If you haven’t put your year end fundraising plan in place, there’s still time, but not much. It’s time to get busy and put your nonprofit on display to earn those year end donations. With one-third of all charitable giving happening during the last quarter of the year, you can’t afford to miss out.
As we move into Fall, it’s time to craft your plan, which should include multiple email asks, supported by social media, a newsletter ask and a year-end specific ask in the form of an old fashioned letter in the mail. There is a fine balance to this mix. Be sure your asks compliment one another, rather than repeat the same story. Avoid badgering donors or potential donors by spacing out your asks appropriately. Knowing your donors will help you determine what the appropriate spacing should be.
Your plan should also include a boost in staff or volunteer hours to ensure that all donations received by year end can be processed in a timely manner and receipts sent in time for the new year’s tax crunch. In addition, get started with your personalized TravelPledge site. TravelPledge provides you access to fun and unique experiences to include in your next event, as well as, provides your organization with a year round fundraiser. Anyone wanting to support your nonprofit at anytime throughout the year can access it. So when your supporters go on vacation or play a round of golf a portion of their purchase will go back to your organization. For more on what TravelPledge can do for you and to get started, click here.
As you craft your series of year end asks, remember to make it personal and specific. Tell your donors what you will be doing with their donation in the new year. Will their gift of $72 provide food and shelter for an individual for one month? Communicate that to your donor and ask them to provide that food and shelter. Will a $100 gift provide a building block for a new program in the new year? Tell them and give your donors the opportunity to build the future of your organization. The addition of photos will help to bring the ask home. Avoid group shots and focus on individuals to capture the essence of your mission and the eye of your donor.
In addition to telling donors how you will spend their donation, let them know what you accomplished with their support during the past year. How many clients did you serve? Was this an increase over the previous year? What were your outcomes? Tell your story before you ask for another donation.
Be sure to test your online giving before the year end blitz. Check that all of your links are working properly and gifts are processing as they should. Your online donation process should be as easy as possible, with as few clicks as possible.
Now that your year end asks are complete, you’ll want to pay special attention to your major donors. Choose a giving level or a top percentage of givers that makes sense for your organization and reach out to them personally. Engage your top donors with a personal phone call or visit. Remind them why they began giving to your organization and ask them for a year end gift.
Finish the year strong with a big thank you for all of your donors, as well as volunteers. Give personal thanks to as many as possible with a phone call or hand written note, but be sure to thank everyone, for every gift. Remember that this year’s new, small donor, could be next year’s monthly or major donor.
Every gift matters.