How nonprofits can maximize community support during the most charitable time of the year
With the holiday season officially underway and #GivingTuesday upon us, it is easy for nonprofits to get caught up in the moment and forgo best practices when it comes to maximizing community support. While this time of the year elicits goodwill and generosity, we challenge nonprofits to take a step back and ask themselves, “Is now really the most strategic time for my organization to push for support?”
The five tips below will not only help your organization maximize community support, but will force you to evaluate your “ask” strategy before falling victim to the holiday rush of nonprofit requests.
- Customize & humanize your ask. Clearly state your campaign goal and communicate the positive impact of a donation. For example, local food banks do a good job of communicating the value of $1 and how many meals it can potentially provide. It is also critical to tell the human interest aspect of a story. A donor can be moved to give more by learning about the individuals your organization supports. Contributors want to know how far their donated dollar can go.
- Timing is everything. While the holiday season is a great time to tap into the warm and fuzzy spirit of good cheer and giving, make sure you aren’t joining the masses out of habit. Form a strategic game plan and determine when implementing a strong campaign makes the most sense for your organization. While the holidays can yield strong donations, making appeals that closely align with your organization’s mission is always best practice.
- Explore new partnerships. A company’s brand is important to its success and identity within the community so naturally they are interested in aligning themselves with nonprofit partners whose brand fits with theirs. Look to partner with companies that naturally align with your mission. With tightening budgets, it’s important to get creative in your partnership requests. Work with partners who can offer assistance beyond financial support. Saxum’s Step Up grant program offers nonprofits with pro bono services in integrated communication. Saxum offers nonprofits support through Step Up, our project-based grant program. Qualifying nonprofits receive in-kind integrated communication services.
- Engage a company or partner’s employees. Many companies organize volunteer events for their employees, especially during the holiday season. Brainstorm opportunities for large groups to volunteer together at your nonprofit and communicate these to new or existing corporate sponsors. Don’t forget to remind your partners that company outings like these have great benefits and boost morale among employees.
- Mobilize & socialize your contributions. According to the 2015 BlueHornet Report on consumer views of email marketing, 67 % of emails are opened on a mobile device. Approximately 42 percent of people will delete emails not optimized for mobile. When employing online strategies to help maximize your fundraising efforts, distribute content that is mobile-friendly. Also, it’s important to take advantage of the latest social tools like Facebook’s new fundraiser pages, that allow for nonprofits to create dedicated pages for their development efforts. Also included in their cause-focused product offerings is an improved donate button that makes giving an easy click away!
May your #GivingTuesday and the holiday season be full of good strategy, thoughtful planning and plentiful community support (if the timing is right!).
This post was written by Houda Elyazgi, Senior Account Supervisor; Lacy Wulfers, Senior Account Executive; and Maddie Pace, Account Coordinator