Ep 225 | Year End Giving Checklist

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Year end giving is a stressful. Getting as much done as early as possible is going to make it easier to reach your goals. This episode will give you some resources for putting your campaign together. You'll know what to put together based off of the goals you have for your campaign.

What you'll learn:

→ creating your impact statements.
→ using data to determine what materials go to what list.
→ what communications you'll want to create.
→ building a new donation page.
→ scheduling as much as you can.

Want to skip ahead? Here are key takeaways:

[3:15] Create a clear and concise impact statement. Focus on one area of your impact that you really want to share. Be clear and concise so people can really understand what their donation will do. Customize this impact for your major donors, returning donors, and new donors so it resonantes with them.
[6:10] Create your lists so you know what buckets you're sending communications to. Knowing who those people are will help you determine the buckets for where the funds are coming from as well as what materials you'll need to create.
[7:28] Create a combination of offline and online communications. Materials will include direct mail pieces, email communication, social media posts, promo kits, phone calls, and more. You'll then tailor those communications to the different audiences you've identified.
[14:07] Create a landing page with your year end giving information. This should include the language that matches with the rest of your giving campaign. Include a donation form and replace your main donation page links with this landing page when your campaign kicks off.


Digital Marketing Therapy Sessions
EP 207 | Donation Page Layout and Features
EP 208 | Designing Your Donation Page For Conversions with Eric Ressler
EP 209 | Data Driven Donation Page Best Practices with Matt Bitzegaio
EP 210 | Keeping More of Your Donations with Jen Nielesky

mockup of a checklist

Download the Checklist

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Full Transcript

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] You're in giving is a crazy stressful time of year, whether it's your first time doing a campaign or you're a seasoned professional who's been doing this for years, and always seems like there's something crazy that happens or something falls through the cracks, or you're not as prepared as you thought you were. So this episode, I'm giving you my year end giving checklist. It's just a down and dirty checklist of all of the things that I want to have prepped and prepared going into my year end giving campaign, so that I can really focus on what I need to do at the end of the year, and hopefully still have some time to spend with my family and my loved ones, right, we know that it's busy time, we know that we're going to have to pick up some extra work and, and make some of those phone calls and get in front of people to hit our goals and to make the most of it. But that doesn't mean that we can't also take some time to rest, relax and recharge, which is critically important during this holiday season that we're coming up into. So I have a checklist for you. I'll link it up in the show notes at https://thefirstclick.net/225 so that you can take everything that you learned in this episode and have it all in front of you to be able to just mark those things off and say that they're done, which is a great feeling. So stick with me for this episode, so that you can get your year and giving checklist for communications and how you're going to let people know what your campaign is all about how they can give and make it simple and easy.

Before we get into this episode, it is brought to you by our digital marketing therapy sessions. These are 30 minute one on one conversations with me, you can bring your plans for your urine communications. And we can go through them together tweak, refine, have conversations, or if you want to brainstorm about some impact stories and things that you can share with your audience, we can do that too. Or if there's something else that you're stuck with in your digital marketing strategies, I'm here for you. So go to https://thefirstclick.net/officehours to snag your time with me so that we can keep your year and giving planning rockin and rollin and help you reach and exceed your fundraising goals. So again, that's https://thefirstclick.net/officehours. Let's get into the episode.

