2 min Read
July 10, 2013

7 ways to tune up your fundraising this summer

You’re probably just making a dent in your first bottle of sunblock, but before you know it, it’ll be sweater weather and your thoughts will turn toward your nonprofit’s year-end fundraising. Here are a few ways you can leverage these quieter days of summer to help make the most of the year-end giving season downstream and avoid last-minute glitches.

Test your donation landing pages and thank you’s. A recent study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported a 14% rise in online donations last year. When was the last time you made a gift to your organization online and experienced yourself from your donor’s point of view? If it’s been awhile, now’s the time to make sure your online donation processing system, thank you forms, and automated responses are all written well and functioning correctly so you’ve got time to fix any glitches. It’s also a great time to review how your nonprofit uses email to raise money.

Review your presence on Charity Navigator, Wise Giving Alliance, Guidestar, and other sites your most savvy donors might visit. Is your information all up-to-date and accurate? Sophisticated donors may use these independent evaluators to help them decide if they’ll respond to your appeal.

Review your website analytics. We hope you’re reviewing them regularly, but if you’re not, mid-year is a good time to look at your site’s traffic, most visited pages, and conversion metrics. What pages are most visited? Do they need updating or are they in good shape? What pages are visitors most likely to enter through or leave from? Reviewing your analytics can help you determine if areas of your site need touch-ups or overhauls before more donors visit.

Test for mobile giving on phones and tablets. 19% of the money that the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute raised online last year was donated via a mobile source. When donors visit your website on their smart phone or tablet, what will they see? How easy will it be for them to make a gift? If you’re not ready to redesign your site to be responsive for mobile devices, consider budgeting for this change downstream and redesigning a few key pages donors are most likely to visit.

Practice good list hygiene. Is your database in good shape? If not, now’s a good time to merge/purge, update info, or consider appending to get more emails (with permission, of course).

Build your list now. The summer and fall can be great times to engage your supporters and find new ones with actions that are not fundraising-related. From asking questions on social media to sending messages to representatives, connect with your community and grow your base.

Start planning this year’s campaign now. Testing a new appeal? Thinking about using new channels or tools? Now’s a good time to start planning so you’ve got time to set up or adjust your accounts, and to do your best work before the fall fundraising season hits.

Take a look at the workshops and webinars we’ve got coming up to help you jumpstart that process. Also, please let us know if you’d like to explore how Big Duck can help you kickstart your campaign with an intensive daylong planning session, coach you along the way, or take care of your campaign from start to finish.