Ready your station for holiday giving

Winter is a season of giving, so public broadcasters should prepare for their holiday campaigns to succeed with software.
Date Published

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Christmas and all the other winter holidays aren’t soon after. Traditionally a season of giving, it’s highly important that public broadcasters ready their operations for the surge in charitable donations that usually happens this time of year.

“Organizations need to consider how online and mobile factor into fundraising success.”

However, having a comprehensive plan for the season is not as simple as crafting a holiday-themed campaign. Organizations have to ensure they have all the right donor management pieces in place to maximize the effect of their outreach. This notion spans the need for technology to support online giving to the need for a concentrated effort to communicate your message through all available channels. While donors may be more inclined to give during the winter holidays, broadcasters can’t expect fundraising to simply happen because it’s the season. Here’s three strategies public broadcasters can take to ready their stations in advance:

1) Take an omnichannel approach

Focusing your outreach efforts through just one or two channels (like on-air and direct mail) no longer suffices in today’s modern fundraising environment. In order to make the most impressions and generate the greatest impact, public broadcasters have to disseminate and coordinate their message across all the channels donors are active on today. So, while this doesn’t mean organizations should lessen their focus on traditional avenues (phones, radio, mail), it does mean they need to boost their activity in modern outlets.

Social media, for instance, is a crucial channel to take advantage of. Holiday fundraising drives focus on the story, like disadvantaged children who needs coats for winter. Increasingly, the easiest and most effective way for broadcasters to convey this story is through social media. Using a forum that is tailor-made for such initiatives is a big part of donor management during the holidays. The opportunity for real engagement and interaction with donors that social media presents is all too valuable for stations to bypass. Organizations need to consider how they make use of online and mobile overall to successfully reach and inspire audiences.

2) Time your outreach and emails

With so many occasions and holidays packed into a tight month-and-a-half, it’s important that broadcasters plan ahead of time: You don’t want to be sending an email about a Christmas fundraising drive a week before Dec. 25. Though there are a number of responsibilities and moving parts to corral in the holidays, stations need to get ahead of the game and craft their message now, in order to send out at the right time to avoid mistakes made in the rush.

Creating a schedule for workflows helps in this regard. Stations can work backward from identifying important celebration dates and highlighting potential send dates. Organizing email draft reviews and edits helps keep everything on pace.

3) Have the right technology

For public broadcasters to have fundraising success in the modern world, they need to engage with software that helps them automate certain tasks and overall conduct more fluid, ongoing and effective donor management. Particularly regarding the previous two tips is technology important (let alone necessary) in ensuring broadcasters have the tools they need to manage a holiday donation drive.

The considerations for a solution don’t just end with being able to link mobile and social and radio, but also having access to rich data and actionable insights that can help in decision-making. Organizations can benefit greatly from such transparency and oversight, as well as help fine-tune their messages and campaigns. For more information on what such software looks like, contact Allegiance to learn more about our solutions and donor management features that can help improve your chances at success during the holidays.

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