While millions of people across the country refer to this special time of year as the Holiday Season, nonprofits use another term that connotes a rather different kind of significance: Giving Season.
This is because the Giving Season, which generally starts in mid-late October and runs until New Year’s Day, is crucial for nonprofits in terms of fundraising, and often has huge impact on budget, planning and capacity for the year or possibly years ahead.In fact, a survey by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative found that more than half of nonprofits generated over 25% of their total annual donations during Giving Season, and 16% generated more than 50%. And a study by Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy [.pdf] found that 43% of high net worth donors (those with incomes exceeding $200,000 and net worth over $1 million) gave more during the Giving Season compared to the rest of the year.
Move Over Black Friday & Cyber Monday!
In light of the above, it is not hard to understand why, just as retailers and e-tailers prepare long and hard for “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday”, nonprofits start planning and building creative holiday campaigns long before the days get cooler, the nights get longer, and the stores start playing and endless array of seasonal music.
And once “go time” finally arrives and Giving Season roars into high gear, the direct mail, email, phone and social media posts fly fast and furious -- because the race is on to target donors and capture their attention, and the clock is ticking down day by day.
However, as important as it is to have a successful Giving Season, there remains a critical objective that nonprofits must also strive to achieve: developing their end-of-year donors – which includes current donors, new donors, and re-activated lapsed donors – into active long-term donors. And that is where ExactAsk enters the picture.
ExactAsk & Maximizing Year-Round Donor Value
Designed exclusively for nonprofits, ExactAsk is a proprietary predictive analytics platform that helps nonprofits cultivate and maximize revenue from end-of-year donors – while increasing the likelihood that they will remain active donors into the future.
ExactAsk supports this critical objective by deeply analyzing various data sets – including online behavior and Census data – and providing nonprofits with an ask amount that aligns with how much each donor is actually WILLING to give. This approach is categorically superior to the conventional method of choosing an ask amount based entirely on the estimated CAPACITY of each donor to give. The result is increased donor value at every stage of the giving lifecycle – and not just during the Giving Season.
Furthermore, ExactAsk is channel-neutral, and as such integrates with any direct marketing channel -- offline or online. It also works across campaign types, such as (but not limited to) acquisition campaigns, renewal campaigns, upgrade campaigns, re-activation campaigns, and recurring/sustainer gift campaigns.
And just as importantly, ask amounts from ExactAsk scale across the entire data file -- whether it includes thousands of names, or millions. As a result, nonprofits can maximize each donors’ contribution amount, yet without having a development officer work every one of them – which in many organizations would be resource and/or cost-prohibitive to begin with.
The Bottom Line
For the 2015 Giving Season, nonprofits are already hard at work managing multiple campaigns, and doing everything they can to claim success when they add up the numbers in the New Year.
However, maximizing donor value is not a one-time effort that only matters during Giving Season – it is an ongoing objective and, more than that, a fundamental requirement. ExactAsk is the innovative tool that helps nonprofits generate revenues year ‘round, so they can carry out their essential, life-changing work.