How you could’ve raised more in December.

Jan 11, 2024

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

Of course, we hope that you all reached your fundraising goals in 2023. But we know this is not a reality for many organizations.

A more efficient fundraising strategy is the best way to raise the money you need to make a difference.

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!

DOWNLOAD: How the right agency can help advance your goals.

Use a mobile-first approach.

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

According to data from the Blackbaud Institute, 28 percent of online contributions come from mobile devices.

And this number continues to rise year after year. So, if your nonprofit’s website or donation page isn’t optimized for mobile, prioritize doing so!

Mobile users will leave as soon as they land on your site if they have to pinch, zoom, and scroll to navigate.

You’re turning away potential donors before they even have a chance to know what your nonprofit is all about! If you think you could have raised more in December, pull up your nonprofit’s website on your smartphone and get a feel for the donor’s experience.

You might find you have some work to do!

But here’s the good news! Most web-hosting services automatically incorporate mobile-friendly designs on new websites. So, if you’re stuck in the stone age, talk with your technical staff and find out how to make your site a more enjoyable experience for mobile users.

READ MORE: Why mobile optimization is crucial for nonprofits.

Cutting the clutter on your online donation page will make it easier for donors to give next year.

Simplify your donation page.

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. You’d love to support them all, but it seems like some organizations are making the giving process harder than it needs to be.

Let’s be real. When a donor wants to support a few causes they care about at the end of the year, they will do it through organizations that make it easy for them!

So, what can you do?

First, cut the clutter by minimizing the text on your donation page. Users on this page don’t need to be educated. They’re already showing their intent to give by visiting this part of your site. So, focus on making it easy for them to follow through.

Remember, 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 filling that in. Or consider accepting PayPal as a 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!

READ MORE: Let’s freshen up your online donation page.

Asking your most loyal supporters to share your message with their networks will help you reach new potential supporters.

Help supporters share your message.

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

Peer-to-peer fundraising can free up your time so you can focus your efforts elsewhere while your current supporters help you raise more next 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 one-click sharing options for email and your social media channels.

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

READ MORE: Simple strategies to amplifi your social media outreach.

Cutting down and being more strategic with your mailings will help improve your ROI.

Be more targeted with direct mail.

There are plenty of organizations with elaborate, successful direct mail year-end campaigns. Hopefully, you’re already going surround sound and using direct mail to augment your digital communications.

But you could be spending too much on print and mailing costs if you send thousands of mailers to people who are unlikely to respond!

You need 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 during the year to ask donors if they are still interested in receiving your direct mail appeal or prefer to receive only digital communications.

You can also use your analytics platform to see where your online donors come from. This data 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.

READ MORE: Can you be more strategic with your mailing list?

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Consider directing donors who receive your print appeal to personalized online donation pages. And attach UTM codes to donation page links that appear outside of your website. These strategies can help you track your direct mail response rate more accurately.

If you find most of the traffic to 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 go directly towards your mission!

Want to talk specifics about how you could have raised more with your year-end appeal? We’re here to help!

Like what you see? Stay in touch!

DOWNLOAD: Hiring a Fundraising Agency