Digital fundraising is on the rise. According to the Blackbaud Institute’s 2020 Charitable Giving Report, online giving grew by 20.7% compared to the previous year, a trend that was accelerated due to the pandemic. Online giving is steadily emerging to be the first response channel of choice for donors.
Digital technology has allowed nonprofits and charities to have a variety of tools in their arsenals when it comes to running winning campaigns for their year-end fundraising. But these fundraising efforts can get overwhelming because of all the things that need to be done.
Making the most of the giving season (November and December) is crucial for nonprofits and charities to deliver a financially robust year. It is a time where there is a higher chance of raising the maximum number of funds because people are in the spirit of giving and many intend to make the most of their tax-deductible gifts before the new year.
In this article, we will share seven time-tested strategies that you can use to make the most of the year-end giving season through online charitable fundraising.
How to plan winning campaigns for year-end fundraisers
1. Start early and set SMART goals
Setting goals is the surest way to reach them. We encourage you to start early and set SMART goals. For year-end campaigns, it’s recommended to complete planning by September and execute from October onwards.
What are SMART goals?
- Specific: It is important to have very specific goals set as you kick off your fundraising campaign. These goals could be related to the funds raised, donors reached, new donors acquired, etc.
- Measurable: Ensure that your goal can be measured. Track your daily, weekly, and monthly progress against the set benchmarks.
- Attainable: Your goal should be ambitious and realistic for your nonprofit to really grow and outshine its previous performance. It is a good idea to use past data as you set targets for the current year.
- Relevant: Make sure your goal is aligned with your charity’s mission and vision.
- Time-bound: The secret to achieving your goals successfully is to give yourself deadlines. For end-of-the-year fundraisers, it is usually the first week of January.
Take a step further and have a team meeting to list down your campaign objectives. Doing it as a team will increase the likelihood of members persevering to make things happen. Above all, smart objectives mean you can track performance more easily and have the right metrics in place to tweak your existing and future campaigns to do better.
2. Consider new sources of revenue
Diversifying your revenue stream is an intelligent strategy that every nonprofit and charity needs to employ to secure its income. Taking this route will ensure that you avoid any financial crises that result from relying on just a handful of donors.
Incorporating online charitable gaming fundraisers like 50/50, Catch the Ace, and Sweepstakes is a brilliant way to add new revenue sources to your income.
- 50/50 Online Raffle: As the name suggests, in this raffle the prize is split 50/50 between the winner and the charity. The prize pot is funded through raffle ticket sales and the winner is chosen via a draw. Organizations that witness rapid growth and success using 50/50 online raffles are those that typically repeat the event every month as it helps build momentum and attracts interest with the growing pot.
- Sweepstakes: Sweepstakes have a massive reach and are perfect for organizations looking to go big with their fundraising efforts. These are the most common form of online contests/raffles. By participating, donors stand a chance to win a range of prizes (may include cash, house, car, etc.). This works as a good option for nonprofits that are on a budget as the prize can be decided beforehand.
- Catch the Ace: Catch the Ace is a weekly multiple-draw lottery that usually runs up to 52 weeks or until the Ace is found. The winner selected in each weekly draw wins part of the proceeds from ticket sales and also gets a chance to pick another card from the 52-card deck to find the Ace. If the Ace is discovered, the winner also takes the jackpot home. If the Ace is not found, the progressive prize portion from ticket sales is rolled over to the next draw.
Winnings from all three of these online fundraisers are usually life-changing amounts. This offers a great opportunity for participants to win big while also making a difference.