Has your organization finalized your year-end giving campaigns? With organizations receiving a quarter of all online revenue in December last year, now is the time to maximize your fundraising efforts. Technology is an excellent tool to increase brand awareness, automate fundraising tasks, communicate effectively, and increase mission impact. But with so many technology tools and solutions to choose from, how do you determine what works best for your organization?
Varsity is here to help. With over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit tech space, we have the knowledge and expertise to help you maximize this year’s giving season with the best technology solutions. Continue reading to find our top recommendations.
Implement Fundraising Automation Tools
Automation is becoming a hot topic in the tech industry, and for good reason. When your organization moves away from manual tasks (especially when it comes to fundraising), you’re able to save time and money, all while focusing on your mission. Fundraising automation software tools are particularly beneficial because they can independently manage tasks. Plus, most automation tools are automatically set up with pre-programmed communications so you don’t have to spend time setting everything up. Of course, customization is possible and recommended, but having the initial workflows and processes set up on your organization’s behalf is a major benefit.
Not only will your organization benefit from automated fundraising tools, your donors will too. 360 Match Pro, a matching gift automation platform, writes: “Many online donation tools even enable organizations to accept and set up automatically recurring gifts. In these cases, individuals schedule regularly repeating donations that are then automatically transferred to the organization according to the agreed-upon timeline.” A win-win for everyone!
Level Up Your Communication
This time of year is the optimal time to engage with your community members, volunteers, and donors. However, we understand this time of year is also the busiest, which makes keeping up with communication efforts quite difficult. Automation is a way to make this process easier and more effective. Here are a few key ways automation can help your communication efforts:
- Optimize your outreach: Create targeted email campaigns throughout the end of the year. Bloomerang offers the following time cadence recommendations: “Stagger your communication at least every two weeks until mid-December, send weekly communications during the last two weeks of the year and and schedule daily digital communications during the last four days of the year.” Feel free to customize this schedule based on your unique needs and use marketing automation tools to schedule everything in advance.
- Create automated thank you notes: Having your team craft individual thank you notes to your donors, volunteers, and community members is extremely time-consuming. Thankfully, automation can make this process a breeze! Set up automated thank you emails to send out based on certain triggers such as donations, matching-gifts, event attendances, and volunteer shifts.
- Segment your community: Segment your outreach by specific categories such as supporter type, donation history, and location and customize your messages accordingly. Fundraising IP reminds us why segmenting is so important: “Sending mass emails to your audience as a whole is inefficient and can create a bad experience for your supporters, such as if a major donor is regularly receiving communications about volunteer opportunities despite having no volunteer history.”
Optimize Your Website and Social Media Accounts
An optimized, easy-to-use website is one of the best ways to maximize your year-end giving efforts. Social media is also another wonderful way to engage with your community and increase brand awareness. Utilize both platforms to ensure your fundraising campaigns are successful.
Your website should be branded to your organization, easy to navigate, and mobile-friendly. It should include a clear donation page. We recommend placing clear, eye-catching call-to-action buttons around your site to encourage visitors to give. Above all, your website should be accessible. You can test your website’s accessibility and ensure you are meeting the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
Social media allows you to engage with your community and offer creative, fun ways for them to share their support. QGiv, a fundraising platform, offers a few helpful suggestions for succeeding on social media during year-end fundraising.
Consider Partnering With An MSP
Having a trusted IT partner by your side is another great way to optimize your year-end giving efforts. Consider Varsity for your technology needs. With a variety of technology service offerings, we can work with you to find the most effective solutions at a budget-friendly price. With Varsity by your side, you can achieve your goals and increase your mission impact. Connect with us to get started.