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By Michelle McConnico, ACN Member
Giving Tuesday, which follows the post-Thanksgiving shopping madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is a big day for nonprofit fundraising. Was your organization’s Giving Tuesday everything you’d hoped? If not, don’t be glum. Here are a few tips from MuvaShip Marketing to boost giving to your nonprofit all year round:
1. Engage Donors Frequently
Coming out of the woodwork the day after Thanksgiving to ask for money won’t get you far. Have your donors or prospects gotten a holiday card from you lately, a thank you note, an email, anything? It is important that donors feel like they are a part of your mission, connect to your mission, and understand the impact that you are having within your space. Don't pop-up like a whack-a-mole just when you need funds to drive your ideas. Bring potential donors on a journey with you and your organization. Send monthly or quarterly emails about the impact you are having. Schedule a happy birthday email to acknowledge your donors on days that are special for them. Release annual reports that remind donors of the impact that your organization is having. Do this, and you will always be top of mind when a gifting opportunity comes around.
2. Get Social
Social media has become the most useful tool to engage an audience around a cause and to find like-minded individuals to either be a part of your audience or join your band. Invest in the ability to regularly schedule updates on social media about the progress of your efforts and why your cause is important. Share the stories of the lives you are impacting and be authentic with who you are and why your organization matters. Creating connections, even on social media, allows organization to break through the noise and build awareness well in advance of the ask. If your organization is not active on social media, you are cutting off what could be a viable pipeline of engagement and support.
3. Take Advantage of Pre-Tax Season
If there is anything that annoys high rollers more that cold-calling fundraisers, it is taxes. In many cases, taxes are the pain of a high earner’s existence. As a fundraiser you must understand that your organization is here to help. Quarterly or toward the end of the year, even after Giving Tuesday, is great timing to reach out and give donors the last-minute chance to help a cause that they love and possibly enjoy a sizeable tax break.
Donations to charity are tax deductions from income that may be carried forward for up to five years. Each year taxpayers are required to claim the maximum deduction possible in the current year—the deductibility limits are 60% of adjusted gross income for cash and 30% for long-term appreciated securities—but they can then carry forward any unused charitable deductions for up to five more years. That's a major relief and solution for high earners who need to find feel-good tax breaks before the start of the new year. In addition to individual donors, identify and partner with large organizations or corporations who match your mission in some way. These days, corporations want to be good and do good. Make them a partner in working toward a common goal and solving a major problem. This creates longer term sustainability of your fundraising efforts. You have married a big brand and a beautiful cause.
Finally, let's be sure to acknowledge our donors. Not necessarily because they love the bright lights, but because their giving is important. Their giving can inspire others to give and let's donors know that you are a credible and trusted organization that will make the positive use of their funds. Thanking your donors and continuing to engage them in the impact you make is a guaranteed recipe for growth.
Michelle McConnico is founder & CMO of MuvaShip Marketing, which specializes in helping schools, nonprofit, and government entities with their online presence, marketing, and communications strategy.
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