October’s Year-end Fundraising Check-in

We’re careening towards the end of the year, and the high stakes fundraising window that we all know and love. We want to make sure you have your ducks in a row for a great fundraiser, so we’ve put together monthly guidelines.

Let’s get started! Here’s what you should be prepping this month…

1. Start writing!

What’s that? Writing a year-end fundraising appeal already? It might seem ambitious, but this might be the most important task of all, and the earlier you can draft content, the better off you’ll be in the long run. Now is the time to write the entire email series and accompanying social media posts, and begin the process of getting approvals. Imagine how great it will feel when you have your emails lined up and ready to go by the middle of November!

Don’t forget, if you’re going to be using a member or donor’s story or image, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get appropriate approvals so everything that’s sent is kosher.  Feeling stuck? Check out MyEmma’s guide to creating compelling fundraising emails.

2. Optimize your donation page

If you haven’t recently reviewed your donation page with fresh eyes, then don’t waste another minute. Review our post on how to make that page as easy to use as possible. The more roadblocks you can take away from someone trying to donate, the better!

More than just aesthetics, take the time to review your infrastructure as well. Are donations being tagged appropriately in your system? Is there any chance that your site will go down with increased traffic? Prepare for as many scenarios as possible to make your December a total breeze. Well, more of a breeze than it could be.

3. Decide what to test

Whether it’s subject lines, images, stories or giving tactics, take the time to create and map out the variables you’ll be testing during your year-end campaign. You should never hit the big red “Send” button on an email without some kind of testing component, and this campaign is no exception. If there’s a different subject line that could get you a few thousand more opens, you really don’t want to leave that on the table. So don’t be caught off guard trying to write a witty subject line to test on December 29th. Get those out of the way this month to ensure you’re doing everything you can to make the campaign a success. If you need inspiration, the Nonprofit Marketing Blog breaks down a few tips and tricks for optimization from the Obama campaign.

Only two months to go! How’s your campaign shaping up? We want to hear about it at @ChangeOrgs