Holiday Fundraising Campaigns for Nonprofits

By Ilia Jones | November 2021


The holidays are upon us! And now is an excellent time for a seasonal refresh of your marketing, website, and email campaigns. 

Why the Holidays Are A Great Time for Refresh

As we come to the end of the year, it's natural to look back on the year behind us and review what's been working and what hasn't. The same goes for your marketing efforts. 

Take a look at how your nonprofit has been performing for the last six to nine months. Review the donations that have been coming in, where you are receiving the most social media traction, and look at your website analytics to see which calls to action are working. 

And, this is a festive time of year for most people, so don't be afraid to spruce things up a bit while you're at it. Whether your nonprofit wants to recognize holiday traditions or take a more secular approach to the season, you should update headlines, images, and messaging to reflect this time of year. 

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Easy Website Updates for a Festive Impact

Some easy ways you can update your website include featuring seasonal or celebratory hero images. Your hero image is the first thing people see when they get to your homepage, so changing it up can keep it from getting stale. Find an image or carousel of images that reflect your nonprofit's focus this time of year. Or show images that reflect the generosity of the holiday season. 

Along with sparkling new images, craft some inspirational headlines to remind your site visitors why your organization does what you do and whom you are helping. The best headlines are emotionally powerful, short, and inspire action. 

Most importantly, make sure your calls to action (CTAs) are visible, easy to locate, and functional. And that they use active language that describes exactly what you want site visitors to do. Using contrasting colors and direct language is the best policy, as well as making sure CTAs are visible on every page. 

Create Fast and Easy to Use Donation Forms

All of those CTAs should direct your site visitors to donate to your organization. So, the next logical step is to make sure that all your donation forms are as easy to use as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to minimize the required fields so that users can enter as little information as needed to make their contribution. 

While it can be tempting to capture personal information for marketing and data analytics, it can be a turn-off. No one wants to feel like they are telling their life story just to donate to a cause they support. 

Review your donation forms and see where things can be streamlined. Consider upgrading your donor management software to allow returning donors to skip filling in a bunch of fields and log in instead. If you are only able to accept credit cards, consider finding ways to accept other forms of payment, such as PayPal or other payment apps. Not only will it make donating faster for your community, but you may also open your organization up to a younger segment of your audience. 

Brainstorm Engaging Email Campaigns

This is a time of year when your email campaigns benefit from being a little more emotional, a little more thankful, and a little more celebratory. Now, we're not saying you should start patting yourselves on the back for a year well done just yet! But this is a time to highlight successes in the past year, share progress toward meaningful goals, and show appreciation for your donor base and generous community. 

One way to keep people engaged during this busy time of year is to craft cohesive campaigns that build on each other to tell a story. Brainstorm a theme that makes sense for your organization and find ways to explore different aspects of it over the course of the holiday season. Or, highlight the people, communities, creatures, or whatever your organization helps tell the broader story of why you do what you do. 

Since this is a giving time of year, it's also a great time for giveaways, raffles, drawings, or other ways to give back to your donors. Many holidays this time of year include multiple days, which can make for fun count-downs or giving incentives. For example, the eight nights of Hanukka or the twelve days of Christmas, or the twenty-plus days of advent.  

Sweeten Up Your Social Media Campaigns

Along with crafting email campaigns, your social media presence and campaigns can take on a holiday theme as well. While it always works to coordinate your email and social campaigns, the interactivity of social media provides additional opportunities for community building. 

This is an excellent time of year to create interactive social campaigns that encourage sharing, special hashtags, polls, surveys, and other ways to boost engagement. Giveaways are a great way to get your followers to share branded content or use branded hashtags that can raise awareness about your nonprofit and cause. 

Or, you can use social media to share thanks and gratitude for the donors that keep you going all year round. If your nonprofit relies on memberships or recurring donations, consider thanking a donor every day on social media. Or showcase how you've used the contributions you received and how they have been used to help your cause. 

Tell Stories That Inspire 

As you are looking back on the year, find moments that inspired you and highlight the successes you've had as a nonprofit organization. Put these wins into works in longer-form content, such as blog posts, articles, videos, and stories to share your successes and inspire your community. 

Content marketing, such as blogs or videos, allows you time and space to tell a story in a way that is compelling, detailed, and includes a narrative. This type of storytelling simply isn't possible in a tweet or Instagram caption.

Telling emotional stories is an excellent way to galvanize your donor base as well as show your gratitude. Something vital to recognize, now and all year round, since your success wouldn't be possible without the contributions you've received. 


Topics: Nonprofit Help

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