Holy Thursday, Batman! Lent is almost over, and I’m sure that we are all ready for the Easter holiday. Below is a recap of some of our tips to maximize giving during the Easter and Passover Seasons for our religious and secular nonprofit clients. Now is a great time to evaluate what worked or didn’t work and to weave some of these tactics into next year’s plan:
1. Run a six-week campaign during Lent!
Easter season, beginning with Lent is an excellent time to reinvigorate giving. It’s a great opportunity for a six-week campaign with Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday serving as “campaign kick-off” and “commitment weekend” bookends. Palm Sunday Weekend makes for a nice ROBO call or Phone-a-thon drive leading up to Easter.
Note: Don’t forget to consider messaging for Annual Pastoral Appeal and how this campaign compliments it.
2. As the marketing adage goes: 7 times, 7 ways.
Start special fundraising or campaign message well before Ash Wednesday. Be sure to craft a comprehensive communications plan to include announcements, prayers of the faithful, bulletin inserts, themes from the pulpit, and e-communications
3. The Easter season is also an effective time to raise awareness and funds for a school, church, or a ministry restoration project or special initiative
4. Remember that “Giving up something for Lent” can be monetized for good.
For example, giving up your daily latte can result in a gift of $25 a week, which quickly turns into $150 during Lent of $1200 for the year… a sizable annual gift for many religious organizations.
5. Invite donors to not only donate their money, but to sacrifice their time by highlighting specific volunteer opportunities.
Think about hosting a volunteer fair so that members/families can learn about the right fit for them.
6. Fish Fry Fridays
A great way to bring together the community and engage members, volunteers, and financial supporters for both churches, ministries, schools, and other nonprofits in the religious sector; it’s also a great fundraiser that can have added elements like raffles, beverage sales, silent auctions, or weekly giving challenges
7. If you have access to a school, think of creative ways that the children can get involved in each of the three central elements of the Lenten season.
A few ideas include having them donate their weekly allowance, give up a regular weekly treat so that they are contributing to the greater community or to provide in-kind donations of food, clothing, or toys.
8. Don’t forget prayer is a powerful tool, especially during this season.
Write a prayer that embodies the Lenten spirit and includes elements of your fundraising focus.
Don’t forget to reach out into the wider community during Lent! (These ideas can also be utilized by our secular nonprofit clients and friends.)
1. Partnering with local restaurants who recognize the buying power of the Christian segment of society is a win-win.
Restaurants in your area may already have a Fish Friendly Menu during the Lenten Season. Collaborate with them to promote restaurant sales and ask for a % of sales on Fridays during Lent. Promote an opportunity to add a donation when guests pay their bill, and don’t forget to ask for a matching donation from the restaurant. *Be careful not to give away the farm with this tactic, though. Your mission needs to fairly benefit.
2. You can segment your messaging specifically to the supporters that you know who celebrate Lent
You can target this audience with a special e-campaign or direct mailing. It’s also an excellent time to sit down and begin a strategic conversation to engage them more as a volunteer or donor.
3. If you have a food or tourism-related mission like a food bank, think about how you can implement Fish Fridays into your events.
4. Get creative and think of synergistic opportunities.