The relaxed pace of summer offers a breather from the usual hustle. While we absolutely believe in taking a break, it’s also a good idea to start thinking about the fast-approaching fall fundraising rush.
Help get your nonprofit organisation ready for when the air starts getting crisp with these four steps.
Four Essential Steps for A Great Fall Fundraising Season
1. GivingTuesday prep
In 2022, GivingTuesday donors in the U.K. gave over £20m. In addition, according to the GivingTuesday UK, “GivingTuesday trended No.1 on Twitter, with prominent messages of support from the Minister for Civil Society, Stuart Andrew MP, as well as NatWest, high-street companies, and England Men’s football captain, Harry Kane.” Now is a great time to start nudging your ducks toward some semblance of a row for GivingTuesday 2023, which will be 28 November. Start working on:
- Organising tech. If you don’t have a fundraising platform that can support crowdfunding campaigns, now’s the time to check out all your options. If you’ve never set up this kind of fundraiser, here’s an article on how to create a crowdfunding page for GivingTuesday.
- Analysing social media. Take a look at your various social media platform analytics. Then, ask yourself what sort of content seems to work best and what audience segment uses which platform the most. Start researching hashtags and developing messaging specific to your organisation’s audience segments. For bonus points, start preparing images and content.
2. Plan a Halloween Fundraising Event
Whether or not your charity focuses on children, Halloween is an opportunity to connect with your community and raise awareness about your cause. Get your creative juices flowing with these easy Halloween fundraising ideas:
- A virtual and in-person pet Halloween costume contest and parade. Invite your audience to tag your organisation on social media posts or photos showing their pets dressed up for trick-or-treating, and share those images on your own platforms. It’s an easy (and adorable) way to spread awareness of your charity. In tandem with that push, you could host a dog costume pet parade (do not underestimate the draw of these!) at which you can host a fun raffle. Livestream the parade, invite participants to vote for their favorite costumes, and offer a link to your raffle site so everyone can bid.
- A virtual and IRL pumpkin carving contest. Participants could carve pumpkins at home and submit photos or videos of their creations—bonus points if they also show how they re-used the pumpkin seeds or interior to make snacks or dinner! For in-person participants, you can host a live event where people can come and carve their pumpkins. Choose winners from several categories and announce them online.
3. Review the intel to make informed fundraising decisions
The articles and links below will provide valuable insights, offer perspective, and maybe help your organisation make some adjustments to help it thrive.
- The game has changed, thanks to ChatGPT and AI. Read about the ethics of using AI for nonprofits in Candid’s article Is your nonprofit thinking about using ChatGPT? Your first step is to do no harm. For ideas about how other nonprofits are using ChatGPT to improve their fundraising efforts, Philanthopy’s piece offers insights. If you’re looking for ways ChatGPT can help with your org’s writing tasks, we’ve got prompts to try!
- HubSpot’s 25 Nonprofit Marketing Statistics for 2023 has some great information, including which social media channels generate the best results. If you want even more data, the Nonprofit Tech for Good 2023 report has tons about how nonprofit organizations are using technology.
- Wondering how your nonprofit can connect with young people? Check out the Forbes article How Nonprofits Can Attract And Retain Younger Donors. Candid also has some helpful tips on how to reach Gen Z on social media.
- If you need a little help with your Instagram game, check out Nonprofit Tech For Good’s 10 Instagram Best Practices for Nonprofits.
- For a really great fundraising page (like the one you’re planning for GivingTuesday), you need to connect with visitors. Anne Green’s 4 Storytelling Tips for Your Donation Page has some really terrific advice.
4. Prioritise Mental Health
Preparing for the fall fundraising season also means taking care of your mental health. Current times are stressful (here’s an interesting piece on the climate crisis and mental health). Emotional and mental well-being is something we all need to focus on. So, take some time off, indulge in self-care, and establish new habits that support your mental health. For ideas on how to look after those on your organisation’s team, The Council of Nonprofits offers advice.
Dive Into Fall!
Enjoy the rest of summer, take care of yourself, and let’s make this autumn fundraising season one of a kind!
For more helpful information that’ll prepare you for fall fundraising, check out our blog. We’ve got articles about how to boost your A-thon’s engagement, community engagement strategies, and everything you need to know about peer-to-peer fundraising.