[Intro] You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. Each month we dive deep into a digital marketing or fundraising strategy that you can implement in your organization. Each week, you'll hear from guest experts, nonprofits, and myself on best practices, tips and resources to help you raise more money online and reach your organizational goals.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] So we know that you're in giving us a critical campaign for you, a lot of your budget is raised during this time. And so it's a crazy stressful period. So let's get armed with all the things that we need to put this together to make sure that it's super successful. Now you can grab this checklist at the first click dotnet slash 225. If you want to download it and take it and tweak it and make it your own, totally up perfect. And that's what it's here for. So head on over to the show notes at the first click that net slash 225 to get that spreadsheet. Okay, so when we think about our year end giving campaign, it can feel like maybe we want to talk about all of the things that we did last year, or this last year and all the things that we're going to do next year, and we kind of want to word vomit all of that information. So instead, I really want you to take a minute and get clear and concise. This is a noisy time of year for everyone. Nonprofits are all trying to raise a lot of money during this month, Giving Tuesday leading up to the year, the end of the year. So the way that you can kind of cut through that is get really specific about the impact that these gifts are going to make. It doesn't mean that is all going as it doesn't need to fund. It just means that this impact stories that you're sharing are all consistent and along the same vein, so people don't have to think too much about what that impact is. So you want to start by defining your impact statement. What is the story that you're telling with this campaign? Now all of the other things that your organization does, you can include all that in the follow up emails and in the conversations that you're now having with these folks year round, right? We don't need to give it to them all at once. That's too much information for them to take in. So figure out what your impact statement and story is and start gathering that information. Okay, then I want you to break down your list into kind of three different versions and we're going to write this impact statement in three different ways. One for your larger your major donors, the people that are giving significant amounts of money to your organization for each organization that's going to look a little different, right, depending on how much money you're trying to raise. But you know, the way we talk and how we talk Back to our major donors is going to be a little bit different, then you're going to have a version for all the rest of your donors. Now, these are people that are probably aware of your organization, they know a little bit about what you do. So you know, they've given to you before, so you can kind of frame it from that standpoint. And then we're gonna write a version for new donors, for people that have never given to our organization and may not know much about us at all. Because we need to make sure we're introducing them to who we are, as well as sharing how that impact is going to happen. Now, they're, you know, this, especially for giving Tuesday as things are being pushed out, but also language that you might share with some of your existing donors that they can share with their audiences, who would be newer to your organization that you hopefully can get into your, into your world and your network. Okay, so by starting with your impact story, and then writing three versions of it, now you kind of have this foundation for how you can build and grow with everything else that you have going on in your year end campaign. Now, at this point, you're going to kind of create your lists. So now it's getting into your CRM, and kind of separating people out saying, Okay, this is the list of people for this, this is the list of people for that, you might if you even have a list of leads that haven't given yet, you might have that to start populating for how you're going to communicate, this is important, because then we're going to start to put in underneath that list, the types of communication that we are giving to those folks. So you might create a bunch of different things. But that doesn't mean everything is going to be done to all of those audiences. So as you as we kind of go through the list of the different types of communication pieces you can create, you can just put them underneath those three different categories and say, okay, yep, this one's gonna get these ones, you know, yada, yada, yada, so that you can then flush out the bigger chunks of what it is that you're creating. Okay, are you with me so far, I know I'm going through this really fast. But again, make sure you go grab that tool, it'll help make things a little bit easier for you. Now, at this point, we can start to kind of figure out all of the different types of communication that we're going to create. So the first one, and these are combination of online and offline. So the first one is going to be a direct mail piece. So yes, we do recommend that you still send out a direct mail piece. And you're gonna hear more about this from Janet Cobb. But it's, you know, critical that we kind of hit people in multiple channels, because we know that you need to see something multiple times before you're going to make a decision. And things are crazy busy during the end of the year, right? We have our holiday shopping, we have our kids school programs, we're also getting all these emails from all these organizations that want us to donate, maybe we haven't quite made a decision yet.

