Email strategy, Fundraising

How is designing your perfect 2023 Halloween costume just like building a strong fundraising campaign?

It’s almost Halloween, and there’s a fairly good chance your Hallo-weekend might call for a costume plan – for yourself, your kid, or your pet. Sometimes, the perfect costume comes to us in a burst of inspiration…and other times, even coming up with a few viable options can take some brainstorming.

Whichever the case may be for you this year, we over here at MissionWired can’t help but notice how planning the perfect, topical Halloween costume for 2023 can teach us something about the strategies that go into building a strong, integrated nonprofit fundraising campaign – and vice versa.

So, whether you’re scrolling the internet for costume ideas, or too busy perfecting your next nonprofit campaign to plan your outfit, here’s our quick-and-easy guide to make both your Halloween and your nonprofit fundraising strategy as strong as possible:

Timing is everything.

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Getty, Retailers

There’s always someone at the Halloween party whose costume is perfectly timed to the pop culture topics that everyone’s talking about – if you want to get in the mix with something that’s trending and topical, it’s helpful to look to the latest movies and celebrity gossip for inspiration.

As a nonprofit fundraiser, you also know how a well-timed campaign can make all the difference for your response rates and revenue. So whether that means making your own moments with dedicated giving days, or getting out there quickly with content when breaking news in your industry hits, the best strategies are always responsive to the environment.

Lean on efficiency when possible – but add a creative touch.

When you’re starting from scratch on a costume, those kits from Spirit Halloween or Party City can really come in handy to pull something together quickly! But adding a bit of your own custom flair to your store-bought look can also give it an extra layer of originality.

A great way to extend the impact of the content that’s working well in your email campaigns, and conserve resources while you’re at it, is to resend your top performers. And a new subject line, a different signer, or a FWD message are great ways to give repurposed content a fresh new lift.

Let personalization make it memorable.

Photo-Illustration: MissionWired; Photos: Looper

There’s always the risk: You walk into the room and you’re the fifth Ken at the party. Overlapping ideas don’t have to spell disaster – if you’ve put a creative spin on it that’s true to who you are, then your take on what it means to be “Kenough” might be the one everyone remembers.

When your email campaign is competing for attention in a crowded inbox, a fundraising email that leverages personalization to keep your supporters feeling included in your work and mission can make it stand out. Look for opportunities to include supporter records, segment messages based on giving history, or include personalization in your graphics, subject lines, and copy.

Build community to increase impact.

If elaborate solo costumes have you feeling a bit intimidated, a group costume can be a great way to add to the fun – when your individual look is a part of something bigger, you have the chance to take your costume strategy even farther.

Syncing your messaging across all channels is a great way to maximize the impact of your fundraising campaign. Rather than standing alone as a single message, creative that interacts with a cohesive theme across email, SMS, digital ads, and direct mail can make for a top-performing integrated fundraising campaign.

Don’t hesitate to opt for the crowd pleaser.

Photo-Illustration:; via Insider

Say you’re willing to admit that your pet is the true star of your Instagram page. Then you know that a joint costume with you and your furry friend is going to be a hit at the party.

A/B testing is a great way to determine the fundraising strategies that your nonprofit audience responds to. If you’ve tested into certain tactics: from celebrity signers, to engaging photos and bold headlines at the top of your messages, then your biggest campaigns of the year are the best time to lean into those proven strategies.

We’re wishing you the best of luck with your Halloween costumes, from Barbenheimer to The Bear! And if you’re still brainstorming more ways your upcoming fundraising campaigns can be as fresh and winning as your Oct. 31 ‘fit, check out our recent blog, Top Performing Giving Tuesday Tactics.

Meta graphic credits from left to right downward: Elle Woods and Bruiser costume from via Insider; Star Wars from Lucasfilm Ltd./courtesy Everett; SpiderKen meme by MissionWired; Sennott and Edebiri in Bottoms Courtesy of ORION Pictures Inc; Photo-Illustration by The Strategist with Photos from Getty, Retailers; Scooby Doo and the Gang Courtesy of Warner Bros.