What’s your story? Getting an end-of-year campaign right

Casper Harratt, director of marketing at Blackbaud, the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, shares three tips to help you with your end-of-year fundraising.

December continues to be the strongest month for charitable giving; this year’s Blackbaud Charitable Giving Report found that 17% of all giving in 2018 occurred in the final month of the year.

So, what is your organisation doing to capitalise on this holiday-inspired generosity? Our latest eBook, the End-of-Year Fundraising Toolkit 2019, outlines a seven-step approach that your team can use to make sure your end of year campaigns stands apart from the crowd.  

When the goals are established and your database is prepped, the most important aspect to concentrate on is messaging. If you can tell the real story of the impact your organisation makes and position your supporters as the heroes of your mission, then you’ll be speaking to what donors want and need to hear.

1. Start with important dates

As you build out your year-end campaign, begin by designating the most important dates for your organisation. This could include:

These are all potential opportunities for your organisation to tell stories that showcase how it has created impact and benefited from donor support.

2. Choose your key message

A key message is the main point you want your audience to remember about your organisation’s mission. For instance, your organisation is running a special campaign that will fund a kid’s summer camp. So, your spring campaign’s key message might be: “Summer camp provides kids with opportunities to gain confidence and skills that will last a lifetime.”

Once you have decided upon your key message, you’ll be able to structure your campaign in a way that ensures your message is central to the stories you’re telling. An easy way to identify your key message is to think about the theory of change that you are proposing in your appeal. This will almost always be your key message.

3. Find your stories

There is important groundwork to do before identifying and planning your stories. Your team’s task is to brainstorm anecdotes that will complement your campaign and key message.

Continuing with the summer camp example, your organisation could tell stories about campers, parents of campers, or even donors who financially supported the camp. The point is to find the story that helps you best demonstrate how your organisation has created change and opportunity. How has summer camp changed a life? What story best shines light on the importance of this programme?

As a part of the planning process, it can be helpful to brainstorm a list of all the possible stories you could tell for each storytelling opportunity you have. This helps you avoid a common mistake of committing to a single story without considering all the other possibilities.

For further hints and tips of creating the most successful year-end campaign yet, click here to download our free End-Of-Year Fundraising Toolkit.

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

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