Let’s jump right into it. You know how important your nonprofit’s year-end appeal is during a normal year. But it became clear that this would be no ordinary year for fundraisers when the coronavirus pandemic turned the world upside down in March.
According to a CCS Fundraising survey, 72 percent of nonprofit organizations said they expected a decline in fundraising during the rest of 2020. If you want to hit your goals this year, you will need an extremely effective year-end push.
Of course, there are other steps you should be taking to diversify your fundraising revenue if your donations have slowed. But you will need to go above and beyond with your 2020 year-end appeal to secure donations, reach your fundraising goals, and fulfill your mission!
Here are five things your 2020 year-end appeal needs to include:
1. Information About the CARES Act
As fundraisers, it’s important to emphathize with our donors. And like your organization, many of your supporters may have had a tough year. They may not feel comfortable making their usual donation during these uncertain times.
But they might see things differently if you take the time to educate your donors about the charitable benefits of the CARES Act. In short, individual donors can deduct more of their charitable donations than ever before. But only for the rest of 2020!
Your donors may not have learned about these new deduction limits on their own. So, it’s your job to teach them! Include an insert detailing the benefit in your print appeals and schedule an email in your campaign to educate your donors.
2. Thank You’s for Past Support
Thanking your donors for their past gifts is always an important part of your year-end appeal. But it’s even more critical this year.
The past few months have been hard for everyone. So, a donation in this climate, especially when unsolicited, is a powerful statement. It signifies that a donor sees your mission and your work as essential, even in a chaotic and uncertain world.
So, make sure these donors know how much their donation meant for you. Show them how they kept your mission alive, thank them again, and see if they would be willing to do more to further your goals before the end of the year.
3. A Re-Focused Message
Whether your nonprofit is a healthcare organization on the frontlines of the pandemic, or operating behind the scenes, your message should be a little different for your 2020 year-end appeal.
Your appeal can’t ignore the current realities of our world. You will need to reframe your message to focus on how your work is making people’s lives better during the pandemic.
You will have no shortage of messages to share if your nonprofit’s work put you on the frontlines of the pandemic. But others may need to get more creative and show how their donors made a difference in these difficult times.
4. Information About Your Nonprofit’s Urgent Needs
Every organization has felt the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. But your donors probably don’t know all the ways your nonprofit has been affected.
We will always preach the importance of a mission-driven narrative. But when it comes down to it, your nonprofit will not be able to fulfill your mission if you’re struggling to keep up with operational needs.
Operations should never be the focus of your appeal. But this year, it might not hurt to let donors know how their donations will help bring back essential services, or return furloughed staff, so that you can continue to make a difference through your work.
5. An Ask for Help in Furthering Your Goals
Be sure to empathize with donors in your year-end appeal. Let them know you understand it’s been a hard year, but you need their support more than ever. Let them know that every donation is appreciated and is vital to continuing your mission.
Then, use an ask string that feels appropriate given your existing relationship with each donor.
You can segment your audience by giving level rather than coming up with a unique ask for every donor. And consider using an open ask for your high-level donors after mentioning their last gift value and how much their support has helped your organization!
Many organizations took their foot off the gas when the pandemic first hit. And we don’t blame you if you felt like it wasn’t the right time to make an ask at first. But you need to open the door for donors who are ready to give again if you haven’t already.
Your Year-End is More Important than Ever
Your year-end campaign is vital for your nonprofit during a normal year. And this year, the stakes are higher than ever before.
So, make sure you include these five elements in your year-end appeal so you can raise the money you need to make the world a better place through your work!