Oct 31st, 2022
How Catchafire Supports End-of-Year Fundraising
Nonprofits don't have to do this alone.
The last three months of the year are crucial for nonprofits as they strategize and plan their end-of-year fundraising campaigns. Regardless of a nonprofit's size, location, or cause area, end-of-year fundraising is an important way to raise donations and awareness for their mission and community. Around this time of year, nonprofit staff feel the strain of resources, capacity, and project priorities pulling them in several directions—but they don't have to do this alone.
Catchafire equips nonprofits with the resources they need, setting them up for operational and programmatic success. Our community-centric approach and focus on equity ensures that nonprofits have ungated access to talent and resources to help them achieve their goals.
We connect nonprofits with a global network of skilled volunteer professionals ready to provide critical capacity building support. Volunteers lend their time and talent through one-hour consultation calls on high-level strategy and organizational questions and challenges, as well as full-length projects in areas such as graphic design, fundraising, marketing and communications, IT, finance, and more. Organizations can use Catchafire to find the perfect volunteer for their needs in advance of their end-of-year fundraising and season of giving campaign.
The Importance of End-of-Year Fundraising
A successful end-of-year fundraising and season of giving campaign is crucial for nonprofits. End-of-year fundraising sets nonprofits up for their operating and programming budget for the year ahead, and has a significant influence on the organization's financial vitality. Thirty percent of annual giving occurs in December, with approximately 10% of all annual donations received over the course of the last three days of the year.
End-of-year fundraising has evolved to incorporate both online and offline fundraising and marketing tactics, requiring nonprofits to adapt their strategies, even while their budgets and resources may not have adjusted to take on this additional staffing and operational need.
Over the last decade, it has become increasingly important for nonprofits to integrate a strong digital campaign component into their fundraising strategy. In their survey of over 4,000 nonprofits, Blackbaud's 2021 Charitable Giving Report revealed that online giving has increased over the last three years by 42%. Online donations grew by 12% over the past year alone, a confirmation that strong online campaigns are needed.
Social media is a necessity for nonprofits. When donors search for organizations to make donations to, they often turn to an organization's website or social media to learn more. One percent of all online donations in 2021 was attributed to Facebook fundraisers, with the majority of contributions received in November due to Giving Tuesday.
Recurring donations and matching gifts are gaining popularity among donors. With online monthly giving revenue growing by 40%, recurring giving is a great way for nonprofits to diversify their revenue stream and receive sustainable support from month to month. In order to target this donor group nonprofits must adjust to fundraising strategies that include customized messaging and multiple online payment options.
In order to meet these evolving needs, nonprofits can benefit from projects related to graphic design support, social media content calendars, email marketing copywriting, video editing, and website updates to ensure that their external platforms are up to date, visually compelling, contain strong messaging, and emphasize a clear call to action. Volunteers can play a key role in drafting fundraising plans, and donor and thank-you letters to support high-quality fundraising strategies and appeal to audiences. Data also plays a key role; with a data analysis project organizations can discover powerful insights and trends to influence their strategy.
How Catchafire Supports Nonprofits with End-of-Year Fundraising
In November and December, donors are often bombarded by emails, letters, and messages making a case for support from various nonprofit organizations, so it's important for your grantees to stand out from the crowds. With a comprehensive campaign strategy and the help of Catchafire, your grantees can develop a strong season of giving campaign to meet and exceed their year-end fundraising goals.
Catchafire provides your grantees with scaled nonprofit support and unlimited access to resources that can help with end-of-year fundraising:
Access to thousands of skilled volunteers: We connect nonprofits to a global network of reliable and skilled volunteer professionals that are ready to lend their expertise and provide project support for every organizational need. Volunteers solve for high-level strategy and organizational challenges on one-hour consultation calls. They also provide long-term support on full-length projects, with invaluable deliverables and support in areas like marketing, graphic design, fundraising, IT, finance, HR, and more.
Volunteers on Catchafire have an average of 11 years of professional experience, with 65% having experience working specifically with nonprofits. Over half of volunteers on Catchafire stayed involved beyond the first project, with many becoming recurring volunteers, donors, advisors, or board members. While nonprofits may connect with volunteers over end-of-year fundraising needs, it is likely that their relationship will extend into providing support on organizational needs in 2023 and beyond.
