How Can Nonprofits Strategically Plan for the Giving Season?

At Strategic America, our culture is based on caring for each other and the community around us. In fact, one of our specialties is advocacy . We’re proud of the work we do for our clients, but our love of community goes beyond the office.

We support a number of causes close to our hearts. Right now, we’re preparing for Virtual PurpleStride 2020, an annual fundraiser for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. At just 10%, Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all major cancers. The organization’s goal is to increase that to 20% by 2030. This cause means a lot to us, so we’re the presenting sponsor the event again this year.

With that in mind and the giving season on the horizon, Strategic America wanted to share some insights to help any community organization prepare their marketing for the giving season.

1.  Start Planning Now

This seems obvious, but if your organization isn’t already in planning mode for giving season, it’s time to start. Block out time now for your team to brainstorm, refine plans and execute.

This year has been difficult. Many organizations are depending on the giving season to bring donations that will be essential to continuing their services. If you wait until the holidays are closer, you may run into full advertising schedules or too many competing messages.

2. Make Realistic Goals Based On Strategy

How you craft your goals for the season matters. Start by examining campaigns and donation information from the last few years. If you look carefully and think strategically, you should be able to find insights on what’s worked well in the past—the strategies, messages and platforms that have engaged your supporters in the past.

Once you have that information, think about what this year will look like. Where does it make sense to concentrate your efforts and budget for the season? What will be a realistic goal for your organization to shoot for this year—with all that has happened?

With that mind, you’re ready to set goals that fit your organization.

3. Craft the Right Media Mix

Your audience is likely diverse. They have different incomes, media consumption habits and interests. To make the most of the holiday season, you need to create an advertising mix that finds them where they are.

Consider your digital options. Many nonprofits can receive donations directly through Facebook. The platform also often offers matching donations for Giving Tuesday, as well as resources for nonprofits looking to help promote their brand. Google also offers solutions that you can scale for your organization’s size and budget. And they have resources for nonprofit organizations—including Google Ad Grants.

For supporters who favor offline options, consider direct mail campaigns or media relations. These offer ways for your audiences to learn about and connect with your brand in ways that may feel more familiar.

No matter what your audience looks like, never rely on just one strategy. Use your resources in different ways so you can make sure you’re reaching a higher number of supporters.

4. Hone Your Message

There are a lot of organizations in need this year. Your message will need to make an impact and stand out.

Think carefully about what you want to communicate. You probably have a lot of things you want—and need—to say. However, you’ll need to keep things simple. Your message should be concise and communicate a clear call to action.

Remember that the holidays aren’t your only time to communicate. The rest of the year offers you great opportunities to educate your audience on the key issues for your organization. Make the most of this time with the most impactful and compelling information.

There’s still time to create an outstanding plan for your organization during the giving season. Strategic America wishes you the best of luck—and a warm holiday season later this year.


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