September 22, 2022 | Categories End of Year, Featured, Fundraising Strategies

Tips to Craft Your Year-End Campaign

Excellent year-end campaigns strike a balance between hitting uplifting emotional beats that are relevant to your mission and delivering a compelling case for why people should support your nonprofit. They’re specially crafted for each recipient, and encourage your community to dream big about the future they’re helping make possible. Your appeals reach homes at just the right time, and inspire donors to give generously (and give again with your next appeal!).

If that all sounds impossible, you’re not alone!

With DonorPerfect, we have shortcuts and tips that will help you achieve all of the above without breaking a sweat.

Use Reports to Guide Campaign Decisions

Your donors’ motivations are hidden throughout your data – all you need to do is pull the right reports to discover them.

We recommend pulling reports from direct mail and email appeals throughout the past year and at year-end for the last few years to get a complete view of your donors’ behavior.

Run a Solicitation Analysis Report to determine your most successful appeals, and use it to determine the following:

  • Which appeals raised the most money?
  • Which appeals brought in the most new donors?
  • For emails, which subject lines gave you the highest open rate?
  • Which donor segments gave the most?
  • Which donor segments gave most frequently?
  • Are there any stories that drove more donations than others?
  • Which links or giving buttons do donors click most frequently in your emails?
  • What succeeded in your Giving Tuesday campaign, and can you use it as part of your year-end strategy?

These questions and other reports can help create a list of strategies to include in your year-end campaign.

How to Create Solicitations That Resonate

Your nonprofit does incredible, life-changing work. Your year-end campaign is the right time to show your donors what you’ve accomplished together over the past year, and invite them to give toward an even brighter future.

Melissa Sciacca, Executive Director of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust leverages content as the focal point of her fundraising campaigns. “We connect our supporters to the work we’re doing on the ground in ways they can relate to,” she explains. “It takes a lot of effort to maintain that connection between our work in Africa and our donors in the States, but we create content that shows our mission as something people want to get behind.”

Five Elements of a Winning Year-End Appeal

1. Inspiring stories and testimonials

Show your donors how their giving makes a difference for your mission. Pare down the most inspiring stories from the past year into bite-sized stories or quotes, and your donors will feel proud to be a part of your team.

example nonprofit testimonial that could be used in a year-end campaign

2. Beautiful photos illustrating donor impact

Pair your impact stories with high-quality photos showcasing the difference you make in your community. Even if your supporters don’t take the time to read your letter all the way through (odds are, they won’t!), they’ll see powerful images that will inspire them to give in a matter of seconds.

image of a photo showing a nonprofit's impact that would be useful in a year-end campaign

If you don’t have photos, or if your mission is sensitive and photos wouldn’t be appropriate, you can create impactful graphics in Canva or other free online tools to capture your audience’s eyes.

3. Compelling design

Tie all of your year-end materials together by weaving a campaign-specific design through everything your donors will see, including emails, your website, social media posts, and direct mail pieces.

4. A clear and compelling call to action

Give your supporters a simple and obvious path forward. It’s critical to capture their energy in the moment, while they’re excited and inspired to give.

For emails, your donate button should be eye-catching with short and clear text. Even something as straightforward as “GIVE NOW” works well! For direct mail, include a reply device and return envelope so your donors don’t have to track down an envelope or stamp at home. On social media, pair your posts with a link to your donation form.

5. Multichannel Fundraising Strategies

Multichannel fundraising refers to reaching the same donors through multiple communication methods, or channels. For example, you might pair a direct mail appeal letter with a follow-up email that includes a video or other interactive element.

Taking a multichannel approach to your year-end fundraising campaign can help you ensure that you reach as many donors as possible. Our free guide provides you with the tips and tools you need to prime all of your channels, from your website to your direct mail appeals, for maximum exposure and engagement. Read it now!

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Meet the author: Emily Zacek

Emily Zacek joined the DonorPerfect team as a copywriter in January, 2022. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 with degrees in flute performance and organizational studies, and her undergraduate thesis focused on labor activity trends in American arts nonprofits. She brings a...

Learn more about Emily Zacek