Jumpstart Your Fundraising Roadmap for the Year Ahead

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The new year is upon us, so it’s time for nonprofits to begin planning out what to include in their fundraising roadmaps for 2022. The new year brings excitement for a fresh, clean slate, as well as anticipation for new opportunities to discover and take on. As you get together with your team to assess and evaluate your fundraising programs from last year, also take time to brainstorm new fundraising strategies you want to try out in 2022. 

With GiveSignup | RunSignup’s expertly crafted suite of fundraising tools, your nonprofit has everything it needs to kick fundraising programs into ultra high gear in the new year — from the ability to set up registration and ticket purchases for fundraising events; to using our next-generation email marketing platform to ramp up engagement with your supporters; to having simple standalone fundraising tools, like donation websites, donation forms, and fundraising campaigns, at your fingertips for all of your fundraising needs.

To help your nonprofit craft this year’s fundraising roadmap, read on to learn best practices for setting up your upcoming goals for the new year, as well as your ideas to include in your fundraising strategy. 

Learn from Last Year’s Successes

When planning your fundraising roadmap for the year ahead, the best thing you can do is look at last year’s campaign performance and evaluate what went well and what didn’t. By evaluating last year’s data, you’re discovering your organization’s strengths and weaknesses, and establishing a baseline for which fundraising tactics resonate with your supporters and which aren’t the best fit for your organization. 

With GiveSignup | RunSignup’s powerful insights analytics platform, you have easy and immediate access to data from your ticket events, donation websites, and donation forms, helping you monitor how your marketing strategy correlates to metrics — like pageviews, donations, ticket purchases, fundraisers, etc. These analytics can determine key points of supporter engagement to maximize your visibility through strategic marketing and communications.

Screenshot example of donation website dashboard

Set Clear Goals for the New Year

With evidence at your fingertips that has been backed by real-time data and metrics, you and your team are ready to set goals and objectives for the new year. Three questions you need to think about before setting those goals: 

  1. What is your organization’s need (e.g., increase fundraising revenue)? 
  2. What is your organization looking to accomplish in the next year (e.g., perform 1,000 life-saving surgeries)?
  3. How do these connect to your mission (e.g., more fundraising revenue will help you provide more life-changing surgeries to those who are unable to afford it, which directly relates to your mission)? 

We recommend setting goals that are measurable and attainable. By setting an overly ambitious goal, your team and your supporters might feel like they’ve failed or didn’t work hard enough throughout the year if your organization doesn’t hit its goals by next year-end. But if you set challenging goals that are also attainable, they’ll feel even more motivated to continue the good work once you’ve hit your goals. Our recommendation: SMART goals help you and your team members stay accountable throughout the year. It’s a good idea to revisit those goals every quarter to ensure that your team is on the path to success. 

Once you have your goals and objectives set for the year, communicate what your organization is trying to achieve in 2022 and how your supporters can help you reach those goals and objectives. GiveSignup | RunSignup has a plethora of free tools and resources that you can use whenever and however you wish. One way to let supporters know how they can help you reach your goals is by announcing your fundraising goals and objectives on your event websites, campaign websites, and even your main nonprofit website.  Our website builder — available for ticket events and donation websites — is equipped with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop tool that lets you create unlimited pages and menus with custom content sections, like a donation thermometer, images, videos, playlists, call-to-action buttons, and so much more. 

If your nonprofit has any fundraising events in its itinerary for 2022, GiveSignup | RunSignup has a feature that allows you to set fundraising minimums for event participants who also sign up to be fundraisers. This means that these fundraisers sign up to meet a fundraising goal by a certain deadline, and if they don’t, they agree to be automatically charged for the difference. To encourage fundraisers to meet, and even exceed, these fundraising minimums, set up milestones for them to reach along the way. 

For example, if their fundraising goal is $500, create a milestone for every $100 raised until they hit $500. And then, when fundraisers reach each milestone, award them with a badge that recognizes them for their achievements. By doing so, not only are you encouraging and rewarding their commitment to your mission, you’re gamifying their experience and making it more playful and interactive. An extra gamification element: For each badge fundraisers receive for reaching certain milestones, it can be displayed in an achievements trophy case on their fundraising page. And not to mention that fundraisers will be able to see what upcoming badges they can achieve, which activates even more fundraising for your organization!

