’s year end video on social media channels without an ask from the organization, then email board members asking them to share the video with their networks (including LinkedIn).
Reduce your time processing checks and awaiting USPS by adding a QR code on your printed letters to create an easy path for a print recipient to respond online. How to create a QR Code.
Creative Aspects to Enhance Your Campaign
The benefit of online is that you can create a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) which is difficult with a 100% print campaign. The transparency of giving, including fundraising totals and donor names, has the increased impact of pulling donors into your path toward a goal.
A few creative ideas:
- When you launch your year end campaign, highlight a few multi-year donors. Do you have a 10-year supporter, 5-year and 2-year supporter? This creates ‘authority’ and trust.
- Creatively thank donors online throughout the month as gifts come in and you climb toward a goal.
- Provide board members with a weekly donor report and a report of prior year donors who have not given yet. Ask them to (a) thank those who have given already and (b) consider reaching out to those who have not (supporting this with a custom gmail template will help)
- Celebrate the fundraising totals throughout the month - perhaps a weekly drumroll on Fridays via a live Facebook video AND the number of donors in your campaign. When you celebrate the number of donors in your campaign, all donors (especially small donors) feel seen.
- Constantly remind donors what their gifts accomplish through (a) custom donation receipts, (b) online posts, and/or (c) phone calls to offline donors. Don’t wait until January to thank and celebrate. The ‘thank yous’ support current giving.