‘Twas the night before end-of-year deadlines and all through the town, digital fundraisers were furiously scurrying around.
It’s our last chance to fundraise! We must close out the year strong!
But high levels of unsubscribes could prove us all wrong.
After the election, small-dollar donors are burnt out!
They gave and they gave—if we push too them hard, we’ll likely strike out.
Never fear! Online, fundraising opportunities abound. You just have to know what creative tactics are around:
If you work for a non-profit or have a 501(c)(3) arm, be sure to mention that their end-of-year donation is tax-deductible.
After the election, online donors transition from the online activist squeezing out every last dollar for campaigns and causes to focusing on their family and the holiday season, literally overnight. So if you don’t have something to offer them, you can bet your email will either go unopened, un-clicked, or worse—to spam.
You can ease those feelings of burnout by reminding them that their end-of-year giving won’t just benefit a kickass cause, but also will be tax deductible.
Swag. Swag. Swag.
During the holiday season, it seems like everyone’s affinity for “stuff” shoots through the roof. Flash sales. Discounts. Year-End Clearances. (Read: That 15th scarf you bought on sale “for your cousin.”)
Does your campaign or organization have any leftover swag: shirts, hats, buttons, stickers? If so, you can wrap two presents with one ribbon. Clear out your leftover merch while fundraising by putting together a gamified, end-of-year series that promotes “renewing” your 2019 membership early and the first 1,000 new members will receive some super-clutch-totally-novel swag from your organization or campaign.
Put a pin in it.
One of the most under-utilized ad platforms is Pinterest. As an outlet, pretty visuals reign supreme. Expect your audience to be female, and largely brides, moms, and teachers.
While campaigns can’t take out ads on Pinterest, non-profits and unions can. If you’re an environmental group, post stunning earth-porn images alongside an ask for the reader to give $5 to buy a tree to stop deforestation.
If your organization supports women’s health care, what takes less time than the three-steps to a perfectly messy bun? Donating $50 to protect women’s reproductive rights.
If you’re a soup kitchen that supports the homeless, offer a recipe that you prepare for your guests and accompany it with an ask to support the cause.
There you have it. As 2018 fundraising comes to a close, I hope you’ve enjoyed my riff on Clement Clarke Moore’s holiday classic.
As the countdown to 2019 finally began, all the online fundraisers were nestled snug in their beds, while visions of low-dollar donors danced in their heads.
And as activists closed their laptops and flew out of cellular range, to their candidates and causes we heard them exclaim: Happy holidays to all, and to all a good night!
Cheryl Hori is the founder of Pacific Campaign House, a progressive digital campaign firm.