Friday, during my annual eye exam, I saw an email that caught my eye. The 2018 Nonprofit Email Deliverability Study reported that on average 24 percent of 2017 nonprofit fundraising emails were going into spam folders. For the 55 large nonprofits they surveyed, this resulted in an average loss of $30,000. Regardless of your size, if individuals are not seeing your messages it’s likely they are not giving to you. At the end of the year, all messages are critical. According to Nonprofits Source:
Don’t fret yet. In a prior Armstrong McGuire email (if we did not go into spam) you might remember that philanthropic giving hit $410B in 2017, an increase of 5 percent. Here’s a new stat, “Overall revenue from online fundraising grew by 23 percent in 2017.” This is after a 15 percent growth the year before. You can create more opportunity if you move emails from the spam box to the inbox. Better yet, make the personal connection and you can increase your returns. It’s all about engagement on multiple levels.
While I appreciated the juxtaposition of testing my personal vision and unseen fundraising messages, I did have a momentary gasp. During my former days as a development director, this was the time I would refocus on end of year close out and our major appeals. Not only did I want people seeing my messaging, I wanted them engaging with our mission. Here is a short version of my checklist:
Communication and consensus were the biggest part of our closeout strategy. If everyone understands the strategy, everyone can help troubleshoot, field questions, lend support, and most importantly celebrate together. I would also extend this approach to the larger organization, staff, and board. I wanted to make sure they knew messaging and drop dates in case they received feedback. If they had connections to prospects or were getting ready to interact, they could reinforce our strategy.
As you are refining your end of year strategy, here are a few more stats from Nonprofits Source for fun:
The last stat is my favorite!