How to maximize results from holiday appeals and fundraising for nonprofits

Fri, Nov 27, 2009 at 11:55AM

Hardy Smith, Nonprofit Consultant & Speaker

Annual holiday appeal push is now on!

‘Tis the season when commercial ads reaching out to gift-giving shoppers deciding on goodies worthy of their money; so also ’tis the season when charitable solicitations reach out to gift-giving donors deciding on causes worthy of their money.

Take advantage of this annual rite to evaluate how your own appeal efforts stack up against those competing with you for the same donor dollar.

Enlist staff members, board members, and your volunteers for help collecting and turning in the direct mail they receive. Ask them to print out email messages and save ads from newspapers. Request they pay attention and make notes of ads on television and billboards as well as social media outreach.

Make this a fun activity by offering some sort of incentive to help ensure a large sampling is collected.

Organize an evaluation team to critique the results of this year’s appeals blitz and ask these questions:

  • How does your appeal compare to your competitors?
  • Whose communication piece is the most effective and why?
  • Is there a delivery method or medium that might work better for your targeted audience?
  • Whose message breaks through the clutter of all the cute, emotional, heartstring-tugging pleas and why?

Initiate this exercise now so you can apply what you learn to help make your next holiday fundraising appeal more effective.

Happy Holidays and happy fundraising!


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