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End of Year Giving: Your Month by Month Calendar
4 min to read ✭ In this post, you'll learn key strategies to incorporate into your year-end fundraising campaign month by month.
Before you dive into the month-by-month strategy, you’ll want to ensure that you’re fully prepared. Make sure that you have the proper creative for all of your marketing. This includes mission-centric imagery that truly showcases your impact, as well as creative specific to the time period whether you’re running a Giving Tuesday campaign, have a match for a specified period, or have a campaign theme that will be kept throughout. We highly recommend including video creative as part of your year-end marketing strategy. We’ve seen first-hand just how much it can affect results and increase conversions. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that all of the platforms you are going to use are set up and ready to go. This could include Facebook Ad Manager, your Google Ad Grant, your email marketing provider, analytics, conversion design elements, and more.
October is all about branding and building awareness for your nonprofit. Year end is a marathon, not a sprint, and starting early is crucial for long-term success. It is not best practice to run three months of donation asks, so you’ll start with ads that showcase who your nonprofit is and what you do to keep your organization top of mind for past donors and to reach new potential donors.
For Facebook, you’ll want to run traffic and engagement campaigns. Build ads that will be engaging to anyone that comes across them. This will help build likes, shares, and comments, as well as grow your retargeting audience based on this engagement. For Google, start populating your remarketing (RSLA) audiences if they are not already in your Google Ads account. This will be a key element in the months to come. Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that your analytics are set up in a way that you will be able to track the results of your marketing efforts. Make sure that you have a UTM strategy in place and your conversion goals are created.
November is all about gratitude, and no, we’re not only talking about Thanksgiving. Have you ever run an ad campaign just to say thank you? Year end is a very crowded time in the nonprofit marketing space, so what if instead of asking, you thanked your supporters instead? Lead with gratitude.
This can be done by running Thank You campaigns on Facebook to your past supporters. Touch on stories of impact to show people exactly what their contribution has gone to. Often, we’ve seen these types of ads lead to donations even without an ask. November is also a great time to ask your supporters to start fundraisers on your behalf. Not everyone has the means to donate a large gift, but anyone can start a fundraiser in just a few simple steps. This helps keep you connected to your supporters, as well as benefits your nonprofit.
With Giving Tuesday on December 1st this year, you’ll also want to use this month to prepare. Send a Save the Date email reminding people that Giving Tuesday is coming up. For Google and Facebook, run countdown ads with strong calls to action to donate for Giving Tuesday. If you are running a matching gift at this time, be sure to include this in your copy to further incentivize people to donate. On your website, add an exit pop-up to encourage donations as well.
In December, you’ll want to thank your supporters for their Giving Tuesday contributions. You will also want to send out an email sharing your 2021 goals. Let people know what you have in store for the upcoming year and where their donations are going.
Around this time, you’ll want to create year-end giving ad groups in your Google search ads, with hard donation asks in Google display and YouTube. On Facebook, now is the time to start running your conversion campaigns. Retarget those who have already interacted with your past ads and take advantage of Facebook follower audiences. On your website, you’ll also want to include an exit pop-up on your donation page that will run all the way until December 31st.
Your year-end campaign doesn’t end in December, it extends through January. Run Thank You remarketing ads on Google and Facebook, plus send an email to your list, with the goal of gratitude and the option to donate if people still want to. You’ll also want to take this time to go to your analytics to do a detailed analysis of your campaign success, the lessons learned, and which audiences and strategies worked best.