Fundraising gets more competitive every day: new organizations, big organizations with professional fundraising staff, high profile celebrities and athletes setting up funds for disasters and emergencies that sadly seem to come around all the more frequently lately are seeking the same dollars you are. 

That means you have to work smarter than ever before to keep up. What clever new ribbon or wristband is going to be adopted widely, what social media tagging or online contest will going to go viral for your mission? 

It is so hard to anticipate what will capture the attention and actions you wish from your request; what is the best way to engineer that happening? 

Begin with what you want to have happen at the END of your campaign.

Start with What You Want To Get Out of Your Campaign

While it is really important to have a clear goals and targets for your campaigns, it can also be very helpful to start at the end first as you begin to build your campaign.  Think about how you want to feel at the end of this campaign, and think about how you would like your donors and prospects to feel after they receive your solicitation and deciding to support you.

Ask yourself these questions :

  • DId your donors & prospects feel like a valued contributor, do they feel that your organization cares about them?
  • Are they excited about a new initiative or problem or solution that they can make happen?
  • Have they been inspired to donate, join or volunteer?
  • Will they look forward to hearing from you again?

What Are You Planning? 

Events: If you are planning event, how do you want your guests to feel as they leave?

Consider what thoughts you would ideally like your guests to have at the end of the event; the warm glow of giving and knowing they have made a difference, a desire to learn or do more, invite friends to join them next time. Organize the last moments of your event with more than a mad dash to the car: have a goodbye ‘greeter’, hand out a postcard or thank you note, what can you think of? 

  • Was it a fun, yet informative event, did people get to relax and enjoy themselves?
  • What part of the show/conference/gala do you want them to remember most?
  • How do you want them to feel about returning next year?

See this about good end of event planning: https://laurenassociates.com/fear-loathing-at-the-annual-nonprofit-gala/

Direct Mail: When you send direct mail piece, what is it you want your readers to do? 

What is it you can do to really make them want to open the envelope you send? What words or images on it will make someone want to see what’s inside?

Thinking about how you will the end the letter, what will be the last words they will read?  How will they feel when they hear from you next time? It’s important to consider the end of the conversation as importantly as the beginning.          

Think About Letters You Receive:

The thick envelope shows up in the mailbox. Without even opening it, you know what it is. And it is not necessarily unwelcome, it may be from a group you do support or one you are interested in. Opening it you see a folded letter, a postcard, maybe a sticker or magnet and a return envelope.

What do you look at first?

Over 90% of EVERYBODY looks at the PS first, before the first paragraph (come on, you do it, too). This nice compact little nugget  can convey the most essential message you are sending. Invest the time to make this strong. Even if this is read first, it is still at the end of your appeal, chances are, it will be read twice.

Email Campaign: To delete or not? 

The statistics are overwhelming, people will receive hundreds of emails each week; from personal stuff, to sales pitches, to junk that has to be deleted. Knowing this, you will have put a lot  effort into planing the subject line and body of your message. What about the end of of it, what does your signature line look like?

Is there an easy donate here button, a last request or comment? 

Take advantage of that white space at the bottom, use it wisely.  The PS, postscript, works well here too, its separate and condensed. Make it super easy to click to your call of action. 

The Bottom Line:

Excellent planning means including the end of your campaign as much as the beginning as you plan. How will you follow up, what ‘next’ actions will you take to further cement the relationship between you and your donor?

A strong closing is just as important, if not more so, than an opening. The last words and images you send are the ones that will be remembered more so than the ones at the beginning.           Give the finale of your letter, email, video, whatever you are putting out there, the thoughtful planning it deserves.

Strong donor relationships are ongoing, not only a one time thing ( hopefully)-  

what can you do to change ‘goodbye’  into ‘see you later’?  

 

 

Need a little guidance about how to start at the end and work forward?

Call today and be sure your year end fundraising gives you the results you deserve.   

310 828 6979      thank you!

 

 

image credits:

  •  https://www.smart-working.org/2016/06/leading-change-well-begin-with-the-end-in-mind/
  • https://www.luc.edu/media/lucedu/ccse/pdfs/Backward%20Design%20Curriculum%20Planning%20Presentation.pdf