For most nonprofits, the holidays are when they receive the majority of their income. Do you need a quick plan to mobilize your donors?
Create one clear, attainable goal that would have an immediate impact on your school and try to find a donor to provide a matching fund challenge through the end of the year. Even a small donation can help inspire others by helping their gift go further.
We have a $300 match to help us raise funds for two new computers for the 5th and 6th grade students. These two computers will allow all of our 5th graders to complete their in-class assignments at about the same time, instead of breaking the class into multiple groups which will be more efficient and effective for Ms. Johnson.
Create three emails: one from a student in the class, one from an alum or influencer, and one from the teacher or principal who will be most affected. Send the emails in the beginning, middle, and last week of December.
“I’m Salli, an eighth grader at Howard Middle School. Ms. Johnson is a wonderful teacher, but I remember always being frustrated in her online computer class, because my computer was old, slow, and kept freezing up on me. I know Sarah, Max, and the other 6th graders would love to have new computers to work with. Thank you for giving!”
Have a social media plan. This means utilizing your phone to take photos or video of your students or their families*.
Ask whoever will be impacted by the goal to say a personal message to donors. This is a great way to capture material for 3-4 posts. Also, it makes life less hectic when you do it all at once.
Posts you’ll need:
“Why giving matters.”
- Show a video of the old computer and ask a student what they think of the computer. Or take a photo of a student and write their quote in the caption.
“This is what your gift will do.”
- Ask some students to talk about how new computers would make their life better and record it on your phone.
- Make sure your total video clip is no longer than 30 seconds. Generally, the shorter the video, the more effective and more likely to get shared on social media.
“Thank you for giving!”
- Take a video of multiple students saying, “Thank you!” one after another. (If your students are on a jungle gym, have the camera move from one to another after each child says, “Thank you.”)
- Then write in the caption how much has been raised and how much is still needed, and provide a link for where people can still give.
- Ideally, this should be posted the week before Christmas, but you can also post the last week of December.*Note: Remember you’ll need parents to sign a release form for photo usage if it’s not already part of your admissions process.
“Your gifts make a difference and here’s how much was raised!”
- Record a video of all of the students from the school cheering while holding up a giant paper sign that says, “THANK YOU!” Write in the caption how much was raised and if you met your goal.
- Make sure to do this video as soon as possible the first week back to school. Your donors, students, and their families are holding their breath with you and are excited to know the results of the fundraiser. Make social media be the big reveal.
If you don’t have an automated emailing system in place, make sure to have a thank you email template ready, so you can email contributors right away. It encourages repeat giving in the future.
Whether you fundraise once or multiple projects throughout the year, use FACTS Giving – a brand-new, inexpensive fundraising platform – to increase donations, track goal progress, and easily rally your supporters. (Donors can even text to give.)