So we really want to hit people in multiple ways. And a direct mail piece is a great way to do this. Now you can do this as an appeal letter that you send that shares, again, that impact story that you've already created. Or you could send it as a postcard with a QR code and some basic information on it. Well, I would include a QR code on everything that you send out direct mail, why so it's easy for them to scan. But you know, however you want to do it, if it's a big thing, if it's small. So keep in mind, your budget. And your list that you've created the lists, determine who's going to get those direct mail pieces. And, you know, that might help you with your budget, you also want to consider that you're not going to necessarily send the exact same direct mail piece to all different types of donors. So you might have a list of people that you can send a brand new piece to that have never given to your organization. So think about that, and how many different versions you might have to make in order to get that out there. But a direct mail piece is definitely something we want to think about. And we want to think about early, because it does take a little bit more production time to put together and staff time to get it, you know, out the door. We also want to think about a promo kit. And so this promo kit is something that you put together, that you can share with your donors, or even internally for people to have all of the messaging and things ready to go. So you know, we've done episodes on this before, I'll link it up in the show notes. But we're talking social media, graphics, social posts, emails, things that people can take and just copy, paste and post to share with their audiences to help you get more people that are joining your cause. Now, who you share this promo kit with is totally up to you. It could just be something as simple as your team and your board members. It could be all of your donors. It could just be your major donors or your corporate sponsors. Again, tailor this to the needs and the way that your organization's fundraising scope is set up. But a promo code is great. And again, a Word doc or google doc it doesn't have to be anything fancy and As long as it's clean and simple. Now, because you've created that promo kit, you're already going to have social media posts ready to go, which is great. So you're kind of killing two birds with one stone there. The next offline piece is a phone call list. So really determining who are you calling, and who, who's making those phone calls, and scripting out some of the things. So again, taking the impact statement and putting it in bullet. So when you're making phone calls on, you know exactly what you're saying, you know how to kind of address the questions, you have those tools and resources right there for you. Getting all that done now is going to save you a ton of stress. And also just, you know, help you make those folks that are making those calls on your behalf feel more comfortable, like, Hey, before you sign up to do this, like, if you want to see our script and everything we have, so you can you know, feel comfortable and good about it, then like you're ready to go, as opposed to having all the volunteers come that are maybe making the phone calls or the staff and the day of being like, Okay, here's what you're going to say, here's how you're going to message, it allows them to get a little bit more comfortable and feel a little bit more engaged with exactly what's happening. And it also will allow you to go ahead and schedule, go ahead and schedule when you're making those calls and how many people you've got your lists already pulled. So now you can kind of really get linear and granular with all of that scheduling, so that you're not also scrambling near the end of the year to get people to make phone calls, you already have it all planned, and people can put it into their schedules as needed. Now the last thing on the communication side is really those emails that are going to go out. And we have another episode that's going to be talking about everything that you should be putting in these emails. But you know, from November to December, you know, depending on the size of your list and your goals, you're going to want to send at least seven to 10 emails. And what's in those emails is different versions of the same impact, right? Some are shorter emails, some are longer emails, some are going to share the status of the campaign. But again, the more you can get these written now, have them all ready to go, there might be some that you have to tweak, some you can go ahead and schedule, you're good to go. Now you don't have to be scrambling to write and create emails, during the busy season, you can just focus on the phone calls, the one on one outreach, the meetings, the sit downs, things like that answering the questions that people have about the organization as they've been getting your communication material. So with all of these pieces, you're now hitting email, you're hitting them with phone calls, you're hitting them in their mailbox, you're hitting them with social media, you're also hitting them with people that they already know, like and trust that are donors to your organization. So it's a really multifaceted approach to your urine campaign, that you can schedule and get done quickly, because you're taking that main story. And you're just kind of building it into all of the things, all of your posts don't need to be different from the emails that are going out, they don't need to be different from the direct mail piece, they don't need to be different from you know, the communication that you're putting out there, you're taking that big bulk impact piece, and you are breaking it out, and just sharing it all the time for those two months that you're kind of kind of wrapping up that campaign.

Okay. So once you have all your collateral elements done, you know exactly who's getting what pieces, you can tailor the communication to make sure it's speaking to the type of audience they are for your organization, we want to make sure that we set up our website for success. And again, this is something that you can do ahead of time, I definitely recommend creating a separate donation landing page for this campaign that mimics the messaging that you're sharing everywhere else, so people don't get confused. So when they get to your main donation page, they're not like, well, I don't, I don't know what this is, or I don't I don't know anything about this program am I going to be is this the same thing that we're talking about, right. So create a landing page, put a donation form on there, have it mimic the same information that your campaign is sharing, and just keep it hidden for now. And then as you start to ramp up your you're giving your year end giving campaign, then just switch all your donation buttons on your website to go to that page, right and then you'll switch it back at the end of the year. So get the page all done, get it all ready. And then all you have to do is change some of those links on your homepage and you're good to go. That way too. You can also have that link in your emails and everywhere else already ready to go. You don't have to worry about it. Landing pages done you just turn it on to your homepage when it is time. And again, this will be great because you want to make sure that that donation form is quick and easy and people can do it, too.

