Charity DOnations Last ChristmasIt’s the season of goodwill, right? So, why, as a charity, did your last Christmas fundraiser do so poorly?  Why were the charity donations so low?

What gives?

Actually, probably quite a lot. You see, it’s scarily easy to make a ham-fisted attempt at gaining charitable donations during the festive period, and if you fell into that bracket twelve months ago, you’re certainly not alone.

Nor have you done anything wrong. If anything, we’re in the wrong, because we didn’t write this blog post last year.


So, here they are – four reasons your charity didn’t receive enough donations last year:

1. You didn’t use email marketing last Christmas

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with regular mail, cold calls and banner advertising when they’re carried out correctly.

Unfortunately, those fundraising efforts won’t go as far as they might have done before digital took over. But rather than throwing the kitchen sink at social media and Google Adwords, try email marketing this year, instead.  It is more cost-effective, and will reach the exact people willing to give charity donations.

If you’ve ethically built a list of opted-in supporters, it is absolute gold dust. You just need the right channel by which to attract their attention, and a quick scoot through our blog archives will give you plenty of inspiration!

2. Your landing pages were irrelevant/non-existent/mobile-unfriendly (delete as appropriate)

Let’s assume you did some email marketing last Christmas. If that didn’t bring in many charity donations, it may not have been the emails themselves or your choice of marketing channel that was at fault.

Email marketing campaigns need great corresponding landing pages if they’re to be effective. If you simply pointed them to the donate page or the homepage of your website, you’re missing a trick.

The email should start the story; it should explain why their support is so valuable and give a hint as to what it will do for other people. The landing page should complete that story and provide an ultra-clear call-to-action (CTA) that tempts them to donate.

3. You didn’t address people individually

Are you personalising the emails you send out that ask for donations? If not, a blanket “hi all” simply won’t speak directly enough to the people who could become very valuable supporters.

Thankfully, with the right email marketing client, you can easily personalise emails so that the recipient is addressed in both the body copy and even the subject line. It’s a great way to grab attention and demonstrate that you think of your supporters as individuals.

4. You just re-hashed the previous year’s charity donations campaign

We’ve all done it, don’t worry. That “copy” button residing next to last year’s charity donation campaign is just too tempting, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, even if your last campaign was absolutely barnstorming, that doesn’t guarantee a free ride this year. Things change. Supporters change. The world we live in changes.

Don’t take the easy route; start from scratch and create a brand new campaign that is in tune with the current challenges your charity faces – they’ll almost certainly be considerably different from twelve months ago.

Final thought

People will be bombarded with emails from businesses and charities over the next few weeks, but if you remain true to the reason your charity exists, personalise your emails and make sure you create an absolutely brilliant corresponding landing page, email marketing might just be the key to receiving more Christmas donations than ever before.

For examples of excellent charity marketing campaigns, check out Platypus Digital’s awesome article Which charities are smashing email marketing?