Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Don't waste Christmas!

Timing is everything, and with Non-profit marketing it is especially so. There is a rhythm to marketing. How one communicates to supporters, donors or the public differs depending on the time of the year. Just as Canadian Tire sells more snow-plows in winter and Tim Hortons sells more ice coffees in summer, Non-profits also have their seasons. One of the biggest and most important of them has just begun, but chances are that most Non-profits in Canada will waste this opportunity. What am I talking about? Christmas, of course.

Asleep at Xmas?
The holiday season is the one of the best times of the year for non-profit marketing. For those who fundraise, it is one of the best times to ask for donations. It is a time when people are already giving – to the ones they love and to the community. Asking them for a donation fits with what people are already doing and thinking. Donating also makes an unique and powerful Christmas gift. Many charities have successfully created new and exciting donation-based “presents” that people can give each other. Finally, there’s the tax receipt issue. This is the one time of the year you can ask people for a gift for tax reasons. Many people find themselves in the boat of needing to make a gift for tax reasons at the end of the year.

There’s also the issue of thanking donors. Christmas is a time of giving thanks for what we have. For Non-profits, it is a powerful time to tell our supporters and donors how much we appreciate them.

Unfortunately, all of this is lost on many Non-profits. I’ve seen it many times. For them, Christmas is a time to wind down, take some time off. They may mount a few holiday-inspired efforts, but for most its nothing special. Many times its because they just didn’t get around to it in time and found themselves with nothing special for Christmas until it was practically Christmas itself. As a marketer, I find this very, very disappointing.

It is now the end of October. There is still time to do something for Christmas.

Where to start? First, think about what you can do to thank your donors and supporters. You could do Christmas cards, but postage is rather expensive. How about an email instead? Better yet, why not record a short video and upload it to Facebook or YouTube and use email to drive people to it. That way you’ll have them watching your Christmas video at the same place your online giving is located.

For things you can “sell” at Christmas, try thinking about calendars or Christmas ornaments. There are plenty of places that make them. With new web-based printers you can now even make the actual numbers of such things you need rather than buy in bulk and have leftovers. Contact me if you need some specific examples.

Christmas is a great opportunity. Don’t waste it. Get busy on your Christmas marketing program now.

No comments:

Post a Comment