Seven steps for a successful end of year fundraising campaign

17th September 2020

How important are November and December in your fundraising calendar? Is the end of the year the time when you generate the best response from individual donors?  

If you answered ‘Yes’ to these questions then you need to start thinking and planning for the most important fundraising campaign of the year.

And, if you are wondering about what you need to do to create a successful end of year or Christmas campaign here are seven practical steps you can take:

Find a compelling story

If you have participated in any of my fundraising workshops over the years or have read my blog posts and emails you would have heard me talk about the importance of telling a powerful story that highlights the need/s your charity is addressing, the solution/s it provides and the impact the supporter’s gift can make.

Tell the story in a way that really matters

In my opinion, how you tell the story is very critical. Far too often charities can focus on the ‘good news’ part of the story, not letting the story flow properly, skimp on the details of suffering or struggles thus failing to give the supporter a chance to empathise with the beneficiary or truly understand their experiences.  

So take time to tell your story in an inspiring and memorable way – give the supporter a chance to really connect with the beneficiary and inspire love and concern in their hearts for them.

Make sure your fundraising proposition is simple, clear, and urgent

Once you have the story think about how it can translate into a simple and clear fundraising proposition. 

For example: ‘Another mother like Nadia needs our help. Your gift of £x will help provide basic supplies for her to feed her family for a monthShe might not survive the harsh winter. She needs our help now.’

Remove your organisation from the centre-stage

Most supporters don’t give because they think that your organisation is amazing. They give because they care for the poor, the hungry, for those who need to hear the good news of Jesus in the midst of their suffering, etc. They want to help other people and see how their lives are being changed for good.

So, if you want your year-end campaign message to resonate with your supporters then inspire them with a powerful story of a transformed life and invite them to make that happen again.

Stay away from generic Christmas themed clichés

Often, many charities, including Christian ones, focus their end of year fundraising around a Christmas theme like ‘give the greatest gift,’ ‘give hope and joy,’ ‘spread the holiday spirit’ and so on.

The challenge with this approach is that every other charity is doing it so your message can be blended with that of others and be lost in the crowd.

There are ways of genuinely making a Christmas theme work, but you need to work hard at identifying one aspect of the Christmas story that aligns with what your charity is about and hone the message in ways that stand out from the crowd.

Integration is the name of the game

Do you have a fundraising strategy for the last two or three months of the year? Have you created a plan and schedule that you and others in fundraising and communications can work from?

An integrated plan that includes all the fundraising collateral, channels, supporter segments, and activities in a simple matrix in Excel can ensure that all aspects of your end of year campaign work together for best results.

Otherwise, you could be missing opportunities and confusing your supporters.

Start working on your year-end campaign now

I have seen clients who make excuses for putting off planning their year-end campaign because there is always something else to do that seems more urgent. Like the autumn magazine or newsletter, organising an event or something else… that gets the main attention.

But if year-end fundraising is really important to your organisation you should start planning and creating your campaign now. Because, as time and experience have shown, only when you put in the thinking and the work early you get it right.

At Christian Fundraising Consultancy, we help Christian charities create robust fundraising strategies and campaigns so they can raise more money and supporters for their causes.

If you’d like to talk about how we can help your Christian charity have a great year-end campaign, get in touch with us here.