For stations starting their fiscal years in the fall, year-end fundraising represents a time to boost your fortunes early into the financial cycle. The period starting at Giving Tuesday and continuing into 2020 is the biggest time all year, every year, for donations.
Here are a few practical recommendations for your community radio station mapping its year-end fundraising work:
- Whether it’s on the air or by mail, your station’s year-end messages must focus on your audience. Don’t present donation requests as what you do as an organization, but what your listener does when s/he contributes. What is the value of that investment to your mission? “Supporters like you brought award-winning news coverage to our area,” “without your help, our town would not have the cultural reputation it does,” and “your donation makes an impact here,” are just a few messages you could utilize to remind your audience of what they mean to you.
- How does your online donation form look on your phone? If you do not know, you should check. The number of people who give to a nonprofit via their mobile devices has grown in the last few years. And nothing is more frustrating than accessing a donation form that is not responsive. Zooming to type into undersized boxes and other headaches are a sure way to chase off well-meaning fans and miss donations. Add to the statistics of online giving that 40 percent of website traffic for nonprofits came from users viewing sites via phone, and it is clear your station’s mobile game needs to be on point.
- Speaking of digital campaigns, don’t forget to sharpen up your email visuals. Stations that rely on email to communicate with donors need to up their efforts to rise above the many year-end asks your listeners will receive. You’ll most worry about whether the email grabs your reader’s attention; how successfully the message keeps a reader from moving on; and the quality of the email to get you to donate. If you are out of ideas, there are many inspirations for look and feel of your year-end email campaign. Stations using photos with their campaigns should do so from the public domain and be sure to credit the artist if it is specified as a condition of use.
For organizations keeping score, though, Nonprofit Resource estimates nearly $400 million came into charities on Giving Tuesday 2018. The bulk of these contributions came via Facebook, up almost 200 percent from the previous year. The increased interest in giving back during the holiday season, amid a gloomy forecast for fundraising, means stations must be organized and active around end-of-year gifts.