Boost donations with a Mother’s Day charitable gift guide.

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Do charitable gift guides really work? The short answer is, yes!

You’ve seen them before—buy a bed net, a goat for a family, or a water well for a village. They are memorable, offer donors a very clear understanding of where their money is going, and provide a deeper connection to your organization’s impact. Donors have the option to select the charitable gift that is most meaningful to them and suits their budget, all without asking them to spend more money than they would otherwise spend on another gift.

Unique and impactful gifts are always the most memorable. In fact, 59% of Canadians prefer to receive a charitable gift over a traditional gift*. Your donors will delight in personalizing a charitable gift eCard for their mom on Mother’s Day, and for friends and family on other occasions throughout the year such as graduations, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and more.

The trend is clear, don’t fall behind!

More and more charities are including charitable gift guides in their fundraising strategy. Gift guides address some of the most prominent trends we’re seeing in the charitable sector. Today’s donors are more informed and want to know exactly where their donation dollars are going. 65% of donors surveyed* said they are likely to increase their total annual donations if they know the impact their specific gift will make. Increasingly, they’re choosing the option of online shopping as well, with 73% of Canadians enjoying the convenience of buying gifts online.*

These trends suggest that charitable gift giving will only grow in popularity. They allow donors to give gifts they love, have a clear impact, use an easy online purchase, and feel more engaged in your organization’s cause.

So, you see the value and believe your organization can benefit from a charitable gift guide. But where do you begin? With a little bit of planning and work, you too can launch a beautiful, effective gift guide your donors will love to gift from time and time again.

Get started on your charitable gift guide

Publishing a printed magazine or brochure to promote your charitable gift guide may not be feasible depending on the size of your charity. Luckily, for a charity of any size, an online gift guide is easy and cost-effective to set up, and dynamically showcases your gifts while offering donors the convenience of easy, online shopping.

The key to success is in how you package, launch and promote it.

First, plan your gifts. Make sure you offer gifts at varying price points to meet different budget needs. Keep in mind that nothing physical is sent to the donor—the gifts are virtual but their impact should be tangible. Select gifts that can be easily represented with great images or graphics. For example, a $25 donation to buy school books for one child.
  Second, design a strong landing page. Building an effective landing page is a crucial step and one that may take the most time. You have a short amount of time from when your donors land on it to convince them to buy. It needs to be easy to navigate, visually enticing with high-quality images and have short but concise descriptions that accurately depict the impact of each gift. Make it easily accessible from your main navigation and include a strong “Buy Gift” call to action for each gift. If you don’t have access to a designer, consider onboarding a volunteer with creative, technical expertise to help.
 Third, create a customizable donation page for each gift. The transaction experience must be seamless once the donor has clicked the “Buy Gift” button. There should be no question that they’re still on a secure page affiliated with your charity and purchasing the right gift. The look and feel of your landing page should flow through to the donation page by using consistent colours and images. The purchase experience needs to be easy, flexible and secure. Ideally, you complete the transaction with a thank you email including their tax receipt, and a customized eCard is sent to the gift recipient.

While it may feel overwhelming at first, by following these steps, you will have created an enjoyable and meaningful buyer experience.  This investment in time now with a Mother’s Day campaign will give you the experience to help you to maximize your donations year-round.

*Source: Ipsos Reid, December 2015 and CanadaHelps Donor Survey, April 2016

This post was originally published on Hilborn.

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