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Podcast | Year-End Fundraising in July: Overlooked Segments You’ll Want to Engage with at Year-End

Has this ever happened to you? Your nonprofit has a robust contact list, but general emails don’t seem to go anywhere. You wonder if there’s a better way to reach supporters, especially during critical giving seasons like the year-end campaign. 

You could benefit from creating targeted communications for different types of donors! By using the tools already at your disposal, narrowing down segmentation can be beneficial in meeting the needs of different types of donors. 

This week’s installment of “Year-End in July” examines overlooked segments nonprofits can benefit from engaging with during year-end campaigns. Guests Ryan Carpenter and Colleen Patel join us for a special bonus installment. 


Create Resonating Messages 

When nonprofits can create targeted communications for particular segments, it naturally creates greater giving and frequent giving. For Ryan Carpenter, VP of Client Success at GivingDNA, segmentation is critical for clients to identify when organizations typically raise anywhere from a third and a fifth of overall revenue during the year-end campaign. 

Curious about what segmented messages you might employ at year-end, when it often feels like every nonprofit is trying to stand out? Here’s what we suggest:

  • Offer a match to nondonors. The infrequency of match offerings is an exciting way to entice new donors. Plus, this particular form of giving often has the highest response rate! 
  • Invite sustainers to give an additional gift. Donors who regularly give to your organization will often make an additional gift in December if they’re asked. Extend an invitation! 
  • Practice radical stewardship to mid-level donors. Go beyond a simple thanks when it comes to those who generally make up 5% of your overall giving population, but oftentimes provide a quarter of your revenue. A heartfelt thank you over the phone can often lead to greater giving. 
  • Appeal to downgraded givers. While it may feel counterintuitive, sending a targeted appeal to those who have recently downgraded their giving often prompts another gift at the end of the year. 

Segmented messages allow you to identify a donor’s case for support rather than your nonprofit’s need for support. This can make a world of difference. 


Consider the Cost to Re-Engage

Just as many nonprofits recently experienced a dip in giving in comparison to 2020 and 2021, the question of whether or not to replace lapsed donors at year-end is key. But for Colleen Patel, Client Success Manager at GivingDNA, the cost to re-engage is usually less than the cost to acquire. 

From a cost-benefit perspective, if someone is already in your donor base, then consider putting an offer in front of them you know will resonate. What do you know about them personally? What campaigns have they been drawn to and supported in the past? By digging into various facets of segmentation, you can use personalization to increase their engagement. 

Patel also encourages nonprofits not to shy away from two particular giving groups: new donors and LYBUNT donors, or those who gave Last Year But Unfortunately Not This. 

New donors who came on file in the current fiscal year will inevitably be added to communications streams for year-end fundraising. Creating segmented versions for those new donors can be unexpectedly impactful; although donors typically renew at a 23% rate, once they give a second gift, they retain up to 65%! 

Be sure to reach out to LYBUNT donors in November and December too. Even if it’s been a year and a half since their last gift, a powerful story about your mission or organization can often pull them into generosity once again. 


Meet a Donor’s Needs

Oftentimes a successful year-end campaign simply comes down to meeting the needs of an individual donor. GivingDNA collects communication preferences in a variety of areas, ultimately providing an organization with necessary insight for sustained giving. For instance, does a donor want to receive an ask through direct mail or do they show a preference for digital fundraising? 

Donors typically respond to giving invitations based on their communication preferences, so use these preferences to your advantage. When it comes to direct mail, why send out a year-end campaign to 30,000 people when only 10,000 people actually respond? By honing your efforts, you can save pennies and meet a donor’s needs at the same time.

In addition to communication preferences, our team recommends using data to identify channel preferences, individual demographics, and other causes the donor supports. By identifying and creating segmentations in these different areas, you can help donors care more about your organization. 

The takeaway? Narrowing in on segmentation is key to a successful year-end campaign. Listen to this week’s installment of “Year-End in July” for ideas and noteworthy examples of how you can use data to further segment your email list and engage every kind of donor.

Want to hear more? Listen to the full episode:


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Connect with Ryan Carpenter

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