Last Minute Ways To Achieve Your 2022 Fundraising Goals
According to the latest Voluntary Support of Education survey by CASE, charitable giving to U.S. colleges and universities increased by nearly 7 percent in 2021. As we close out 2022, now is the time to capitalize on this momentum and leverage every resource to achieve your fundraising goals.
But with Giving Tuesday around the corner, and only six weeks left to solicit donations, you may be thinking, ‘what else can I possibly do to ensure we hit our goal?’
In this blog, we’ll share three tactics you can implement today that will enhance your current campaign with minimal effort.
‘Record’ the Impact
Donors want to know the impact of their contributions.
According to a recent study by Root Cause, a consulting group that helps drive social change, 75% of donors are seeking information about the impact of their gifts.
During the busy end-of-year season, it may not be possible to do this for every gift. Instead, consider sharing the broad impact donations have to your university by creating user-generated content and include it as part of your multi-channel approach.
What is user-generated content, you ask? User-generated content is content that users voluntarily create about a product or brand. It’s raw and authentic content, and since people crave authenticity in content today — user-generated content delivers. The beauty of user-generated content is that it has low production costs and is quick and easy to produce.
To leverage user-generated content in your campaign, simply grab an iPhone and record 30-second videos of your campus, including the faculty, staff, students, and showcase the amazing things supporter donations have provided. Here are a few ideas:
- Interview a student who benefitted from a certain program or scholarship
- Give a tour of a new building that is being constructed
- Highlight a faculty member who was able to fund a research program.
Then share these videos via social media, email, or embed them into your donation pages.
(Pro tip: If sharing on social media, make sure your CTA links back to your donation page!)
Ultimately, donors will feel more connected to your initiatives, have a better understanding of the impact of their gifts, and be more likely to support your university in the future.
Pause the Ask
Last weekend, while binge-watching a series, something strange happened. During the commercial break, I heard soothing music. It caught me so off guard that I looked up and read, ‘please enjoy this 30-minute commercial-free break’ brought to you by *insert well-known car company name here* What?! You mean a major company paid money for a spot buy but didn’t advertise anything? Genius. But why?
With two years of digital overload, there’s an emerging trend in advertising, giving people a break from the traditional sales pitch. And it’s working.
This same concept applies to fundraising (which, in a sense, is both advertising and selling). Since most people donate to multiple causes, they are inundated with end-of-year solicitations.
To change it up, why not be the one that gives? Not only does it offer a welcome break to your supporters, but it can also strengthen relationships and build greater engagement by showing that you can relate to their situation.
In your next communication, consider a solicitation pause. Check in on your supporters. Ask how they are doing. Offer free tools to alleviate the stress that comes with the year-end hustle.
Here are a few suggestions.
- Share a guided meditation
- Offer a link to a well-being podcast
- Send a free trial for a wellness app
- Create a playlist with calming tunes
The key is to show empathy and compassion while also providing value. A little bit of care can go a long way this time of year.
Captivate in 24 Hours
In a recent article published by wevideo, the top video trend for 2022 is social media stories. Platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook give you the ability to share videos that disappear after 24 hours. Why is that a big deal? Unlike traditional videos, social media stories can be viewed on mobile devices, meaning they are perfect for capturing attention as people scroll. And since they disappear after a day, viewers are more likely to watch them all the way through, meaning you’re more likely to get their attention and engagement.
A quick way to enhance your campaign is to share weekly stories on your campus social channels. For example:
- Feature as a ‘donor of the week’ that discusses why they choose to support your institution
- Design a history series that showcases campus growth over the years from direct donations
- Make a quiz or question series about your campus that allows followers to engage with your story in real-time.
Finally, enable your campus network to work for you. Make sure you are maximizing reach by tagging constituents (with permission), using appropriate hashtags, and enabling sharing. This creates an army of organic influencers to promote your initiatives and drive engagement.
No matter the time of year, it’s never too late to enhance your fundraising campaigns. By incorporating quick, easy-to-share content, you can amplify your goals and drive higher rates of engagement — with minimal effort.
Check our latest article: Five Essential Strategies for Higher Ed Fundraising
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