Four Ways You Could Have Raised More in December

Jan 9, 2020

Congratulations everyone, you’ve made it to January. Now you can finally put all that year-end fundraising insanity behind you! But first, do you have a feeling you could have raised more in December?

Of course, we hope that you all reached your fundraising goals in 2019. Unfortunately, we know this is not a reality for many organizations.

So, if you came up short of your goals, or want to set the bar a little higher next year, here are some little things you can do that will make a big difference in your ability to raise money and change the world!

1. Mobile Friendly

Let’s be honest. You’re going to have a hard time raising money online if your website looks like it was designed in 2005.

According to Nonprofit Source, 25% of donors make a gift on a smartphone, which is a 205% increase over the prior year!

And this number will only continue to rise. So, if your nonprofit’s website or donation page isn’t optimized for mobile, make doing so a priority this year.

Mobile users will leave as soon as they land on your site if they have to pinch, zoom, and scroll to navigate. You’re basically turning away potential donors before they even have a chance to know what your nonprofit is all about!

So, if you think you could have raised more in December, pull up your nonprofit’s website on your smartphone and try to get a feel for the donor’s experience. You might find you have some work to do!

The good news is many web-hosting services automatically incorporate mobile friendly designs or separate mobile versions for new websites. So, if you’re nonprofit is lagging, talk with your technical staff and find out how to make your site an enjoyable experience for mobile users.

2. Simplify Donation Pages

Put yourself in the donor’s shoes.

It’s the end of the year, and your inbox is full of appeals from every nonprofit you’ve shown interest in. Although you’d love to support them all, you notice that making an online gift is a long, complex process on some of these websites.

And when a donor wants to support four or five causes they care about at the end of the year, they’re going to do it through organizations that make it easy for them!

So, what can you do?

First, cut the clutter. Text on your donation page should be minimal. Users on this page don’t need to be re-educated about your work. They’re already showing their intent to give by visiting the page. So just focus on making it easy for them to do it!

Your data is your best friend, especially if you’re using PURLs in an email campaign.

Pre-fill information that is already known about donors in your donation forms. There’s no need for them to enter their name and email address every time they give!

If you have permission to store credit card information, you can save donors some time by filing it in as well. PayPal is a great, secure alternative that minimizes the clicks it takes for a donor to give.

Nonprofits that made the online giving process as easy as possible raised more in December. If you weren’t one of them, now is the time to simplify.

3. Promote Social Sharing

We’ve all heard the phrase work smarter, not harder. And we know people in development certainly work hard. But you can make your life easier by asking your loyal supporters to help you with donor acquisition.

Peer-to-peer fundraising can free up your time, so you can focus your efforts elsewhere while your supporters help you raise more in December.

It’s as simple as adding a few buttons and a line of text on your donation confirmation page.

Please consider furthering your impact by inviting your friends to support our mission.

Include options for one-click sharing for email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Your donors will be excited to share the fact that they donated and have access to a network of like-minded individuals you’ve yet to reach!

4. Send Less Mail

There are plenty of organizations with elaborate, successful direct mail year-end campaigns. And there is certainly value in an integrated approach that uses direct mail to follow up on prior digital communications.

But you could be spending too much on print and mailing costs if your sending thousands and thousands of appeals to people who are unlikely to respond.

It’s important to know your donors to fundraise effectively. And you may have segments of your audience that really look forward to your appeal package each year. But it’s important to communicate with others in the channels they prefer.

So, consider reaching out to donors during the year and ask them if they are still interested in receiving your direct mail appeal or would prefer to receive only digital communications.

You can also use your analytics platform to see where your online donors are coming from. It can show you how many visitors came from an email, another page on your site, one of your social media channels, or typed in the URL directly.

Consider directing donors who receive your print appeal to your online giving page with a slightly different URL for more accurate results.

But if most of the traffic on your online donation page comes from other sources, you can probably cut down on how much mail you send.

This will free up some money that can go into other fundraising efforts, or directly towards your mission!

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