The holidays are a time to get in touch with friends and family. Greeting cards, family newsletters, and presents are abound, but that’s not the only reason the winter holiday is called “the season of giving.” The end-of-year holidays are also a time for charity, when nonprofits are fundraising at full throttle.
With dedicated gifts and eCards, greetings and giving can come together harmoniously. StayClassy recently added an eCards feature to our fundraising software’s Pro Plan, so let’s see how nonprofit organizations can use them as part of their upcoming holiday fundraising campaigns.
To start with, we will explain what eCards are and how nonprofits can use them. Then we will offer some tips for designing eCards for your campaign. We’ll finish up with a short tour of our eCards tool.
Why eCards and Not Email?
As the name suggests, eCards are a digital alternative to greeting cards and postcards. You may be wondering how allowing donors to send an eCard differs from a dedication email. eCards allow your donors to personalize your cause in a highly stylized and branding way.
Think of it as the difference between getting flowers with a typed note from 1-800-Flowers versus delivered with a handwritten greeting card. Using eCards can deepen the meaningfulness of a donation to both the donor and dedicatee, a huge plus for a supporter’s personal experience with your organization.
Like greeting cards, utilizing eCards isn’t limited to the holiday season. You can update your design offering to match different season, or keep more permanent options that reflect occasions that happen year-round, such as birthdays, weddings and engagements.
Here are a few ways your nonprofit organization can incorporate eCards in fun, creative ways!
• To serve as a holiday or birthday present for the honoree. The recipient of the eCard can then find out more about the nonprofit and even donate.
• To tell someone you made a gift in their honor. You can use an eCard to let someone know their association with the cause inspired you to give.
• To challenge the recipient to pass it on. Now that the ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge has exploded in popularity, it highlights the method of challenging or personally asking someone to donate. Donors can send an eCard asking the recipient to give to the cause. If repeated this could help one gift become many.
However you choose to use eCards in your fundraising efforts, you are making your cause and campaign more social, shareable and, most importantly, personalized.
Designing Your eCard
But before you or your donors can send eCards, you’ll need to make some. If you don’t have Photoshop or Illustrator skills, or a design at hand, don’t worry! There are plenty of services that allow you to create beautiful visual content quite easily and cheaply. (Check out Canva, for example).
You can think of your eCard as having three parts:
This is the picture or background of the card. You can make it holiday-themed or choose a photo showing your organization’s work. Consider showing the progress your mission supports or the people you have helped. If you want to emphasize that this is a holiday campaign, consider your audience and whether they would prefer a secular or religious theme.