Post a project within 5 minutes: We make it easy for nonprofits to post projects that support their end-of-year fundraising needs. Within 3 minutes, nonprofits can generate a readout of their top needs. In 5 minutes, nonprofits can have their first project posted. Our easy-to-use project templates are built by industry experts and designed to respond to critical organizational needs. This allows staff to focus on their mission and what they need instead of worrying about how to get it done.
Our project menu has over 150+ templates for calls and projects for time-sensitive needs. These templates save staff time and money by outlining the project needs, volunteer skill requirements, and deliverables, so that expectations are aligned between the nonprofit and volunteer.
We've built a Giving Tuesday Resource Hub that specifically highlights projects that will equip organizations with the systems, strategy, content, and execution they need for a successful end-of-year fundraising campaign and beyond. Our experts have curated a suite of projects for nonprofits that specifically emphasize end-of-year fundraising needs.
Projects in this bundle include time-sensitive end-of-year needs such as:
- Customer database (CRM) set up
- Data crunching and analysis
- Elevator pitch coaching
- Email marketing copywriting
- Fundraising plan assessment
- Impact report graphic design
- Individual donor letter
- Marketing strategy consultation
- Social media set up
- Thank-you letter
- Video editing
These projects go a long way in not only saving staff time and stress, but providing a significant financial savings to the organization as a whole. The estimated project savings for all projects in this bundle equate to over $80,000.
In turn, nonprofits that receive high-quality deliverables from volunteers on Catchafire, are better equipped to implement and execute a successful end-of-year fundraising campaign, and are able to focus their attention on their mission—while we handle the rest.
With this combination of unrestricted support and resources, we can emphasize and accelerate your and your grantees' community impact.
Nonprofit coaching and support: With over 10 years of experience each, our in-house team of nonprofit experts are on demand for advice, insights, and decision-making support every step of the way. Our advisors provide a comprehensive combination of 1:1 coaching, speaking engagements, and monthly trainings to provide your grantees with the education, onboarding support, and guidance they need to be set up for success with Catchafire.
Our team ensures a seamless user journey from registering on the platform, to posting projects and matching with volunteers, through project completion. We provide recommendations on which volunteer projects will best fulfill grantee needs, and provide feedback on any questions or challenges they are having as an organization. Our nonprofit experts are well-versed in end-of-year fundraising, and are prepared to walk grantees through their needs, challenges, and solutions to ensure a successful campaign.
Monthly trainings: We regularly host educational programming on topics that serve as a critical knowledge base for nonprofits. Our next two webinars will provide valuable information to nonprofits as they enter end-of-year fundraising:
- November 10: Last-Minute Fundraising Tips - We want to ensure that all grantees are feeling prepared for Giving Tuesday and end-of-year fundraising. During this live event, we'll answer all questions on topics surrounding fundraising strategies, development resources, board member recruitment, and more. For many attendees, hearing from other nonprofits helps them network with other leaders, hear their most pressing needs echoed by other organizations, and reminds them that there is a community of support. They are not alone in their fundraising efforts!
- December 8: Develop Your Fundraising Plan - We'll help nonprofits build a fundraising roadmap, with a step-by-step process to create, execute, and track their fundraising plan in preparation for 2023.
- Our previous webinars are available to watch on-demand, allowing nonprofits to receive expertise around topics like building a social media presence, making a case for support, strengthening peer-to-peer fundraising, email marketing campaigns, website improvements, program evaluation, strategic planning, and more. These topics are all building blocks of daily operational and programmatic needs that strengthen an organization's ability to raise brand awareness, increase donations, and carry out their mission.
Executive leadership groups: We believe in the power of building a collaborative community. Nonprofit leaders need support, and one of the best ways to learn is by meeting and networking with your peers. We host biweekly discussions with our nonprofit Executive Director support group, providing an opportunity for senior leaders and Catchafire advisors to connect and share key learnings and organizational strengths and challenges. These peer-to-peer learning forums allow for partnership, connection, and resource sharing that is instrumental to the professional development of nonprofit leaders.
Last month, we expanded this model and launched a leadership group focused specifically on Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) nonprofit leaders. Our goal is to create a safe space and community where BIPOC nonprofit leaders can learn and grow with one another. These types of groups are extremely helpful during a time as busy and stressful as end-of-year fundraising, giving leaders a place to share, learn, and find support with one another.
