The leaves haven’t started changing, and here I am talking about year-end fundraising.
While December still reigns supreme as transactional prime time for online giving — when typically 60-70% of digital revenue is raised — fundraisers must start planning now to nurture and feed donors and prospects in the lead up to that most wonderful time of the fundraising year.
Here are four tips to prep you for December now in September.
(1) Get your SEO and Google Ads up to snuff.
A research study by Google shows that in 2012 the number of donation-related searches was 30 percent higher in September than it was in August. Use this post-summer vacation lift in searches to incentivize your organization to optimize organic search rankings and search ads. You’ll not only generate more brand buzz prior to December, but you’ll also have field-tested your search pathway in advance of year-end.
(2) Create a compelling “Why Give” section on your site that shows your impact.
Take advantage of increased site traffic by creating a compelling “Why Give” section on your site that shows your organization’s impact. Here’s a great example from charity: water. Donors are hungry for real-world results. Show them that your organization can get them in a clear and engaging way.
(3) Cultivate your donors and prospects.
Send your donors and prospects thank you messages that make them feel good about their relationship with you. Also consider creating a video that captures emotional messages about your organization that you can share. According to the Google study, fifty-seven percent of survey participants said they had made a contribution after watching a charity’s online video. Here’s a great example from the Anti-Defamation League.
(4) A/B test your donation forms and make them smartphone friendly.
Now is the time to test your donation forms so they are field tested in advance of year-end. Test lay-out. Test copy. Test imagery. And make sure your forms are easy to navigate on mobile devices. According to that Google study, forty percent of survey participants say they conduct research about charities on their mobile devices and 25 percent say they make donations using smartphones and tablets.
This is a short list to get you started thinking about year-end now. Stay tuned for more ideas in the months to come.