Even though your ears just stopped ringing from July 4th fireworks it’s time to start thinking about your Year End Campaign. No really, we mean it.

While Year End may not crank into high gear until early this fall, there are three things you should be working on NOW if you want to make 2014 your best Year End Campaign ever:

1.  Mobilize Your Numbers:  Revisit results so you can benefit from all the hard work you put into last year’s campaign! A couple of items to look at in depth include:

  • Segments:  What groups of constituents were most (and least) responsive? Summer is a great time for a cultivation email to donors and reactivation campaigns to constituents who haven’t opened an email from you in the last 9-12 months. With ESPs like Gmail and Yahoo now penalizing groups with low Open Rates, it’s time to fish or cut bait on nonresponsive names in your file before the Year End deluge.
  • Test Results:  What worked and should be implemented in 2014? What didn’t pan out and why? What needs to be retested? And don’t forget to look beyond the actual data at Year End. Make sure your look for “ripple effects” that (for better or worse) have continued throughout the year.

2.    Mobilize Your Match:  Matching Grants have become one of the most important elements of Year End Campaigns. If you used one, have you reported on the results to your generous donor? Closing the “Cultivation Loop” by thanking your donor for the impact their gift made can set you up for a bigger ask for 2014. Didn’t have a matching grant in 2013? NOW is the time to talk to your Major Gift Officer or CEO to identify a loyal supporter who would consider bankrolling your Year End Matching Gift Campaign.

3.    Mobilize your Emails and Donation Forms:  Mobile traffic to nonprofit websites has skyrocketed. A recent review of mobile traffic to Charity Dynamics’ clients showed Year-Over-Year increases between 7% and a whopping 104%, with an AVERAGE increase of 44%. Have you check your mobile traffic numbers? If you haven’t mobilized your emails and donation forms, check your own numbers and see what you might be missing out on in terms of emails being read and gifts being made! A recent Mobile Trends survey of nationwide consumers stated that 60% of shoppers said that “poor mobile design” was a major source of frustration and don’t think your donors will give you a pass on that frustration just because you do great work. Now is the time to make your site and forms responsive, or at least mobile friendly, so that you’ve got time to test the impact of new layouts before the critical year end period.

So enjoy your tomatoes fresh off the vine, walks on the beach, and cookouts in the back yard.  But don’t forget to take a few minutes to think about Year End – you’ll be glad you did!

Interested in more like this?

The Strategic Consulting team at Charity Dynamics is dedicated to mulling over current trends, fleshing out recommendations and vetting new opportunities in the digital nonprofit world. Partner with us and gain insight into what’s new, what’s worth pursuing and what your organization can do to change the world. Contact mbradley@charitydynamics for more information!