As we are drawn closer to these seasons of giving, organizations are beginning to think critically about their annual campaign efforts. Our nonprofit consulting specialists at Convergent have some insights to share that can help you increase funding and improve your annual fundraising efforts.
Looking Beyond Giving Tuesday
During this time of year, many nonprofit organizations reach donors within the framework of Giving Tuesday. This tradition taps into the emotional appeal of the holiday season. While these donations successfully spread funds thinly across the nonprofit sector, emotionally-driven benefactors usually fade with the magic of the season. As such, Giving Tuesday efforts can help you build brand awareness and marginally support your organization’s needs, but they cannot sustain your nonprofit long-term. Rather, this often leaves organizations competing for limited resources and achieving small, one-time donations.
What if—instead of relying on Giving Tuesday—you could use an annual campaign to build a network of long-term investors? With the right approach, an annual campaign has the potential to elevate the trajectory of your nonprofit. By looking beyond Giving Tuesday, you can aim to create a strong, reliable foundation of support for your organization to stand on.
Stewardship: Reaching Investors with Clear Messaging
During an annual campaign, you will appeal both to previous donors and new potential investors. How do you convince these audiences to invest in your organization and your mission? With so many nonprofits all competing for funding during this time of year, you need to ensure that you have clear, credible, and compelling messaging in place.
While emotionally-driven messaging may be compelling enough for short-term donors, it often lacks the credibility and substance to attract meaningful investments.
Instead, consider taking this end-of-year opportunity to inform your audience about your mission, your plans for the future, and most importantly, your outcomes. You need to firmly establish your credibility in the community and communicate the downstream impacts your organization is having. Credibility and Outcomes are two of the three components of what we call Asking Rights™. Your communications and messaging now around these important elements will resonate with investors and help you develop a lasting, trusting relationship.
Honesty and transparency in this relationship are paramount as nonprofits and investors alike emerge from what has been a very trying year. Consider the current social and economic context of your region, the nation, and the world in your communications as they relate to your mission and your organization’s plans as a whole.
Thinking Ahead: Preparing for Your Annual Campaign
Next, it is essential to consider the different ways in which your messaging can find potential donors—social media, word of mouth, virtual events, advertising, and more. Effective messaging can only work its magic after it reaches your audience. Mail and email lists should all be carefully examined and updated in preparation for a fundraising effort. You should also ensure that your website, handouts, brochures, and other accessible texts all reflect your most recent information. This can impact your giving potential and attract new investors.
While preparing for an annual campaign, it can help to gain critical insight from your current stakeholders. Consider reaching out to key investors and board members. Not only can this help you better understand your supporting demographic, but it can also help you collect testimonials and engage your top investors. If you are outsourcing your fundraising effort, this process helps you and your nonprofit consulting firm adjust your annual campaign approach and expectations.
Asking for Help: Nonprofit Consulting and Fundraising for Annual Campaigns
A lot of time, work, and consideration goes into deploying a successful annual campaign. Partnering with a campaign consultant can easily pay for itself by providing insight, experience, support, and increasingly successful outcomes. If you are wondering if you need help with your annual campaign fundraising, connect with an expert to see how they can support you. You might also take the time to reflect on your past campaigns, your fundraising goals, your experience, and other factors that may impact the way you measure your annual campaign’s success.
Transitioning From Events or Annual Appeals to Sustainable Investments
As mentioned earlier, emotion-based annual appeals surrounding certain times of the year can bring a short-term revenue burst. Events, while extremely time-consuming to plan and execute, could often do the same in pre-COVID-19 days. Today the pandemic shutdown has forced many nonprofits to head back to the drawing board and transition to a different funding model. The silver lining of this effort is that a campaign-based, investor-driven fundraising strategy can provide long-term funding and sustainability for your nonprofit.
Convergent Nonprofit Solutions Annual Campaign Support
To set your organization up for a successful annual campaign, partner with the professionals at Convergent Nonprofit Solutions. Our nonprofit consulting firm has helped many nonprofits transition away from events and short-term fundraising efforts into our investment-driven model of funding. The end result? A proven strategy and an improvement in money raised. It’s that simple. Speak with one of our specialists today to learn more!