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Get Ready for 2016 Year-End Fundraising with this Checklist

Are you ready for year-end fundraising? It’s hard to believe in just about a month it will be #GivingTuesday and year-end fundraising will be in full swing. As you know, roughly 50% of a nonprofit’s fundraising happens within the last month of the year, so it’s vital to make sure no one drops the ball during those precious four weeks.

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Here’s a checklist to help you plan ahead of time and assure your year-end campaign runs smoothly.

WHAT TO DO NOW

  1. Analyze online data. 

Online data is your MOST valuable asset. Evaluate data from the past 6 to 12 months to determine what is resonating currently with your audience. Then, re-evaluate past year-end campaigns to determine what the appropriate strategy will be for this year. Don’t make assumptions, listen to your data.

  1. Develop your strategy.

    Year-end fundraising

Determine the overall goals for your year-end fundraising campaign, along with which audiences you will be targeting. Then, determine which platforms and tactics you will deploy to achieve your year-end goals and KPIs.

  • How many emails will you send?
  • Should you advertise on social media?
  • Should you advertise on search or display?
  • Can you use your Google Ad Grant?
  1. Determine a year-end theme, then optimize for specific audiences and channels. 

Be sure to pick a topic that will resonate with multiple audiences and departments. It’s important to have a big enough topic to be able to customize and segment your messaging across several audience, but still be consistent.

  1. Coordinate across departments and online channels.

    Year-end Fundraising

Timing and consistency is everything during year-end campaigns. You may only have one chance to get in front of someone. Make sure your messaging is consistent and clear.

  • Can you bring your DM audience online?
  • How can you better engage your email audience on social media?
  • Can you reach your website audience on other platforms? 

Try coordinating with all departments and parties involved in year-end fundraising. Develop a calendar and outline timing of each component of year-end. You’ll want to get in front of the appropriate audience without spamming them.  

  1. Implement retargeting pixels ahead of time.

Year-end Fundraising

Implement any retargeting pixels you will be using early! You’ll want to grow your audiences as much as possible before year-end giving. This will allow you to reach a larger audience and allow you to be more granular with your retargeting.

  1. Start production early!

We all know how busy year-end fundraising can be. Start drafting email copy and graphics as soon as possible.

WHAT TO DO IN DECEMBER

  1. Track everything.

Year-end Fundraising

Be sure to track everything! Come January you’ll be asked “How did X perform?” “What was the ROI of Y?” Map out how you will be tracking all your fundraising efforts.

  • Does DM need an online-friendly URL?
  • Do you need to set up goal tracking within Google Analytics?
  • Are all your button clicks being tracked?
  • Have you UTM-tagged your paid advertising campaigns?
  • Have you created a content calendar to reference when you launched each piece of your campaign?
  1. Test frequently. Pivot quickly.

The best digital marketing happens when you can optimize your work on the fly. During year-end, if something is not working or an email falls flat, analyze the data determine why, then update accordingly.

Be sure to test copy, subject lines, and offers when possible. Making data-driven decisions will be easier when you have an A/B test to support your argument.

  1. Check in on campaigns every day.

    Facebook Year-end Fundraising Ads

Don’t just turn on advertising campaigns and let them run. Continue checking on campaigns to see if there is anything that needs to be tweaked or updated. Costs on paid advertising will fluctuate daily during year-end. You’ll want to make sure your ad budget goes as far as possible. You don’t want to leave expensive ads running if they are not providing any return.

GOOD LUCK! 👍 And just remember: when in doubt, rely on your data! Have any questions? Feel free to reach out to us on Twitter @mediacause.

Think you may need help planning or executing your campaign? Media Cause is currently offering year-end campaign support. Sign up for the limited-time offer here

Taylor Johnston

taylor@mediacause.org