Last year, 18% of all charitable donations were made in December, and 12% occurred in the last three days. This is good news because it means you still have time to organize and launch a holiday giving campaign! To help you get started, easyTithe has created the Ultimate 5-Part Action Plan for Holiday Giving, and you can get the expanded version by downloading the complimentary 2017 Year-End Giving Kit.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or you already have a generosity campaign in place, this guide has helpful tips and reminders for staying organized and increasing holiday giving.
Part 1: Get organized for a successful launch
Organizing a strategy for a Year-End giving campaign is essential for success, and the first step is writing down your goals. A study shows that 70% of people achieved their goals when writing them down, highlighting the actionable steps to reach them. However, only 35% of those that didn’t write down goals reached the desired outcome. If you want to double your odds of success, put your goals in writing.
A proven technique for setting goals is applying the S.M.A.R.T. acronym. Set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely goals that focus on holding you and team members accountable as you get ready to launch your generosity campaign. Detail the actions necessary to reach the goals including deadlines, and add weekly or bi-weekly meetings with your team to measure results and tweak your strategy.
Part 2: Do this BEFORE the launch
Before the launching the Year-End giving campaign, there are a few boxes you need to check off your list. Analyzing last year’s results, choosing your team, creating a budget, selecting your narrative, and deciding the different platforms you want to communicate on are just a few examples. You should also assign team members their responsibilities and determine how you’re going to communicate, as well as when and where you’re going to meet.
In our 2017 Year-End Giving Kit, we provide an expanded checklist of actionable steps for each task to keep you moving in the right direction. (If you haven’t downloaded it yet, be sure you do before you go!)
Part 3: Steps for a seamless follow-through
Once you’ve written down goals and crossed everything off the checklist, it’s time to follow-through with the launch and to manage the Year-End giving campaign. For a seamless follow-through, three areas are essential.
1. Set a timeline that breaks big goals down into smaller, more attainable goals. For example, don’t just write down that you want to raise more donations for the church this year versus last year – write down that you want to increase giving by 5% and you’ll add a Facebook app and giving kiosks before Christmas to help achieve this.
2. Track your progress with easyTithe’s simple to use online reporting tools. You’ll have a variety of options that help you analyze YoY and MoM, recurring giving trends, and other customizable reports.
3. Communicate with your team about deadlines that occur after the launch to ensure it’s running smoothly. Don’t leave your campaign on autopilot. There are plenty of opportunities to increase giving when you stay focused and continue to interact with donors until December 31st.
Part 4: Enhance the follow-up
To enhance the follow-up, make sure you don’t place it at the end of the giving campaign. You should be peppering impactful thank you messages throughout the month as donations come in.
People are 41% more likely to donate again when you send a heartfelt thank you. And 24% increase their current gift before the year is over when getting an expression of gratitude quickly.
Part 5: Ring in the New Year with confidence
File the notes, reports, and results you’ve gathered so that you can review them for 2018 giving campaigns. Consider scheduling a meeting with your team to wrap-up the campaign by going around the room and reflecting on the experience. Then, make additional notes about what worked and what didn’t. Also, review the tools that were helpful for increasing generosity such as giving kiosks and mobile apps, and start incorporating them into all church fundraising efforts.
The more detailed the information, the more confident you and your team will be in the New Year when planning your next giving campaign!
Want more in-depth information about planning an effective generosity campaign? Download our 2017 Year-End Giving Kit with the expanded version of the Ultimate 5-Part Action Plan for Holiday Giving, the detailed checklist of what to do before the launch, and much (much) more!