Millions of Americans will be thinking about last-minute tax deductions from -31, which makes this the single best week of the year to email your prospects and ask for a donation. Last December 27, Network for Good sent a one-sentence reminder to donors which returned an average $50 donation for every email sent. With December half over, it's now or never for planning these year-end fundraising emails. Here's how:
1. Construct your message: As you write your year-end appeal, remember that there are four components to a great message: connecting with your audience based on their values, rewarding your audience, asking for a specific action to get that reward, and making it memorable. Remember this with the mnemonic device CRAM, and these four easy steps. More details here.
2. Frame your call-to-action to answer four questions: To grow your donor base and total donations, your year-end appeals need to have an appropriate "Call to Action." As you craft your call to action, make sure you answer these four questions. More details here.
3. Ask people who have not given recently to make a year-end donation. Ask those who have to consider making a gift in somebody’s name or to make another contribution for tax benefits or specific year-end programs.
4. Have your supporters get their friends and family involved. Your biggest supporters care about your cause and want to further it. Additionally, people heed the advice and examples of somebody they know and trust. Ask them to ask for support on your behalf, through programs like America’s Giving Challenge. More details here.
5. Clearly show how a donation will make a difference; if you’re a homeless shelter include pictures from the previous year’s holiday meal that donations enabled.
6. Add some cheer to your emails with these holiday themed "Donate Now" buttons. More details here.
7. Format your emails appropriately to ensure everyone receives, opens and reads them. Here are 18 ideas to improve your delivery, open, and response rates. More details here.
8. Finally, always thank your donors. Multiple times. The most common reason a person stops giving to a charity is how they were treated by that carity. Thank your supporters, show them how they made a difference and cultivate them for the future.
9. Don't have a fundraising page? We can create a Custom DonateNow fundraising page that looks like your website in as little as 48 hours for only $29.95/month. More details here. No budget? To create your organization’s free Basic DonateNow page, simply add your organization's EIN to the end of the following URL:
10. Need an example of a fundraising email? Here's an email we received this week from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. More details here.