Win Your Year-End Campaign—5 A.S.A.P Steps

This is a great Year-End Campaign Post by Nancy, had to repost for my readers.

Nancy E. Schwartz

Publisher, Getting Attention Blog & E-news

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Article: Win Your Year-End Campaign—5 A.S.A.P Steps

We’re at the beginning of the endof the year. Now’s the time for you to bear down and give birth to the most compelling fundraising campaign you have in you.

Email outreach is, of course, just one component of your multi-part year-end appeal. But it’s a channel that increases in importance — due to your ability to time receipt precisely — as you move towards the 2014 wind down.

Take a look at the email subject lines above —from December 2013 year-end appeal emails — to get clearer on what will work (and what won’t) for your organization thisDecember.

Keep in mind that your people will (I hope!) have received your year-end asks for a few months by that time, and they’re likely to be feeling some donor fatigue.

Take these steps to finish with a burst (rather than a whimper):
1) Make it personal to match your prospects’ wants and passions. The end of the year is already emotionally weighted with review of the year past and hopes and goals for the year to come. So emphasize that connection (between your organization’s look back and forward with those of your supporters and prospects).

Also, include one of your team’s names (or rotate names) in “from” lines and direct mail signatures (all-year-round recommendation).

2) Motivate, don’t nag. Ringing in the new year with by taking a passionate stand motivates me big time, while nudging me that the clock is ticking just bugs me. I have the same calendar you do!

I ADORE the two subject lines highlighted in yellow above. Both refer to time’s forward momentum, but in the context of the organization’s impact rather than the calendar year. That made sense to me, and I contributed to both organizations.

3) Launch a three- to four-month campaign, starting YESTERDAY (or today, if you haven’t go yet), rather than rely on a late December one off. But make sure to tie all campaign elements together with a single, memorable theme.

Doctors without Borders featured dramatic stories of rescue and relief efforts around the world, from Sudan to Bossangoa, Central African Republic. They crafted their 2013 email series to be so compelling that you couldn’t resist opening each one, like the serial novels of yore. That’s step one to your year-end win.

4) Integrate your email series with your social media channels (where you are already — don’t go out for the first time at this point) AND direct mail (to whomever you send it—based on those who respond).

When people see consistent messages and “look and feel,” they are more likely to remember and share them, and to act. Consistency suggests reliability and makes it easier for your prospect.

5) Laser focus on your appeal during the last week of the year, rather than talking about events to come. Keep your base’s eye on the prize, especially during that final week when we’re all distracted by holidays, family and honing those new year resolutions.

Nonprofit Change Management Tips: KISS

One of the areas I advocate for the most in nonprofit management is surveying and making data driven decisions.  Often these types of activities result in the need for change.  Here are a few tips to keep at the top of your mind when you are getting ready to embark on change.

Tips for making change stick:

1.KISS- This is good advice for all things, but particularly in nonprofit management.  Start with the small things and don’t try to do everything at once.  Your success will most likely be linked to your managing the change piece by piece, not by overnight sensation.

2. KEEP IT MOVING- Constantly evaluate what is and what is not working.  Make changes if you need to make them.

3.KEEP IT TOGETHER- A united force from top to bottom is required for any successful change.  Meet with your teams regularly and see if there are obstacles that you can remove from them.  Your goal is to help your employees become more effective by sticking together.

4.KEEP IT FLOWING- Open conversation is at the heart of every successful change.  Speak to your team members about the change and make sure they know they can talk to you about how they are feeling with no ramifications.  Part if the change may be venting and/or celebrating.  Either way, be prepared to help your team with whatever may come by creating an environment of open communication.

5.KEEP EVERYONE INVOLVED- Getting everyone involved and involved early is key.  Having people at every level involved and let your team members have the freedom to make decisions on how best to implement the change.  Remember, you are all on the same team and keeping it that way will help immensely.

6.KEEP IT A SUCCESS- Remember that change takes time and may look like a failure before it looks like true success.  Celebrate the small victories early on and the big ones are sure to follow.

Take-away: Change is good!!!