Tips for turning your end of financial year campaign lemons into lemonade
Cost of living crisis.
High interest rates.
There’s not a lot of positive news floating around right now for charities looking to have a strong tax appeal.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. In the past six months, we've witnessed incredible results when charities turn the “lemons” of the season into “lemonade”.
Here’s our strategic recommendations for getting the most out of your tax appeal.
Lemon: The cost of living & housing crisis is impacting people’s ability to give
The latest consumer insights indicate that 63% of Australians identified Cost of Living as the greatest concern and 45% of people indicate that the cost of living and housing prices have decreased their ability to give to charities (Mccrindle). Research suggests that older donors, who are key Tax Time donors, are feeling the pinch, with half of Baby Boomers (49%) and Gen X (50%) finding their ability to give decreased due to the cost of housing and living.
Lemonade: Focus your efforts on traditional Tax Time givers, as well as younger donors with more disposable income
Despite the economic downturn, donors still feel a responsibility to support charities making a difference. It was true after the financial crisis of 2008. It was true during the Covid lockdowns of 2020 and 2021. And it’s true today. Giving continues to remain constant in Australia, with almost three in four (73%) giving at least annually to charities in some way, which is consistent with 12 months ago.
EOFY donors continue to best match the profile of a middle or major donor looking to claim a deduction for gifts or donation, which means they trend older and wealthier. However, also consider Gen Y and Gen Z, as two in five Gen Y (42%) and Gen Z (39%) identified as having access to slightly more disposable income at this time.
Lemonade: Build relationships that transcend tough times
Tough times are a great chance to strengthen donor relationships.
For those loyal donors that can’t give, make sure you say thanks and that it's ok not to give when things are tight and that you understand. If you want to go the extra mile, segment out your most valuable and loyal donors and give them a call to make sure they're doing ok.
Lemonade: Develop other ways supporters can help without financial giving
Develop other ways that supporters can help if they don't have the financial means right now. This could be through offering volunteer activities or even writing messages to those you support. Keep your loyal donors connected and engaged, and show them how much you value their support (not just financially).
Lemon: It’s a saturated market, making it difficult to cut through
EOFY is the most competitive period for fundraising activity, with all charities heavily investing in media spend.
Your direct competitors (and every commercial brand and their dog) will be bidding on similar search terms and targeting like-minded audiences, increasing the advertising costs on every channel as 30th June approaches.
Lemonade: Hone in on your Unique Value Proposition
Don’t run a generic "EOFY appeal". Find your unique, relevant and compelling “in” with your donors.
Are you a Climate charity? Four in five Australians are now concerned about climate change. Press the urgency of climate action.
Are you a Mental Health charity? Support for organisations associated with mental health continues to increase, especially amongst younger donors. Show the ongoing & projected demand for mental health support.
Are you a domestic charity? Inflation is creating a demand on your services.
Where possible, connect the challenges Aussies are seeing and hearing to the work that you do.
And remember: authenticity is key. Resist the urge to chase trending topics for the sake of relevancy alone. The connection you make needs to be real, and resonate.
Lemonade: Run a matched giving campaign
To add even more urgency and pull for donors, matched giving is the key.
One in three donors indicate they’d give a larger gift if matching is applied to their donation, and 84% of donors say they’re more likely to donate if a match is offered (Double the Donation, 2023).
Lemonade: Optimisations in the final weeks, days, hours can make all the difference
There’s no way around the higher advertising costs in the final week of June. However what is within your control is what ROI you achieve on your advertising spend.
Your tax appeal should never be set and forget. Make sure you optimise to drive results in those final 5 battleground days.
There are a whole range of things you can do in these last five days. Read more about our top tips for optimisations here.
Lemonade: Get your segmentation tight
In addition to getting your channel mix right, it’s crucial to segment your fundraising. Don’t lump your $100-donors and major donors into the same appeal. Tailor your message and proposition to each donor’s giving capacity and donation history. (Psst… Download our free data segmentation template here.)
Lemonade: Use this as a chance to master your digital presence
Research we conducted at the end of last year dug into what channels are most effective for connecting with donors. No surprise: online is by far the most important channel (doubly so for younger donors).
Use this appeal to optimise your digital channels. Your online checkout experience needs to be short and seamless: mobile-friendly, one-click donating isn’t the future. It’s now. Apple Pay and Google Pay are no longer “nice to haves.” They’re fast becoming a must if you want younger donors to convert.
While the end of the financial year presents some significant challenges for charities, it also provides an opportunity to transform lemons into lemonade. With the right strategies and tactics, you can achieve fundraising success even in uncertain times.
To succeed, we need to ensure all channels — digital, in person events, DMs, above the line, etc — are all pulling their weight so as to maximise donations.
Though there are big changes that are here to stay, it’s more critical than ever before to be cognisant of current market forces and understand which lemons we can turn into lemonade.
Best of luck for this end of the financial year. May it be even sweeter than lemonade.