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Tips to Kick-Start Your Holiday Campaign Planning

Given that 35-42% of online donations happen in November and December, the holidays is a big time of year for fundraising. After all,  ‘tis the season - the season to feel warm and fuzzy about your favourite charities, and the season to get yourself some tax breaks. A report from Convio, Kick-Start Your Holiday Campaign Planning, offers some suggestions of how you can be prepared for holiday giving. They break it down into three main areas, and here’s what I thought were some of the key points:

1. Optimize your home page for the holidays

  • Your home page should have a clearly visible, big, fat “Donate” button. It shouldn’t be the only thing on your website, but if a donor is coming to your site to donate you certainly don’t want to make it difficult for them.
Good Shepherd Ministries website with clear
  • Be transparent - show where the donation is going (e.g. $50 buys a family a pig) and how you are progressing towards your overall campaign goal
  • Make sure people can find your site in the first place - try some Google searches using important keywords related to your cause and see if you come up on the first page. Also check your website analytics and find out what search terms people are using to get to you. If you’re not turning up on the first page or the search terms aren’t relevant, it’s time for a bit of search engine optimization.

2. Make every email count

  • Send a reminder email on the morning of December 31 - apparently quite a lot of people leave their donations to the last day of the year
  • Not every email has to be an ask - share what you’ve been working on over the last year to let people know the difference their contribution is making
  • Does your system have an auto-reply message when someone makes a donation? Take a minute to read it again - this is a great opportunity to let people know how to stay in touch to see how their donation is being used (depending on your organization this might be a newsletter, Facebook, Twitter or another channel) and take other actions such as sharing with their friends and family.

3. Tap into your constituents’ networks

  • Ask your supporters to share the word with friends and family - for example on social media or by forwarding an email. Most people are more interested to hear about a charity when it is important to someone they care about, and the request comes from that person.

What are you doing to prepare for holiday giving this year?