A lot of NPOs use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity for a fundraising campaign. I think back fondly on listening to NPR ask for donations with the reward being a dozen roses you could give to your special someone. What could be better than giving your significant other roses that also were tied to your charitable efforts? I always thought it was a pretty clever concept.
There is certainly nothing wrong with centering a fundraising campaign around Valentine’s Day. It makes a lot of sense. Valentine’s Day = love. “You love what we do, so donate to our efforts.” “You love [insert your cause], and we support that, so donate to our efforts.”
I wonder, though, if there shouldn’t be another side to the story. If your organization focuses a fundraising effort around Valentines Day, where is the opportunity to send love and gratitude right back to your community of contributors? There are many different fun ways your organization could build on this idea. Here are just a few.
- A post to your Facebook page announcing how much money was raised during the campaign with a note saying, “Thank you. We love you too!”
- An Instagram post of a big candy heart with the words, “We’d be nothing without you. Thank you!”
- A tweet thanking your community for a great Valentines Day with a note that you love them all year round.
If you really want to get wild and crazy you could send more personalized messages. For example, instead of just sending your standard “thank you” letter, you could replace those with a Valentine’s Day card thanking the person for their contribution. Handwritten notes are special, and make the person who donated to your cause feel that you really appreciated their effort.
If you want to go a step further, perhaps you can send all Valentine’s Day donors a little chocolate heart lollipop or some other little piece of Valentine’s Day chocolate. If you’re really ambitious, perhaps you look through the contributions, and send a bouquet of roses to the person who donated the most.
Of course, all of this requires planning and appropriation of funds, but it’s not too late to do it if you can. Either way, as you begin your planning for 2015 in a few months, it might be worthwhile to consider giving back a little to the people who give to you around Valentine’s Day.
Making your community of contributors feel special around Valentine’s Day, and especially during the month of February (which can be pretty darned dreary), is a great way to show your genuine appreciation, entice people to donate again in the future, and to build loyalty to your cause.
What do you think? Will you give this a try the next time Valentine’s Day comes around?