Here are a few examples of ways that your grantees can benefit from the support of experienced volunteers on Catchafire.
Board Prospecting: Brian helped Sing St. John look through their data, review their current audiences, and identify a shortlist of prospective board members. The project saved the organization over $6,000, allowing them to buy a new server to store all of their multimedia content and administrative records.
"Brian has been a big help to our organization. He is very generous with his time, expertise, and materials, and we made a lot of progress in a very short amount of time. Thanks to his guidance, we now have two new board members, and several new advisory council members. I am confident that our new board member orientation process is measured and helpful. Brian has helped me to change my mindset around prospecting, and we will now use the advisory council in a more active way."
-Kristen C., Executive Director/Director of Choirs
Copywriting: Anthony helped International Children's Media Center develop compelling marketing and communications materials to address donors, which resulted in over $4,000 in project savings. The organization saved staff time and money, using the funds to donate services to under-resourced schools, and create campaigns using the appeals and materials developed by Anthony.
"Anthony is a champ! He delivered clever revisions for crucial copy during the holidays and infused our marketing with new energy!"
-Nicole D., Executive Director
Customer Database (CRM) Set Up: Ankita provided over 50 hours in support by working with the Assistance League of Tucson to set up their CRM system to track their donors and volunteers more effectively. With over $10,000 in project savings, the organization could provide clothing for 1,150 children from Southern Arizona Children's Advocacy Center.
"Ankita B. is very professional and very talented with databases. We are moving from DonorPerfect to Little Green Light for our donor database. She moved our donors and their donations into Little Green Light in less than a week. It would have taken me at least a month to migrate that information. There were 2,000 donor records and at least 5,000 donations. We had Zoom calls so she could show me where she was, and we'd discuss the best set up for my philanthropic organization and the types of reports we need. I would highly recommend her to anyone with a database issue, transition, or just getting started. Her work saved us money for the data migration and LGL provides a very significant cost reduction for our donor database in the future. Ankita is a great example of the wonderful volunteers and expertise provided by Catchafire. Thank you all very much."
-Jannine M., Admin and Tech Chair
Fundraising Plan Assessment: Linda reviewed and strengthened the fundraising plan for the District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH), saving them over $1,000 that could go towards investing in safe housing programs for survivors and families.
"I had such a great experience working with Linda. She provided strategic insight and tangible feedback that could immediately be leveraged into our annual fundraising plan. Her wealth of knowledge and experience were helpful in many ways and I look forward to working with Linda on future projects!"
-Meghan M., Director of Development
Individual Donor Letter: Laurie helped ConnectiKids appeal to donors with a well-written letter template they could easily modify and replicate based on their various audiences. The project saved ConnectiKids over $2,000, allowing them to focus on providing high quality academic and socio-emotional programming to more children.
"Laurie was a true gem to find. She provided invaluable advice and suggestions for strengthening our fundraising strategy prior to even getting started on the individual donor letter. Laurie then created an amazing letter and adjusted it to fit our needs based on our feedback. Upon completion of the letter, Laurie continued to offer and provide support and advice to assist us with our development efforts. Our annual campaign benefited greatly from Laurie's input!"
-Kaleitha B., Development Director
Projects like these go a long way in providing sustainable, long-term savings and support for nonprofits. While these projects translate directly into staff time and money, they also have a positive impact on less tangible, but just as crucial elements, that will pave the way for long-term organizational success. This includes but is not limited to:
- Accelerated community impact
- Long-term communications and relationships with donors, resulting in increased engagement, donations, and retention
- Maintenance and expansion of operations, keeping nonprofit doors open
- Program evaluation and expansion to serve more community members
- Stronger brand awareness and reputation, resulting in new donors
- Improved staff morale, retention, and professional development due to ongoing capacity support and educational resources
Bring Catchafire to Your Community
Let’s work together to support nonprofits during the end-of-year fundraising season and into 2023.
If you're a grantmaker and would like to learn more about equipping nonprofits in your community with responsive, high-quality operational support, let’s connect. Email us here. Together, we can set nonprofits up for success for their 2023 strategy and beyond.
To learn more about our community impact, see our metrics or visit our blog.
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