It’s the most wonderful time of the year — and it’s just around the corner. The holidays are a time when people’s thoughts turn to helping others, and their generosity can become infectious.
Charitable giving is a multibillion-dollar industry, with some $410 billion donated in the US during 2017. It is estimated that roughly 25 percent of this giving happens between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
Competition Is Fierce
Make no mistake, competition for those charitable donations is fierce — so if your charity or not-for-profit organization wants to secure a share of these funds, it’s time to get organized now.
We’ve compiled nine tips to ensure your organization is top of mind when it comes to giving during the holidays.
9 Tips to Promote Giving During the Holidays
- Campaign Updates: How did your organization spend the money it received last year? Your donors want to see how their money was put to good use and made people’s lives better. Focus on real individuals, and explain that your organization was only able to help thanks to the generosity of the people who support it. Don’t forget to include a link where your supporters can give more.
- Make It Easy: Online payment providers like PayPal make it incredibly easy to send money to charities and nonprofit organizations. Last year, more than $971 million was given to charitable causes during the holiday period via PayPal, — a staggering $7.3 billion over the course of the entire year. Gifts ranged from a single cent (every cent counts — right?) to a mind-blowing $230,000. The average gift was $93. What could your organization do with $93?
- Break It Down: Break down how far a $5, $10, $50, $100 or $500 donation goes. Show your supporters that the size of their donation really doesn’t matter and that whatever they can afford will be put to good use.
- Share Your Objectives: Sharing your goal and your progress toward achieving it will really fire up your supporters to do more. Nobody likes to see their favorite charity or nonprofit fall short of its targets. People will do their utmost to spread the good word and drive additional support.
- Make Things Shareable: Social media share buttons allow your email subscribers and blog readers to easily share your updates. Remember, birds of a feather flock together. If you have an email subscriber or a social media follower who is passionate about your cause, the chances are that person will also have friends, family, and colleagues who will be interested in supporting you.
- Tax Benefits: Giving doesn’t just give people a warm feeling, knowing that they are helping others. There may be other benefits involved, like tax deductions. Explain how these benefits work and how easy it is for your supporters to divert money from the tax man to your cause.
- Not Just About the Money: Giving doesn’t always have to involve cash. Could any of your subscribers donate time to your cause? Use your email marketing and social media activities to recruit volunteers as well as cash donations.
- Share Fundraising Ideas: Give your supporters the tools to raise their own funds for your organization. Help them set up their own charitable events (bake sales, coffee mornings, sponsored walks, etc.) and build a real community spirit around your cause. Encourage your supporters to share their efforts on social media with a hashtag — and your event could start trending.
- Keep Pushing: If you want to be heard above all the noise of major marketing events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you’ve got to get involved with the fight. Major retailers aren’t shy about putting their message out there multiple times each week in the run-up to the holidays, and you shouldn’t be either. After all, your message is probably more important.
Has your charitable or nonprofit organization started thinking about the holidays yet? How will you engage your audience during this peak giving period? Share your comments below:
This abridged post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.