Example of achievements

Plan a Well-Thought-Out Fundraising Strategy

Planning ahead will put you in a good position for the new year. Strategic planning gives your team a roadmap on how to reach its goals. Now that you’ve evaluated your fundraising programs from last year, you understand which are your strengths to implement for this year. Go beyond Q1 and Q2, and lay out your entire year of activities and ways to support your nonprofit. Communicate the road to success to your supporters now during this unique time of the year that is filled with reflection, motivation, and commitment. Another thing to consider is whether or not you want to try anything new for 2022. Here are foundational fundraising ideas to get you started: 

Organize a Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Event

Fundraising events are the most interactive and fun way for your organization to engage with both existing supporters and potential supporters. Not only is it an extremely effective engagement tool, it also spreads the word about your campaign and further drives your fundraising revenue. While you might be cautious about hosting an in-person event right now, the good news is that modern technology has opened up a new window of opportunity for fundraising events. You’re no longer limited to in-person events, and there’s so much flexibility around how to attend events. Here’s why: 

  • You can have in-person and virtual elements with a hybrid event. The best part is that your event doesn’t have to be too elaborate. A simple idea to help promote your mission can go a long way. For example, if your mission is to provide meals for those who are experiencing homelessness, host an in-person canned food drive at your local park where people can drop off canned goods and meet in a socially distanced way. For those who aren’t comfortable meeting face-to-face, give them a way to still participate by offering food drive bundles (e.g., a $25 donation will provide 10 meals to someone in need). 
  • A virtual event can still be fun and interactive! In order to combat the struggle of “virtual fatigue,” you need to create a fun and unique event that your supporters will connect with and look forward to. Most importantly, theme your event around your cause. For example, Ballard Food Bank’s Hope Beyond Hunger Capital Campaign spiced things up by offering a virtual cooking class, where attendees learned new culinary techniques and best practices in the kitchen. The best part is that each ticket included everything the attendee needed for the cooking class: a meal kit, an ingredient and recipe card, along with a bottle of wine.
  • Hosting a virtual challenge with fundraising goals empowers supporters to get up and moving. The creative fundraising ideas that came from the pandemic proved how successful virtual challenges can be. Hosting a virtual challenge is a low-effort way to boost fundraising among your supporters. Plus, your supporters from all over the world can participate in a virtual challenge. For example, Paterson Music Project raised $20,000 — an increase of 368% — by adding a virtual challenge, which took place over a course of an entire month.

Implement Next-Gen Email Marketing

To further communicate your goals with your supporters, send monthly emails giving supporters an update on the progress toward your set goals. If your supporters are taking action on behalf of your nonprofit — either by donating themselves or by peer-to-peer fundraising — they want to know how their work is paying off. Don’t forget to utilize email marketing for every one of your fundraising events and campaigns. Your supporters want to know what’s in the pipeline and how they can activate their support, so be sure to keep the conversation going throughout the year. Not only will the constant email communication keep your organization top of mind to your supporters, it will also help you retain your most valuable ones as well. 

GiveSignup | RunSignup has a powerful and intuitive email marketing tool that your nonprofit has access to for FREE. With it, your nonprofit has the capability to send unlimited emails to an unlimited number of contacts from ticket events, donation websites, and donation forms, helping you better connect with your biggest supporters through tailored email communications. Plus, with the ability to include unlimited data replacement tags, you can personalize your emails effortlessly — further earning brownie points with your supporters. 

Build Your Nonprofit HQ With Website Builder

With the numerous events and campaigns that you’re kicking off this year, your biggest supporters will want a way to keep track of your fundraising efforts. To help them stay up to date with your nonprofit and its initiatives, consider creating one website that acts as your main nonprofit hub. This consolidates every important piece of information about your nonprofit — including upcoming events and campaigns that supporters need to know about. This also alleviates the stress from your supporters of trying to keep track of multiple URLs, especially with today’s limited online attention span, giving them a worthy link to bookmark so that they can revisit over, over, and over again.  

Example showing website builder

With GiveSignup | RunSignup’s unique website builder, your nonprofit can build a free website that consolidates your content, centralizes your fundraising, and saves you money and time. Streamline your operations by setting up your ticket events, donation forms, and fundraising campaigns for the year on one platform, and then link to every one of your events and campaigns on your new comprehensive nonprofit website. Plus, with the power to add unlimited pages to ticket event websites and donation websites in any order of appearance in the menu header, website navigation — especially pinpointing all of your important events to participate in — will be a breeze for your supporters. 

GiveSignup | RunSignup’s purpose-built technology can help elevate your fundraising with a next-generation email marketing platform, along with access to free tools to build simple and easy-to-use fundraising events and campaigns. Click here to learn more.

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