Planning for success this holiday season

Did you know that 33% of online giving happens in December?!

Why the flurry of online giving?

In the U.S., all tax deductible donations to non-profits must be made before the end of the year (Dec. 31st) to be eligible for deduction from that year’s taxes. December is also the month of popular American holidays, such as Christmas and Hanukkah. Last year, US retail e-commerce spending for the entire November – December 2010 holiday season reached a record $32.6 billion.

In the U.S, year-end fundraising traditionally begins the Monday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 28), otherwise known as Cyber Monday (which was the largest online spending day of 2010!) but it starts to ramp up for several weeks before. The fundraising seasons lasts until the end of the day on December 31st.

What should you do to get ready?

Make a strategy! Fundraising doesn’t just happen. You have to plan for it. Here are some basic tips for creating a holiday fundraising plan:

1) Set goals. Take a look at your holiday fundraising volume from last year. How much did you raise? How much do you need to raise this year? How much would you like to raise this year? How much do you think you can raise online? In checks? Via text-to-give? Give yourself a specific monetary and donor goal. You may even consider sharing your goals with your donors in your messaging.

2) Mobilize through a campaign. You won’t be the only organization fundraising this holiday season. You will be competing with other organizations for donations from your donors. Use a campaign to galvanize support. Looking for ideas? GlobalGiving has great holiday promotions going on this year. Read more here.

3) Create a communications calendar. Determine how you are going to communicate with your donors—email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.—and when. Think strategically about important dates in November and December:

Remember that you want to be present in your donors’ minds as they’re making giving decisions throughout the holiday season but without being annoying!

4) Develop your messaging. What are you going to say to stand out this holiday season? What photos are you going to show to introduce your donors to the people that they’re helping? What stories are you going to tell to help your donors understand the impact of your organization’s work?

 

Remember to keep your emails, project reports, and Facebook posts short and sweet. Make your messages about your beneficiaries—what they need and how your donors can help—not about you and your organization. Include a clear call to action and a link to your project page in each of your messages.

 

5) Evaluate your progress and prepare to be flexible. Why do you set goals? So that you can set benchmarks and evaluate your success. Set some time aside each week during the holiday season to evaluate your fundraising progress. Determine if you’re on track towards meeting your goals and, if not, what you need to do to meet your fundraising goals. Be prepared to be creative and to make last minute changes to your plan.

 

Want help developing your holiday fundraising strategy?

Join us on Tuesday, November 8th for our Holiday Fundraising Training or sign up for a one-on-one call with GlobalGiving to help plan your holiday fundraising strategy.

Date: Tuesday, November 8th
Times: 9 am EST (This time in your city) and 3 pm EST (This time in your city)
Webinar link: anymeeting.com/globalgiving1 *
*Audio will be available via the webinar link.
Sign up for a reminder.

Additional resources:

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