During the last week in January, the Chronicle of Philanthropy posted an article about year-end fundraising. Article might be the wrong word, it was primarily a list of nonprofits that had successful year-end fundraising campaigns with an encouragement to consider planning yours now. These are, on the whole, dynamic marketing campaigns for their annual funds. And while they require creativity, what seemed to bring success was creating a single message that evoked emotion and pushed it through every available avenue on a consistent basis.
Now it is already February. Why don’t you consider your messaging for the rest of the year? What can you do to attract awareness, retain donors and present continuity for your community? You can use the list from The Chronicle to create a campaign of your own.
For instance, what if you were to change your messaging to consider the people affected by your work – even though they never utilize your nonprofit?
In the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s example, the Alzheimer’s Association of Los Angeles found success when they highlighted children affected by the disease. I could make a case that the same extension of benefits could be used for religious organizations trying to retain baby boomers.
Stay with me.
Imagine speaking to Baby Boomer’s children. Maybe it is formed into a piece that you send to the baby boomers asking them to pass it along to their loved ones or inserted into a newsletter with a dotted line asking people to cut it out and mail it to their children. Then, design a campaign that explains how a synagogue’s offerings of classes and activities for members who are between the ages of 50 and 68 are actually designed to benefit their children and family members. When taken on a regular basis, these classes become ideal distractions that prevent parents from overly focusing and intruding on the children’s lives. Silly? Maybe, but it also gets across the message that there is a lot going on for a generation of people who think a religious organization may have nothing to offer but worship services. Which encourages involvement, translating into higher membership and donor retention.
This may or may not be the ideal example for you, but I hope it helps make a point that now is the time to plan out your annual campaign and its messaging for the year. Then, you can utilize it in a variety of ways in the months between now and December – and watch your annual fund improve along the way.