Supercharge Your Year-End Emails!

Whew, it’s already December! This is the prime time for non-profit fundraising, so we hope you’re ready to raise a lot of money. More and more, donors are turning to the web to make their year-end donations, so having a year-end email strategy in place is critically important. 

So for all those procrastinators out there, it’s not too late! Here are a few of our top online fundraising tips!

  • Get your website ready. While many donors will click through emails to give, many more will just do a google search and land on your homepage. When they get there, you want them to be able to seamlessly donate, so whether you call it “Donate,” “Give,” or “Join,” make that button stand out! Change it to red, use a holiday theme, change the placement to the top right or another eye-catching location, or simply make it bigger. Make it easy for people to give … and they will!

  • Set a schedule. The year-end is not the time to skimp on contacts with your donors. We recommend creating a series of at least 4 emails to go out in December, but many organizations send up to 8 or 9 emails! In general, push yourself outside your comfort zone at this time of year. Every organization is competing for donor dollars at year-end and with donors receiving hundreds of emails in December alone, the more frequently you contact your donors, the more money you are likely to raise.

  • Get specific and personalize the ask. Look through your emails from last year – a lot of nonprofits emails sound very similar (year-end countdowns, matching gift challenges, tax-deduction deadlines, etc). Special campaigns with concrete calls to action stand out – and luckily, Meals on Wheels organizations have that going for them! Play up your holiday meal programs – ask people to make a gift to provide a certain number of meals. Even better, if possible, make that ask amount specific to each donor so that you encourage people to maintain or increase their support.

  • Don’t forget to link. Each email you send asking for a donation should include at least three links to your donation page (in addition to a large button or image) – and it’s critical that the first link appear in the first or second paragraph. You want to make it as easy as possible for donors to make a contribution, so offer them ample opportunity to click and take action.

  • Spend time on the subject line. Subject lines can make or break an email’s performance, so craft them carefully. These days we are finding success with less obvious subject lines, one-word or very short subject lines, and the use of “Re:” or “Fwd.” Whatever you do, mix it up in each email because you never know what will get someone’s attention!

If you haven’t yet drafted a year-end email campaign, there is still time! By following the simple steps above, you’ll be able to create an effective email series that supports all of your end-of-year fundraising efforts – raising more money for your important mission. Good luck!