We just wrapped up a 3-month sprint raising year-end funds for 11 ministries focused on meeting needs in their communities while expanding God’s Kingdom. We put our best effort forward and God showed up big time!
As final combined numbers are coming in, approximately $1 million was raised for Kingdom work around the globe! We could not be happier. How did we do it? MULTI-CHANNEL FUNDRAISING Multi-channel fundraising is a strategy for nonprofits to spread awareness about their fundraising campaign to a variety of people through the use of multiple communication and fundraising channels. This strategy’s objective is to reach various types of donors (small, mid-level and major) at multiple touchpoints. Currently, there are more ways than ever to reach donors and prospective donors. We have a buffet of communication to choose from… blogs, podcasts, live-streams, social media, email, direct mail, events, one-on-one, zoom and more! One would think it would be easier to reach your target audience. Unfortunately, information overload has become a real distraction. Particularly in our current state of the pandemic and political tension. It’s vital to leverage as many communication channels as possible to increase the likelihood that your target audience will see and take action. And they can take their pick from the buffet of how they prefer to connect. For our year-end fundraising clients, we incorporated the following: Direct Mail Percentages for nonprofit direct mail response rates vary from organization to organization, however, statistics indicate the success rate goes up when the direct mail campaign is paired with other means of communication as mentioned above. Direct mail is perfect for telling a longer story and sharing images. It’s a great reminder for your donor and increases brand awareness.
For year-end fundraising we recommended two direct mail pieces (November and December). Outside of a campaign, we recommend quarterly direct mail. Email Marketing Estimated 36% of all online revenue comes from email messaging. MailChimp found that the average open rate for nonprofit email marketing is 25.96%, compared to the universal email open rate of 6%. And yes, 26% is a lot better than 6%, but it still means that about three quarters of your audience isn’t opening your emails. A few best practices to remedy this:
Write engaging and short subject lines.
Optimize for previews with preheader text.
Use recognizable senders.
Ensure relevant content by personalizing and segmenting.
For year-end fundraising we recommended 8-10 emails over the span of two months, with three of those being the last three days of the year. Outside of a campaign, we recommend 2-3 emails per month (but only if you have engaging storytelling, donor-centric content). If developing content is a challenge, it’s best to spend energy on sending fewer communications pieces and doing them really well. Social Media Social Media is great for frequent updates using images and videos. Statistics indicate social video generates 12x more shares than text and images combined. We use a free tool called Canva to develop social videos and posts. To increase your reach, we recommend identifying ‘influencers’ who love and support your ministry. Asking them to help you promote your campaign can be of tremendous value. You can even develop a toolkit making it easy for them to copy and paste. Here’s a sample toolkit we made for one of our clients at year-end. If you have questions or need social media assistance this year, we recommend Uprise Social. They do a fantastic job!
Text Messaging One of the most underutilized yet most powerful ways you can connect with donors is through text messaging. With a 95% open rate, text messages are a guaranteed way to make donors pay attention. The key is to make the message sound human, not spammy! One of our clients had great success sending short, personalized videos to major donors. Show ministry in action. Tell them how much you appreciate them by name. They will appreciate it. Ringless Voicemails Through Slybroadcast you can record a voicemail (up to 2 minutes) and drop it directly to the voicemail box of your donor. We’ve used this on numerous occasions during campaigns and it works like a charm!
It drops the voicemail to mobile and landlines. You only pay for successful drops and they make it easy to upload your list of numbers. For only $60 you can get 1,000 deliveries. While you can’t use individual names, you can say Hey Friend….or Emily here, calling from…(recording should be upbeat, engaging and not spammy). Website Giving Page User friendly giving pages are critical to the success of a campaign. Many donors will not respond immediately to the marketing channel they are currently on, but will come back to your website later to donate. Don’t let the donor get distracted. Make it easy for a donor to land quickly on your giving page and make the donation process easy. For our year-end campaigns we recommended ministry leaders create a themed landing page just for the campaign (example www.medicalambassadors.org/design). We promoted the landing page throughout the campaign and updated it with stories, videos, donor spotlights and some used a giving thermometer. Face-to-Face Statistics indicate the success rate of face-to-face fundraising is 70–80 percent, much higher than any other strategy. This is where the rubber meets the road. We can’t be successful fundraisers without making direct asks. People give to people, justified by the cause. The pandemic has made this more challenging, but we've learned many donors are willing to meet via zoom or facetime. Making a direct ask can be intimidating. We get it. Here’s a Flagship resource on making the ask. We also highly recommend reading The God Ask by Steve Shadrach. Remember this...
When Jesus sent out His disciples, He commanded them to fundraise. He told them not to bring money, food, or clothing with them on their missionary journeys. The disciples had no choice but to depended on the generosity of people that they asked for support.
We believe anyone can be a good fundraiser with training, practice, prayer and faith!
We’d love to include your ministry in our big goal! Always delighted to have a conversation about ways we can serve you. Blessings,