Are you getting Tax Appeal FOMO? Watching charities across the sector launch beautiful campaigns and wishing it was you? It’s not too late.
The end of the financial year is arguably the most important date in the fundraising calendar. With the lure of a tax-deductible receipt providing value to prospective donors while the hard deadline of 30 June gives donors a clear time limit.
While tax write-offs are never the sole reason a person or company decides to give to a charity, the benefits of this aspect of giving should not be forgotten. After all most people would prefer to give $500 to their favourite charity to save them giving an extra few hundred dollars to the government.
Coincidently, the vast majority of charity budgets are based on the financial year. It’s usually around April and May you start to realise if you’re close to hitting your targets or getting very concerned that you won’t.
Often boards, directors and upper management are starting to ask that all important question ‘What else can we try?’. This article tries to answer that all important question. And, if you’re already doing it all? Fantastic! Let them know confidently you’ve dotted all your i’s and crossed all your t’s.
Let’s be clear, three weeks out from the end of June is not the time to create a big bells and whistles campaign. Instead try one of these ideas that many of our clients have seen success with:
1. Urgent ask
Do you have data? A social following? It may be as easy as an urgent ask. The trick here is to be clear, tangible, and provide a clear deadline. Asking for help isn’t weak, if you are at risk of not being able to provide services, say so.
“We are currently short $X to deliver Y, by Z deadline.. Without these funds we may not be able to deliver our services to those that desperately need it. Just $100 will help provide Y.. Donate today and help us raise $X by 30 June.”
Urgent asks aren’t something you can do often but work extremely well when they are genuine. For them to be successful, explain the problem you are facing and the consequences of inaction.
2. Crowdfunding campaign
Crowdfunding is based on the idea of many people conquering a common goal. Historically we’re talking about a group of likeminded people combining money to build a school in Mozambique (for example).
These days, charities are having huge success crowdfunding anything from new farm buildings (we all love the Edgar’s Mission case study, don’t we?), to services, and even new aid workers.
The key with Crowdfunding is to be transparent and tangible in what supporters’ donations can help deliver and to be visual in representing this to donors. Crowdfunding campaigns work best with a progress bar, a countdown timer and content being updated regularly. You want to create the feeling that ‘we’re all in this together!’.
3. Short but bold mini campaign
Tax time is a crowded time of year when it comes to fundraising, so you need to be bold. Why do supporters value your organisation and how you can communicate that while getting cut through?
Focus on imagery that will stand out and remain consistent, this isn’t the time for 10 variations or photos. Choose one hero image.
Make your call-to-action (CTA) clear and ask for ONE thing. Often charities get unstuck when their CTA sounds more like a shopping list than an ask.
Choose your marketing tools. Many tools are what we consider ‘top of funnel’ and are great for building awareness. If you don’t have 6 weeks to remarket to these people you’re likely wasting money. Focus on your existing data with a smaller budget to reach lookalike audiences through tools like social media.
Final tips when running a last minute tax appeal:
1. Focus on your existing relationships
Donor acquisition takes time, time that you unfortunately don’t have with 3 weeks before June 30. Therefore it’s going to be more effective for you to focus on the people you already have relationships with. Look at your email lists, your social following, and if you get good visits to your website, add relevant info there. We recommend a split of 80/20, with 80% of your time and budget focused on existing data.
2. Reach out to lapsed donors
Lapsed donors have previously had a relationship with you so it’s often easier to reactivate lapsed donors than acquire new ones. In saying that, be sure to use your segmentation, looking for those that have given in the last 12-24months.
3. Take a multi-channel approach
When time is not on your side it’s important to spread awareness by making use of all your different channels. Send an email, SMS, post on your socials. This will ensure you reach as many of your donors as possible, and by using consistent messaging, the repetition of message will help your donors remember you and further encourage them to donate.
There is still plenty you can do, whether your charity is big or small. With most revenue coming in the last three weeks in June, it’s not too late.
Best of all, GiveEasy can help you set up your donation pages and SMS while providing input on best practice to have you set up within an hour.