Over the last few years, New Year’s Eve has started to feel a little bit like Giving Tuesday, with a flood of email appeals touting expiring match opportunities, goal shortfalls and giving deadlines bordering on aggressive.
[spoken in a curmudgeon’s voice] Spending some time today unsubscribing from nonprofit emails. Like Giving Tuesday, the end of the year brings an onslaught of noise, and the insistence level is annoying.
— The Whiny Donor (@thewhinydonor) December 31, 2018
Luckily, there are always a few nonprofits who buck the trend and capitalize on the opportunity to stand out from the crowd. My inbox was graced by a few such orgs, who used New Year’s Eve to thank me for my support over the past year and report on a few organizational achievements.
Redefining New Year’s Eve: nonprofits expressing gratitude
Even though the video isn’t super donor-centric, it makes sense for public broadcasting to tout the programming made possible in the past year. The supporting text on the email more than makes up for it:
None of this is possible without your support, so thank you for being an important part of the WFYI family. We appreciate your sacrifice to help impact our community, and wish you all the best in the coming New Year!
As a monthly member, it was nice to get an email like this, especially when on-air broadcasts push end of year giving so heavily.
2. Outreach, Inc.
Like WFYI, Outreach utilizes video to thank monthly supporters at the end of the year:
The video (which is compiled from a year’s worth of social media postings – nice repurposing!) is prefaced with incredibly appreciative text:
It is always hard to find the words in how we can best express our gratitude for the truly humbling way you have supported the homeless young people of Indy. You helped Outreach’s young people accomplish some remarkable achievements this past year. We know it is cliche to say “not all heroes wear capes,” but we couldn’t leave 2018 without expressing our thanks to you. Here’s to the dynamic donors, caped contributors, valiant volunteers and guardians of giving.
3. Buzzards Bay Coalition
The email links to a blog post that, in detail, outlines the top 10 accomplishments of the org in the past year. There’s no fluff here; only real accomplishments like “Advancing nitrogen pollution reductions” and “Upgrading septic systems around Buzzards Bay to reduce more nitrogen pollution.” If you care about conservation, this list is going to impress.
The email also gives the reader a list of ideas of how to take advantage of the area in the winter months.
Even in winter, Buzzards Bay holds many exciting discoveries. Here are just a few of our favorite winter activities:
- walking at Beebe Woods in Falmouth
- paddling through the saltmarsh creeks far up in Onset Bay
- birding at Nasketucket Bay State Reservation in Mattapoisett
- beach combing at Gooseberry Island in Westport
Visit Discover Buzzards Bay to find a complete list of activities in your community and places to get outside with family and friends.
It’s a creatively self-aware call-to-action to keep people engaged during the winter months.
Lack of segmentation aside, the ask at the end doesn’t bother me too much, since it was the main focus of the email.
Bonus! charity: water
I’m cheating a little bit here, since the email was sent on 12/27 (and because it’s charity: water), but the intent here was still the same: thank and report.
This email includes a mini-infographic about the new countries added to charity: water’s programming in 2018.
The text is heavy on donor-centric impact:
We started The Spring with a mission to bring clean water to everyone on the planet. Today, thanks to you, we’re getting closer to making that dream a reality. In 2018 alone, The Spring community’s generosity has funded clean water for more than 270,000 people. And, because of your incredible support, we’re going to go even farther in 2019. That’s right! Thanks to your monthly support, we’re adding partners in three new countries in need of clean water.
All four of these emails stood out amongst a crowded inbox of tax deduction deadline appeals. I wouldn’t be surprised if these emails didn’t prompt at least a few one-time, last-minute donations, despite not asking for one.
How about you? Did you send or receive any thankful emails on New Year’s Eve? Let me know in the comments below! If not, perhaps you can use these examples as inspiration next year.