Here it is, middle of November … how is your End-of-Year Campaign looking right now? Feeling a bit stressed? Have questions regarding what to do next or where to focus your energy? We have you covered!

Join us this Thursday, November 15 at 12 p.m. CT for our next webinar – “EOY Ask the Experts.” Nothing super fancy, just an hour to get your questions answered by folks who have been in the trenches of EOY campaigns and help nonprofit professionals maximize their fundraising results for the next few months … and many years to come.

When you register for the webinar, we ask, “What is your #1 question about EOY fundraising?” We will be answering ALL of those questions on the webinar, but you can also join the call and ask any other questions you have, live and in person. It’s like getting free consulting for your specific situation at no cost (just a little bit of your time).

I’m already compiling the questions to be covered during the webinar, and have highlighted a few here as a teaser. We will, of course, go much deeper into each of these questions and others on the live call. 

Q. Is it too late for us this year if we’re just now getting started?

A. Definitely not!  End of year is probably the best time of year to fundraise, and even if you start late, you can still see some huge results if done correctly. For a crash course in preparing your EOY campaign, download the “EOY Fundraising Plan.” This e-book is essentially a quick reference checklist, broken out by month, of all the tasks you should focus on to maximize your EOY campaign. While the checklist covers the months of September through December, you still have time to catch up. I have seen organizations crank through the full checklist in one month!

Q. Should #GivingTuesday be a part of our EOY campaign?

A. I have a love/hate relationship with GivingTuesday. On one hand, I really don’t like that it comes AFTER Black Friday when everyone has already spent all their money. I also don’t like that it comes so close to the end-of-year giving season, causing many orgs to worry about “over-solicitation” and confusion with your marketing calendar. On the other hand, I have worked with many organizations that do really well on GivingTuesday. In fact, the Whole Whale is predicting $331 million will be raised on GivingTuesday 2018. This will be a 21 percent or $57 million increase over 2017’s record-breaking pull of $274 million.

My general advice around GivingTuesday is to be intentional. If you are going to do it, then do it well and plan accordingly. Build it into your EOY Campaign Plan, maybe even as the kickoff to your campaign. However, if you don’t have the time and resources to do it well, then don’t waste a bunch of time doing it half-heartedly. That time would be better spent making your EOY campaign all it can be, instead of risking both efforts being mediocre. If you have more specific questions about GivingTuesday, register for the webinar and ask me live on the call!

Q. Can we just use the same messaging and creative as last year?

A. Short answer, I would not recommend it. Longer answer, some items may be able to be reused, but only in the area of “brand identity.” Specifically, I think it’s great to use the same branding across your annual campaigns (logo, colors, style, etc.), but you should not use the exact same messaging, photos, campaign themes, and especially stories from the previous year.

Donors want to see the impact you’re making in the community for the issues your organization focuses on. If they see the same messaging, themes, and stories they may just think you didn’t make much of an impact this year. It’s much better to create a new theme, message, and imagery, especially if you can tie it into current events or something specific your organization accomplished this year … and what that means for your increased impact THIS year.

So, what questions do you have? What do you need help with?  Join us on Thursday and we can figure it out together.