Survey: Americans not reducing donations this year

Survey: Americans not reducing donations this year

The American Red Cross recently conducted a survey and found that the majority of donors do not plan to reduce their "charitable givings" this year. The organization reported that 90 percent of the 1,010 poll respondents will not cut their donations because of political contributions, while 78 percent said they still plan to support charities even after giving to Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.

The holidays are traditionally a busy season for nonprofit organizations. Consumers celebrate the spirit of giving by helping those in need and important causes. No one expects a charity to give back, but promotional items can help philanthropic groups turn seasonal donors into regular givers.

For volunteers
Some people donate their time during the holidays and help charities process and distribute gifts from others. Volunteers are the backbone of every nonprofit and are valuable team members, especially during busy periods like the holidays.

Your workers are taking time away from their families to support your cause, so you should thank them in some fashion. The Houston Chronicle writes that branded t-shirts are popular promotional giveaways because volunteers show off their contributions whenever they wear the new garments. Your workforce may appear more professional when wearing the same clothing as well.

Sending greeting cards can also be an effective method of showing appreciation. Volunteers want to know that their efforts were noticed, so handwritten messages around the holidays can be especially touching.

You don't have to limit yourself to giving small gifts as thanks, as you can also create an incentive program for volunteers. While people try their hardest, added motivation can cause workers to put forth extra effort to solicit donations. You can offer small items like promotional wall calendars for small goals and use more high-end giveaways like USB drives and travel mugs for larger totals.

For donors
Not every consumer can volunteer and some instead opt to donate gifts and money. Sometimes these charitable givings are more useful, as nonprofits seek out resources to distribute to the needy or funds to support medical research. As with volunteers, organizations should thank their donors for giving something back during the holiday season.

Personalized Christmas cards may be appreciated by more than just your workers. Benefactors want to know their donations have been received, so sending them custom letters along with seasonal greetings can be a great idea. Additionally, you can always change the volunteer incentive program for donors. Instead of offering prizes for soliciting contributions, send rewards to consumers who give larger gifts.

Some people can be motivated to donate more when they're told they'll receive presents in response. Charities should consider limiting the amount of lavish giveaways so they can afford to thank every donor.

Marketing a nonprofit
As with all companies, nonprofits should develop holiday marketing campaigns to capitalize on seasonal business. A charity that doesn't advertise may not earn as many donations as one that raised its visibility during the most wonderful time of the year.

In its survey, the American Red Cross found that 51 percent of respondents like to mail checks to nonprofits. This means that a direct mail marketing strategy may be a strong approach. Charities can include return envelopes with every advertisement so that recipients can immediately respond.

Awareness ribbons effectively raise the visibility of causes as well. For example, December is National HIV Awareness Month and charities can give away promotional key rings that resemble the campaign's red ribbon.

The holidays are the season of giving, so nonprofits should prepare themselves for significant donations. Promotional products can help organizations market their causes and thank contributors for their efforts.

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