A News Non Profits — 16 April 2018

By Kerri Kerr, Avalon Consulting Group

With the next shiny new digital novelty beckoning, you may be tempted to spend your digital budget driving innovation.  But that’s risky.

One or more of these digital perennial favorites can create your stable base:

  • Motivate supporters to give with a Membership Month Devise a compelling theme with a built-in time limit. Throughout the month, you add promotions, goals, progress reports, and urgency to compel donors to give.
  • Like other marketing channels, digital campaigns at Year End are a tried-and-true hit. Increase the urgency through your email efforts, and even double up emails on December 31 to pull in those last-minute gifts. Just make sure your creative and persuasive message stand out in donors’ crowded inboxes.
  • Matching Gifts continue to be a winning strategy as donors look for ways to maximize their giving. Give your major donors an incentive to match lower-dollar giving through a digital Matching Giftcampaign—and see results rise for both.
  • We’ve had great success with Anniversary Campaigns that honor significant anniversaries like a museum opening, a founder’s birth, a legislative victory, an historic date, etc. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts created a hugely successful anniversary campaign – “35 Days of Giving” to celebrate the centennial of JFK’s birth.
  • Remember, Giving Days don’t begin and end with Giving Tuesday—announce your own meaningful giving day and promote it digitally, with a compelling case for support and clear-cut goals. Be sure to report back to donors on your progress and results.

The art and science of fundraising marketing have always been about discovering the right mix of creative, messaging, channel and audience.

You need to develop your own “special mix” using these proven methods. To be effective over time, you want to develop a strong fundraising framework; consider a theme that creates a compelling case for support; and, most importantly, one that will have the flexibility and evolve into an evergreen digital campaign that will serve your nonprofit for several years.

No organization is too large or too small to develop and execute a campaign that can be rolled out and achieve the results needed to move your mission forward.

Myles King, director of annual and digital fundraising for the Kennedy Center, and Laura Connors, vice president of membership for National Parks Conservation Association, will join me to discuss perennial approaches to building annual funds at the “Perennial Favorites: Annual Fundraising Campaigns, FTW,” session at the 2018 Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference, July 31-Aug. 2, at Gaylord National Hotel & Conference Center, National Harbor, MD (adjacent to Washington, DC).

About the Author

Kerri Kerr, chief operating officer of Avalon Consulting Group, manages Avalon Client Services—supervising clients’ strategic consulting and deliverables and ensuring that the staff and production processes are functioning at the highest level. Her analytical expertise and understanding of long-term member value, retention, and ROI are invaluable assets as is her compelling creative that has resulted in some of Avalon’s most successful, breakthrough fundraising campaigns.




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