Plan to Use Multiple Channels for Your Year-End Appeal to Raise More Money

iStock_000003134043XSmallHow can using multiple communications channels dramatically enhance your year-end fundraising results?

In the Year-End Fundraising Telesummit, we laid out a sample multiple channel strategy that might cover the last three months of the year.

What on earth are “multiple channels” anyway? And why do we want a “multiple channel solicitation strategy?” This term is discussed a lot by the pundits and I thought it would be helpful to break it down to simpler terms.

Well, each channel is a way to reach your donors. There are lots of ways to talk to your donors and ask them for help. We use different forms of communication all the time with our donors, in fact.

What channels do fundraisers use to carry solicitations, warm-ups for solicitations and followups for solicitations?  Here are a favorite few – and I’m sure you can think of some more.

  • postcards
  • letters
  • face-to-face asks
  • phone calls
  • email solicitations

So what might a carefully-timed multiple channel end-of-year-campaign look like?

1. In October -warm up your donors so they are ready for the appeal

  • send an email out to your entire base of donors who will be solicited this fall. (include nondonors if you are planning to solicit them.)
  • send a postcard to everyone prepping them for the campaign, echoing the message from the email.
  • also, perhaps hold a thank-a-thon before you solicit, if you have time.

2.  In November – solicit

  • Send the appeal letter with the ask.
  • Followup with a phone call.
  • Send a follow-up appeal letter.  (We haven’t’ heard from you yet!)

3. In December – followup and close gifts when you can. Touch the donors who have not yet given.

  • Send an email followup.(possibly announce a matching or challenge gift to inspire last minute donors)
  • Possibly send another letter.(be polite here and not too heavy handed.)
  • At the very end of the year, be sure they have an email solicitation in their in-box.

Moral of the story? NEVER rely on one form of communication to carry your appeal successfully. Using multiple channels magnifies your request and gets it on your donors’ radar screens.

Not all donors are alike. It reaches different donors in different ways. It follows up with the same messaging and imaging.  It makes for a successful year-end campaign!