For nonprofits, the holiday season is, first and foremost, fundraising season. It’s the time for year-end appeals, email campaigns, and social media pleas.
It’s a busy time of year, and it’s tempting to take our foot off the gas pedal when January rolls around.
But the new year for nonprofits is the ideal time for new fundraising ideas…
And executing on all those “we should…” moments from the year before!
Follow Up on Your Year-End Campaign
The new year is rife with opportunities to further cultivate and engage your holiday donors. Say thank you with emails, social media posts, and a dedicated page on your website.
Consider personal phone calls and handwritten notes for your biggest and most committed supporters. Get to know more about their interests so you can better tailor your cultivation efforts in the future.
Clean Up Your Contacts
If you aren’t yet using a CRM (short for customer relationship management system), start by investing in one. Options range from full-service and pricey to light-duty for smaller nonprofits. Systems like these integrate with your online fundraising efforts. They keep donor information in one central, easily-accessible location.
January is a great time to take a closer look at your email lists, as well. Sort subscribers into categories by location, events they’ve attended, programs they volunteer with, or social media platforms, for example.
Remove subscribers who haven’t opened your emails in a long time or whose email addresses no longer work. Keeping people who delete or ignore your emails can harm your delivery rates over time.
Launch Your Monthly Giving Program
Most online giving pages now allow donors to opt into recurring giving programs. This means their donation will recur at regular intervals (usually monthly) until they stop it.
These programs are valuable even beyond the dollars they bring in. Recurring donors feel more connected to your organization. This is a perfect opportunity to cultivate them as a special “VIP” group.
Recurring donations can help you with your budgeting, too. When you know how much is coming in monthly, you can better anticipate your total fundraising for the year.
Develop a Fundraising Plan—Including New Technology
The new year is the time for nonprofits to plan their fundraising for the rest of the year. Create a fundraising calendar that incorporates everything you can think of: seasonal considerations and themes that might tie in, holidays, fundraising events, targeted campaigns, and more.
As you create your calendar, notice any opportunities for integrating new technology. For example, could you boost your campaigns with a text-to-give option? Have you been meaning to upgrade your CRM to one that allows for peer-to-peer campaigns?
If there’s a piece of technology you’ve had your eye on and you think it could increase your capacity this year, make the investment in 2023.
Let Your Mission Be Your Guide for New Year Fundraising Ideas
As you think about fundraising for your nonprofit in the new year, don’t forget to keep your mission front and center. How will your activities this year support and further the mission of your organization?
Set the foundation for compelling, cohesive messaging by choosing talking points for the year. What will you focus on? How will you work toward success? What’s new or different about the year to come, and how will your organization meet the moment?