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Make Your End of Year Campaign Truly Inclusive

Oct 19, 2022

A successfully inclusive end of year giving campaign is more than just asking for money. It’s about creating a relationship with your donors, showing them that you care about their needs and challenges, and building trust.

In this post, we’ll explore how to create an end of year giving campaign that will get your donors feeling good about supporting your organization – and doing so in an ethical and inclusive way that creates brand trust. 

Research

Everything begins with research, and this campaign is no different. Start with analyzing, what success looks like to you. 

Review your campaign from last year and years past, if possible, and ask these questions. Where could we have been more inclusive? What blindspots did we have that we can see now? 

Use your current season to research the latest on your cause area narratives. Questions to keep in mind: What narratives are being used consistently? What narratives need to be changed or challenged? How were these narratives formed?

This will not only help your organization’s narrative be set apart, it will also give you an opportunity to reflect on changing language. Which leads us to … 

Check for inclusive language.

Did you know the average United States reader reads at a 7th or 8th grade level? Keep this in mind when developing content for your campaigns. Use plain language that is easy to understand. Be sure your language and word choice are inclusive in regards to:

  • Ability + disability
  • Ageism
  • Ethnicity, race & nationality
  • Gender, Sex & Sexuality
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Victimhood
  • And much more!

There is a broad spectrum of inclusive language and it is constantly evolving. Do your homework (see above) and see this campaign as an opportunity to include your entire community, not just your historical donor category profiles. 

Utilize ethical imagery and authentic representation.

Unfortunately, the nonprofit world has a history of using stories, images, and words to exploit emotions for giving. 

In recent years, organizations have become more aware and actively worked toward reducing this exploitation. The goal is trustworthy, accurate representations of our clients. Dignity should be preserved when sharing someone’s story, and best of all, their identity can provide context and illustrate their humanity. This ensures that they are not simply used as a “prop” in your campaign.  

For those organizations who need to use stock photos to protect client identities, make sure you’re not “diversity washing.” Accurately represent the communities you serve. 

Build trust starting now.

Brand trust is all about building relationships. You wouldn’t just pop out of nowhere and ask a long-lost friend for $100, right? Let’s not do that for our brand connectors, either. 

In our fast-paced world, it’s important to remember trust is built through consistency and intentionality. As you probably already know, your “year-end” campaign ideally began months ago. 

If you don’t have the capacity to do all the planning you wish, that is okay. Many nonprofits don’t have the necessary resources to plan that far in advance either. But remember, this campaign is another opportunity for you to deposit into the brand trust bank

Reframe the campaign as a dialogue.

So often, we think of our year-end campaigns as transactions; we (nonprofit) tell a story and you (the donor) give money. Think about how this makes your donor feel. Instead reframe your campaign around it being a dialogue and building a relationship. Now examine, how does that mindset shift spark new ideas? 

Who might you include in this dialogue that has historically been excluded? Possibly….the clients you serve? Giving your clients power to tell their story is just one simple way to bring huge shifts in your year end campaign structure. 

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Those are my top 5 tips to increase inclusivity in your year end campaigns. These tips are good year round, too. Remember: Inclusivity is a journey, not a destination.

💡 Let me know if this sparked any ideas for you in the comments below.

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