If you haven’t already done so, make sure you Clean Up and Organize Your Mailing Lists
You must have a donation page that’s engaging and easy to use. Test all links in email messages and social media posts. The last thing you want is a donor contacting you about a broken link or having to hunt around on your website for the donation page.
Consistency is key
Don’t spend a lot of time on channels your donors aren’t using. Figure out in advance where you want to focus your efforts.
SAMPLE SCHEDULE AND STRATEGY
Come up with a schedule of when the appeals will go out. I’ve created a sample schedule below. Of course, you can adjust the timeframe as needed.
Give your supporters a heads up by email and social media. Let them know that your annual appeal is underway and they should receive a letter from you soon. Encourage them to donate online right now. This means your donation page needs to be ready to serve your donors.
Mail out your appeal letter.
Send out follow up reminders via email and social media. If possible, don’t send reminders to people who have already donated. Otherwise, be sure to thank your recent donors. You can even phrase your reminders as more of a thank you or an update.
A big thank you to all of you who have donated to our annual appeal. We are more than half way to our goal. If you haven’t donated yet, please help us out today by visiting our website (include a link to your donation page) or sending us a check (provide address).
Send out another reminder. It’s a busy time of year and some people might need a gentle prompt.
Start making reminder calls. If time is an issue, you could just call people who have donated before. That’s probably most effective.
Send a Happy Thanksgiving greeting along with a friendly reminder. Share a success story in your appeal.
December 3 is Giving Tuesday so you could tie that into your reminder.
Keep sending reminders throughout December. It’s tricky because you want to get your message across without annoying your supporters.
Look to see who hasn’t contributed yet. Concentrate on people who are most likely to donate, such as past donors.