Just like that, we have episodes all about your donation page, you can go back and check them out, we will link those in the show notes as well. But making it quick and simple and most importantly, making it mobile friendly. If people are scanning QR codes on your direct mail pieces, if people are clicking on it from a social media posts, they're most likely on their phones. If they even if they got an email from you, they're probably on their phones. So make sure it's super simple. And all you're really asking for is the most basic information. Remember the fortunes in the follow up. And so it's on you to make sure that you're continuing to stay in touch with them after this initial gift so that you can increase the likelihood of another gift next year. Okay, so keep it simple. And I just really want to make sure that you have that donation page on point because otherwise, you're going to lose a lot of those conversions. At this point, then you've got all your stuff written, you have all of your content pulled together, get as much scheduled as possible. Get the emails scheduled that you can get your social media posts scheduled, get your phone call, organization scheduled, you know, try to get your direct mail piece ready to go all the things, but get as much scheduled as possible. You can take the checklist and create a separate separate tab on that same spreadsheet and make a list of all the dates that things need to go live a master calendar dates of when things need to go live and what that is and where it is. Is it scheduled? Is it in process is it completed, you can do this in your seat in your project management tool as well, but create that master calendar in there. So you know, I need to come in and update a little bit of language on this email with our progress so far, how much we've done, right? So keep that there as well. So you have all that information handy and ready to go. And the last thing that's on this checklist is really just a reminder of what your total goal is, how much are you hoping to raise during this campaign, and then breaking it down by the different categories of donors.

Now, I've been talking about your major donors, the rest of your donors and new donors, you might have a different breakdown of what that looks like for your organization. Totally fine, do what makes the most sense for you. So in this spreadsheet, you'll see the total goal for the amount raised and it's just a formula to sum everything up so that you can really clearly define this is how much we're hoping to raise from giving Tuesday from our major donors from the rest of our donors from new donors, because that will help you really track where you're at. And as you're in the campaign, you know, kind of okay, well, on social media posts, we want to have this mix of posts that are talking more to new donors who might not know as much about our organization versus people that already do, right, it's going to help you kind of balance well, we know this is how much we want to raise for this category. So this is how we're going to do our promotion and pushing the things out that we've already created, and pay attention to the data from previous years. So how much have you raised in each of those categories? And if you can, how much money have you seen come through from emails? How much have you seen come through from a direct mail piece, you know, can you code, that QR code, you can track it and see kind of how much traffic is coming through on your Analytics, you can track and see how much is coming from which source, which other referral partners, all of those things. So pay attention to that, because again, in the next few years, you'll be able to see trends and really figure out okay, we need to make sure we're focusing extra time and effort on this because our audience really resonates with that. That's how we've raised a lot more money in years past and kind of figuring that out, right? are you closing a lot of those donations with phone calls? are you closing a lot of those donations with one on one sit downs, then maybe you do need to spend some more time and effort doing that if it makes a big impact. If it doesn't, don't do it, because you know, you're just taking more time and resources. So all things to consider.

But I hope that you will go to https://thefirstclick.net/225. Grab this checklist. It's really stupid, simple. We didn't make it fancy at all. Just wanted to have something in there to kind of refresh your mind. Make it, take it make a copy, tweak it and make it your own. And I hope that it is a valuable resource for you to be able to really go into your year end giving campaign with a plan to create less stress and to ensure that you have a successful end of year. So thank you so much for listening to this episode. I'm so excited that we got to kick off our month of year end giving this way. Make sure you subscribe wherever you listen so you don't miss out on a single episode. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen I really appreciate you And I can't wait to see all your successes with your year end giving for now I'll see you in the next one


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