Whether your nonprofit operates on a calendar or fiscal year, the year’s end is a time to wrap up projects, ramp up fundraising and plan for the next 365 days.
In today’s post, let’s talk end-of-the-year marketing tips to help you put a big red bow on the past 52 weeks (hey, it can be Christmas anytime!)—while getting ready to crush it in Q1 and beyond.
1. Launch a year-end giving appeal powered by omnichannel marketing automation.
It doesn’t take the holidays to launch a high-powered year-end appeal—just a do-more marketing strategy. This year, level up your giving campaign with omnichannel marketing automation (OCMA).
OCMA is a cutting-edge approach that marries traditional marketing methods with modern technology, allowing nonprofits and businesses to achieve better results with less time and effort. Omnichannel refers to the ability to reach your audience across multiple communications channels such as email, print and social media. Automation refers to the fact that with OCMA, much of the campaign legwork happens automatically following an initial setup.
Because of its high-tech capabilities, which OCMA uses to enhance time-tested marketing strategies, it can provide nonprofits with tangible, real-world advantages like:
- More audience touchpoints (remember, your message needs to reach your target audience at least seven times to be effective)
- Better campaign performance
- Greater efficiency and time savings
Want to learn more? Check out this handy resource guide about the basics of OCMA and what it can do for your nonprofit.
2. Send your stakeholders a beautifully designed annual report.
Professional copywriting, graphic design and printing services don’t have to break the bank. In fact, they can be more budget-friendly than you might think. And who knows? Since it’s the end of the year, you might even have a little wiggle room left in the ole’ budget.
If you can swing it, a professionally created annual report could be just the right recipe for wowing your stakeholders at the end of the year. Just imagine: You’ll avoid all the time and effort involved and end up with a gorgeous print and digital document jam-packed with success stories and mission-related info to bring to conferences, display at your headquarters and distribute all year.
Win, meet, win.
3. Gather and publish success stories.
Speaking of success stories, high-profile research by the Blackbaud Institute for Charitable Giving paints a clear picture: When it comes to giving-related decisions, donors need to be assured their gift will make an impact.
The end of the year might be the perfect time to gather stakeholder testimonials and reflect back on the past 365 days’ accomplishments. You’ll be able to use these stories all year in your appeals and other marketing efforts. Use these ideas for inspiration to get started:
- Interview someone who’s been impacted by your organization, and use it to create a video to share on social media.
- Document an event you hosted, presented at or attended, and feature it in a newsletter.
- Collect your favorite photos, and sprinkle them into your next appeal letter or post them on social media.
4. Inventory (and refresh) your assets.
The end of the year is also a good time to take stock and make to-do lists (or wishlists). Maybe you have just enough left in the budget to order those new business cards you’ve been talking about or a batch of promo swag to hand out at your next golf event. See what you can check off your list, such as:
- Is your website up-to-date, functional and visually appealing? Does it accurately reflect who your organization is today instead of what it was two years ago? (Do you still have outdated pandemic language on your website?) Remember that to donors, your website serves as the face of your mission. In fact, an unappealing website is one of the #1 reasons donors choose not to give.
- Could your logo, mission statement, photos or videos use a refresh?
- Do you have all the materials you need for your conference booth? How about giveaway swag, which research shows is one of the most welcome forms of nonprofit advertising?
- Do you have at least one high-quality video showcasing your organization and mission for use on social media?
- Are your social pages active and current? (The start of a new year is a great time to reestablish or strengthen your social media presence.)
- Brochures? Business cards? Physical copies of your annual report?
5. Plan for the year ahead.
We don’t need to tell you to make a marketing plan for next year. But we will remind you that the more you can get ahead, the easier your life will be! (And, perhaps, the more successful your marketing will be).
We suggest a brain data dump at the end of the year. Sit down with a strong cup of coffee and think about the year ahead: What are your goals? What are the notable dates or milestones? What are things you would like to do differently from last year?
With this mindset, you’ll be ready to take on anything.
Wrap up the year with a bang! The end of the calendar or fiscal year is the perfect time for nonprofits to tie up loose ends, make a major fundraising push and chart a course for the upcoming 365. From launching compelling giving appeals to showcasing success stories, following these year-end marketing tips will help your organization conquer the new year with confidence.