For many churches, the end-of-year is the biggest time for fundraising. But we are in 2020, so the pandemic has created major financial difficulties for many. Giving and events are down across the board. In these last days of the year, there is still time to boost your fundraising appeal. Here are a few ideas and strategies to help close the gaps for year end fundraising.
Try a One-Day Event
Run a 24-hour donation drive! The urgency created by a 24-hour deadline can motivate people to help you reach your funding goal. Give it a fun name and write a compelling blurb with action-oriented words that grab your audience’s attention.
Run a High Five Campaign
A low budget ask can quickly turn into a big earning event. Use the last few days of the year to encourage your congregation to give you a high-five with a £5 donation. Make it a silly way to celebrate the end to 2020 perhaps! Add social media velocity to the campaign by encouraging participants to share with a virtual high-five for the camera.
Do a Face-Mask Fundraiser
Let’s face it, we are going to be in face masks for a while. This merchandise-based fundraiser helps raise funds and awareness about your church. A face mask fundraiser involves the sale and distribution of branded face masks to your congregation and supporters. You can work with an international company like Vista Print or use a local printer to quickly design and market your custom face masks.
Host a New Year’s Eve Virtual Open Mic
Have a little fun for the New Year in a socially distanced way with a community event that celebrates creativity and talents. Depending on the how you want to run your event, you want to create sign ups for time slots or it can simply be a “share your talent when you feel moved to do so” environment. You can also make the event free to attend or ticketed, but either way remind your audience the event is a fundraiser. This is simply done with a two-way meeting app like we offer at Faith Online, or similar tools like Zoom and Google Meet.
Techniques to Make Year-End Fundraising Successful
- Tell them why. Share the impact of your church with a year end report (if you have one) or other evidence. You can use storytelling and data points help detail why your year-end fundraising appeal is necessary.
- Share your goals for 2021. Let your congregation know where you’re headed. Ask for their support in reaching your goals for the next year.
- Make it multichannel. Your church website and social media pages are getting more traction than ever—so now is the time focus on fundraising. Give your appeal a prominent space on the homepage. Send reminders over social media and email to give year-end fundraising a big push outside of weekend services.
- Make it easy. Make sure your donation process is as simple as possible. The easier you make it to give, the more likely people are to participate. Use a text-to-give option and easy to find donations buttons on your site to make online donation simple.
- Give it a boost. If you’re content with your social media schedule, consider adding some ads! Social media advertising is cheap and has powerful targeting tools. A boost of $15 for a Facebook post or a tweet can go a long way. Just a little bit of money can increase your reach by hundreds, and with lots of charities competing for users’ attention, being seen is vital.
- Go to your most activated members. While it’s important to also inspire those who don’t usually give or serve, it’s often more effective to reach out to the most engaged members of your of your congregation. You know these individuals by name, you probably know if they are in a financial position to be available to help pick up the slack of the year, and they are already committed and invested in your church.
When campaigns are short, they foster a sense of urgency. This gives more reason for people to donate now. A clear timeline also keeps you and your team accountable and on track. It’s much harder to procrastinate when campaign end is just around the corner!