Year End Communication: Are You Prepared?

By October 31, 2017 Fundraising No Comments

The end of the year is coming up quickly! It’s time to prepare for the holidays, get used to the cooler weather, cozy up in some nice blankets… and communicate with your donors.

Sure, you reach out to your donors frequently throughout the year, but the end of the year is a special and crucial time. This is when people are most likely to open their hearts and wallets to give.

If your year-end communications plan is not already in place (it should be), here are some suggestions as to how to get started.


Segment Your Audience

This is an easy thing to do with a CRM like Salesforce in place, because you can do all the segmenting you want based on dozens of variables. Then, you can host all the content you produce (more on that in a minute), and send that content out when ready. Figure out what you want to say at year-end to different parts of your constituency. Let those messages guide everything you do. Is there a special fund drive or challenge in place? A holiday event? #GivingTuesday plans? Determine what you want to say to specific groups of people — you can even do this down to the individual level with Salesforce.


Develop the Content

Now that you know what you’ll want to say, it’s time to develop the content. What will speak to your donors? A holiday-themed video might work. Maybe a look back at the year you had, everything your nonprofit accomplished, and some compelling stories from people who benefitted. Everything does not have to be video though; there is a lot you can do, from plain old writing to a well-designed web page. You can simply set up a landing page for an email campaign that spells everything out, and/or you can include all of the information in the email. Don’t forget social media! This is a way to touch your donors, both existing and potential, at a time of year when they are probably on their phones and laptops at all hours of the day, doing research on gifts, downloading recipes, and conversing with family and friends. Be consistent in your social message and voice.


Set Up a Schedule

This is a tremendous help. Set up a calendar for when and what emails are going out, when website enhancements go live, when things will posted on social media. This will make it much easier for your staff to stay organized, on time, and on point.


Evaluate the Efficacy of Your Messaging

The cool thing about digital communications is that it can be monitored and measured, and you can learn valuable information about what’s working and what isn’t. Are people opening your emails? Which ones? How much traffic is coming to that landing page? How many likes and shares did each post get on social media? Be data-aware during year-end; competition is fierce, and you should learn from anything that’s working well, and try to duplicate it in future conversations. Maybe you should have weekly or bi-weekly team meetings where you discuss all of this, and try to think of new and exciting ideas. Just keep an eye on the metrics; it’s like a daily report card.


Need additional ideas to make year end communication POP? Give us a call at 615-988-4600!