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In the business world, you may have heard that attracting new talent costs much more than retaining employees. Did you know the same principle is true for donors? A recent study by the Association of Fundraising Professional's Fundraising Effectiveness Project concluded donor retention reached a 9-year low of 46 percent in 2016 - despite an increase in revenue and donors overall. What does this mean for your organization?
With daylight savings time, longer days and (slightly) warmer weather on the horizon, we are officially in the thick of spring fundraising season. You're likely sending a flurry of emails promoting ticket sales, new auction items, save the dates, you name it. And as we recently reported on Winspire News, promotion is the #1 challenge event planners face. However, email isn't just for promoting one-time events - it's key to raising support year-round.
Fall fundraising season is well underway, and chances are your organization has a fundraising event on the horizon. A key piece to your success is strategic promotion. We all know events can be pricey, and when budgets get stretched thin, it's tempting to put marketing efforts to the backburner. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to spread the word that don't cost a penny.
At Winspire News, we hear from a lot of fundraising professionals and volunteers. Along with questions on auction best practices (how many items to include in the live auction, bestselling silent auction items, setting minimum bids and so forth), we've also gotten these: How do we address those who say, "I don't go to the auction and never will."? Are auctions really worth the time and cost? How do I refresh my 14-year event? Is it time to give it up and move on to another type of event? Perhaps you can relate.
Email is a key piece of any fundraiser's promotional campaign. In recent weeks, we've discussed how to write event emails that impact as many people as possible: writing compelling "Save the date" invitations; strategic best practices for emails leading up to the event; segmenting your donor database to increase participation; and timing emails when they're most likely to be read. The final piece: crafting emails that are responsive on mobile devices.
You've worked hard for months sorting out countless details for your annual fundraising gala and procuring amazing items for the charity auction. Of course you want to spread the word about your event as far and wide as you can. Email campaigns are the meat of most nonprofits' promotion strategies. In the past few weeks, we have looked at key aspects of effective email campaigns, including compelling save the dates, content strategies and donor segmentation. However, no matter how compelling or targeted your content is, it's of little good if sent at the wrong time. As the old adage goes, timing is everything! Fortunately, you don't need to be a tech guru or marketing pro to follow some basic best practices of email scheduling. Read on to learn how to create an effective email calendar, the best day and time to send emails, and how to strategically arc calls-to-action leading up to the big day. Step 1: Set the frequency of your emails with an email calendar The best way to ensure fundraising event emails are sent in a timely manner is creating and adhering to an email calendar. Make a detailed outline of each email’s objective and when it will be sent. Check out our handy sample event email timeline below, and adjust according to your audience and event date.
In recent weeks we've discussed a few key principles of effective event emails, including how to compose compelling "save the date" invitations and general tips for strategizing an email campaign. Today let's look at a fundamental best practice that gets more conversions—that is, more clicks and responses to your emails. This can look like more tickets sold, more social media shares, more registrations, and ultimately more revenue. So, what's the key to increasing donor participation? Two steps: segmenting your donor base and targeting messaging to each different segment. It's that simple! A recent survey by email service provider MailChimp shows just how effective this strategy is. They tracked 11,000 segmented email campaigns and found that list segmentation increased email click-through rates by 65% and open rates by 14% compared to their non-segmented emails, while trimming unsubscribes by 9%. Other research suggests 24% of companies that segment lists see increased revenue as a result. Sound good? Read on to learn how your organization can take advantage of this simple but impactful tactic. Segmentation Overview Your donor base is made up of unique individuals. Yes, they all have a common connection—an interest in your cause—but no two supporters are alike. There are obvious differences, like age and gender, but also ones below the surface, like personal background and motivations.
At Winspire, we are passionate about helping nonprofits raise more money. Event promotion, particularly email marketing, plays a huge role in the outcome of any fundraiser. Last week we looked at what makes an impactful "save the date" email invitation. Striking images, vibrant colors, concise copy and links to a website all encourage donors to mark their calendars for your annual gala, auction or tournament. But the "save the date" is just the first step in a months-long fundraising event email campaign. Are you simply sending weekly reminder emails that rehash the same information over and over? Or are you thinking strategically and creatively to encourage as much participation as possible from a diverse donor base? Make the most of every message with our 9 email "must-do's" to create anticipation and increase revenue at your event. 1. Understand your audience Writing effective email invites starts with knowing what motivates and excites your supporters. What makes your event stand out? How is your nonprofit making a difference? What do guests hope to get out of the event?
The majority of your winning bidders attend four or more fundraising events each year. This means the annual gala, live auction or golf tournament is likely competing in a crowded space! It's important to set your event apart from the pack. Fortunately, with technology it's easier than ever to spread the word well in advance. "Save the date" email campaigns are an easy way to start the conversation about your event, give donors a taste of what's to come, and, most importantly, get them to mark their calendars. Here are a few general guidelines and tips to consider when crafting attractive, compelling email invitations - the first step in a strategic email event promotion campagin. 1. Use an email marketing service If you're not already, consider using a free or low-cost email marketing service like MailChimp or Constant Contact. These email programs tell you exactly who has opened your invitation, what links they're clicking on and other helpful information.
→ Click here to view this video tutorial. For a nonprofit, email marketing is an ideal way to initiate and nurture relationships with donors. Not only is email cost effective, but it can reach a large number of recipients in a timely and relevant manner. Email marketing is especially useful for promoting charity fundraisers. A promotional email campaign can be used to generate excitement, drive ticket sales, highlight big-ticket auction items and remind your supporters about the impact they can make by attending your event.
As you develop a marketing and communication strategy for your nonprofit in 2015, it is important to have an understanding of industry trends both in terms of key objectives as well as methods of outreach. A recent study of 1,535 staff members of nonprofits gathered data on marketing trends and objectives for 2015. Participants were polled on a variety of topics, including their primary objectives for their marketing efforts for 2015, their preferred method of outreach – using both digital and traditional media, and their expected frequency of outreach to their donor base. View Infographic → In addition, the survey data was broken down by job function of the nonprofit staff respondents, which shed some critical insight into how a nonprofit must balance competing interests within the organization in formulating a marketing and communication strategy.