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What It Takes to Raise 2.6 Million in Your Year-End Fundraiser

You read thousands of words a day; the daily forecast, news headlines, ingredients in your juice, social media posts, ads, emails, and rambling articles on fundraising strategies.

As nonprofit marketers we fight to cut through the noise to reach donors. A clear message has a chance. A message attempting to say everything in one breath does not.

Our client, DigDeep, a human rights nonprofit, doubled their initial goal for their 2021 year-end campaign—raising over $2.6 million. Many aspects of their multi-channel strategy led to success, but most notably was a clear campaign slogan:

“Water is for all of us.”

See, I didn’t even share their mission, but you already know what they do. You also know what they want you to care about.

Of course, a successful campaign is more than a clear message. DigDeep leveraged the power of authentic storytelling but with an important distinction.

Storytelling from a 360 perspective

DigDeep shared stories from voices on all sides of their mission to get running water to Americans living without it.

Audiences care who is telling them a story as much as they care about the story itself.

Their storytellers covered three perspectives:

  1. A running water recipient.
  2. A DigDeep staff member.
  3. A long-time donor.

We know storytelling is the most powerful fundraising tool, and you can amplify your message by telling your story from different perspectives.

This one shouldn’t be too surprising. Hearing a community recipient share their experience before and after receiving services builds trust in the organization and, more urgently, demonstrates that the need is very much a reality and you can help.

A staff member speaking from the heart about the mission they lead provides a unique inside perspective perfect for inspiring action. In DigDeep’s case, sharing this perspective was especially valuable because the staff member had directly experienced the hardship they are fighting to alleviate.

Donors hearing from other donors can also be motivational. It’s a great way to show that your nonprofit has a community bonded by shared values behind it. Not enough organizations share this perspective, which can entice donors to join a greater community.

One strategy for all of your marketing channels

The term multi-channel marketing is a strategy of spreading your story far and wide using a variety of loudspeakers. And in this digital-first age, you have a lot of options.

To double your nonprofit’s returns using multi-channel strategies, first find out if your team’s digital infrastructure is built for success.

Imagine your website as the nucleus of your campaign.

The many mechanisms churning out a clear message and story are on the periphery gaining attention and support for your cause by sending them to your website. Conversions occur on your website, so make sure your donation experience is optimized. Your donation page is the final stretch and must be absolutely focused to deliver a professional experience.

So, what are these mechanisms?

Social media.

Email.

Direct mail.

Paid ads.

SMS.

The list goes on.

Remember DigDeep’s three different storytelling perspectives? These are the channels their stories traveled through to reach donors.

A strong multi-channel marketing journey is purposefully repetitive thematically while unique in format. 

Sharing your message across different channels (social, email, etc.) allows you to do two key things: Reach new donors and re-engage past donors. That’s because most of us need to hear a message many times before we take action. (Some estimates have placed it as high as seven times.) This is true for both those unfamiliar and familiar with your mission—albeit, slightly less so for the latter.

Your audience is dropping hints on content they like

Gather all the sticky notes you can!

Marketing means constantly learning more about your audience and adapting.

When a certain story—say, a moving video showing a family turning on a faucet in their home for the first time—strikes a strong chord, take a moment and identify why this could be (if it’s not obvious) and then get it in front of a wider audience.

A note on strategy.

Your organization’s donor audiences are unique. Your multi-channel strategy should, at the very least, include everything mentioned so far; however, to bring in $2.6 million or more, your team will need to lock down a precise plan.

Let’s talk timing, frequency, and content opportunities. It won’t cost you a cent. Schedule a call and have your challenges and goals ready for our conversation because we start right away.

Don’t fill a room with every donor. They want personalized attention.

If you want to raise $2.6 million or more, you need to talk to your donors in a way that tells them they’re not just a drop in a bucket. It also builds your relationship through personalized gratitude.

We helped DigDeep improve donor cultivation, and segmentation played a big role in the strategy. The right marketing tools will allow you to do what DigDeep did: divvy up your donors by giving level, frequency, and a whole lot more.

For example, a small group of donors fund DigDeep’s Appalachian Water Program in places like West Virginia and Kentucky. This is a juncture from their leading effort to bring water to families across the Navajo Nation.

Yep, you guessed it.

Those donors are a segmented audience who receive impact updates relevant to their gifts in Appalachia. Personalization at location level is generally above and beyond, but it can certainly foster a higher conversion rate.

The well-defined segmentation strategy and powerful storytelling earned DigDeep a 46% email conversion rate, overall.

Segmenting your donor audience is guaranteed to  help cultivate long-lasting relationships with your donors and in return provide the revenue to power your mission for years to come.

Partner with CauseMic

We’ve been in your shoes. We know what it takes to turn a great nonprofit cause into a multimillion-dollar mission for good.

And we know how to do it in three years or less.

Let’s get to work.