As we approach the end of the financial year and those all important tax breaks, it’s time to think about tax appeal campaigns. How can you make sure your campaign stands out from the crowd? Here are some tips for running a successful tax appeal campaign.
A successful tax appeal campaign should be prepared well ahead of time. We are working with many Not For Profit organisations where strategising and planning their 2017 tax appeal campaign have started since last year! If you have not started, we recommend you start now and your tax appeal campaign should be live by early May. This will give your donors an adequate time frame to make considered decisions.
Harnessing the power of a digital approach also gives you an advantage here. Speedy communication, direct collection of donations via eCommerce platforms, electronic records of transactions and expenditure; all of this makes fundraising in 2017 a far more efficient process than it was only ten years ago.
Use this to your advantage but don’t make the mistake of going live just a couple of days short of June 30th. When it gets closer to June 30th, you should use digital marketing such as social media posts, Facebook ads & email marketing to ramp up your tax appeal campaign with the immediacy for last minute donations before your donors finalise their tax returns.
Fine tune your Appeal and stand apart from the crowd
The Australian non-profit market is not a small one. A report from Giving Australia showed that 80.08% of Australians gave to charity in 2016, or roughly 19.8 million people. The same report also showed that corporate giving was soaring, with large business donating ever larger sums of money to the sector.
This is a crowded space, and it is only getting more crowded. With this in mind, you must work to differentiate your tax appeal campaign from the others which will bombard your prospective donors. This requires an intensive analysis of your appeal, your target demographics, and of your expected outcomes. What is it about your cause that resonates with people? Why are people so engaged? What can you do to tap into this? Answer these questions and stand out from the crowd.
Deploy clear messaging throughout your campaign
Let’s take a look at the web presence of The Hunger Project Australia, an Australian charity which aims to end global hunger, poverty and starvation. This is an organisation which has spent time and effort in developing its messaging to suit the objectives it must achieve.
Visitors are immediately connected with a familiar problem – that there are 2.5 million Australians living on or beneath the poverty line, and many more millions across the planet who struggle just to eat on a daily basis.
This problem is supported with statistics, building a narrative of crisis and, hopefully, eventual resolution. The Hunger Project then insert themselves into this narrative, demonstrating how they provide a possible solution to heartbreaking and deeply unfair global and domestic issues. This narrative is completed with the delivery of information and resources showing how past donations have made a serious difference to the lives of some of the world’s most impoverished people.
Use this approach in your campaign. Keep it simple, keep it direct and focus on building a positive narrative in which you provide an actionable solution. The reward for this is a deeper connection with the prospective donor.
We would suggest you build on this connection with your donors throughout the year. Send a ‘thank you’ email to this donor and throughout the year remind this donor how their donations have been appreciated and the impact it has made to your organisation. Then use these communication touch points for next year’s tax appeal campaign and/or convert this donor as a regular giver.
A well-defined path to donation
Narratives are vital to any digital fundraising campaign, but they don’t all need to be as grand as the one mentioned above. Smaller narratives, in which the potential donor understands exactly what they need to do and how this needs to be accomplished, are also key to a successful tax appeal campaign.
Direct email, social media, and content marketing are most effective when a clear and powerful call to action is delivered. When a donor accesses a piece of content, opens an email or views a social media post, they need to know quickly and effectively what is going on and how they can help. Include links to landing pages or well structured calls to action (CTAs) to show them the path to donation.
These landing pages should also be carefully engineered. Statistics show that the more landing pages an organisation deploys, the greater the results. This is because the landing pages are tailored specifically to the campaign, and should not be a generic page about your organisation.
The principles discussed above relate to any digital fundraising campaign, but you can apply these fundamental truths to your tax appeal campaign also.
We have already mentioned narrative building, which is a great way to demonstrate the positive impact of a donation. But we can go further than this. Think about what incentives you can add to your tax appeal campaign. For example, direct emails are 200 to 300% more likely to result in action if they include video content. Consider rewarding donations with an eBook, a subscription, or another ‘gift’ from your organisation. If you spend money on creating or sourcing these gifts, this amount can also be deducted from tax.
Leverage digital to the full
Digital media gives us a whole host of different tools which we can deploy when raising funds for your tax appeal campaign. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of these exciting platforms.
Be active on social media. Engaging prospects across an array of social media platforms will help you join and lead the online conversation. Make sure your Facebook & Instagram pages showcase the visual appeal of what you are doing. Create Twitter and Pinterest pages for additional connection, and link everything together.
Optimise everything. Giving has changed. Prospects no longer need to mail you a cheque or fill out a direct debit form; they much prefer to handle everything online, or, better yet, on mobile. With this in mind, all of your campaign pages should be fully optimised for mobile and tablet browsing.
Use existing payment platforms. PayPal and ApplePay have a great track record for security and trust. Use this level of trust to your advantage and set up accounts for each.
Want to get the very best out of your tax appeal campaign? Need help with fine-tuning your strategy? Don’t delay, get in touch with our team today.