Preparing For Giving Season

Giving season is right around the corner! Has your nonprofit started planning yet? And where do you start? 

Make Use of New Opportunities

It’s easy to utilize the same channels and use similar messaging strategies year after year. But the best way to keep your giving season fresh is to keep an eye out for new opportunities! For example, AdWords recently rolled out with Callout Extensions, which add extra text (25 characters each!) just below your normal AdWords ads. That’s a great opportunity to give your donors more information, as well as take up more valuable real estate on the search results page! Bing also just announced that they’re adding dynamic sitelinks (similar to Google’s dynamic sitelinks), which is an easy way to freshen up your Bing ads if you’re not already using sitelinks.



Embracing Mobile

Every year more and more donors are using mobile devices, and having a user experience that works on mobile devices can really make a difference! If you haven’t already made everything responsive (another way of saying mobile-friendly), check and see how your site looks on a phone. Are you having to zoom in to be able to read the text? Is there weird image placement or a layout that doesn’t really work on a phone-sized screen? To have the best experience for mobile users, you really want to have all of the below items responsive:

  • Website
  • Donation Pages
  • Emails
  • App? Several large nonprofits have seen success making their own apps for phones or tablets. If you’ve already made your website, donation pages, and emails responsive this could be the next frontier!

Streamline the Message Across All Channels

And I really mean all channels – I’m looking at you, direct mail! A coordinated campaign with similar messaging across email, search, direct mail, your website homepage, social media, and any print ads you may be doing is really key to the best donor experience. I know that can take some planning for the offline channels, but that’s why everyone starts planning year-end early, right?

Clean House

Your website will likely see the highest traffic of the year during giving season, and people will be researching your organization more than ever. Before seeing all of that interest, it’s a good idea to clean house and make sure you enter the season with your best foot forward. Is your XML Sitemap up to date? Have you updated your profile lately on Charity Navigator and GuideStar? How many errors are there on your website? Do all of your web pages have up-to-date title and description tags? Google Webmaster Tools (and the Bing counterpart) is your friend – use it!

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