Top 9 Year-End Fundraising Tips

By susanlienau | November 16, 2015 | Annual Funds, Featured News, Major Gifts, Philanthropy Operations

Consider this: 31% of your fundraising dollars are raised in December and 12% of all giving occurs in the last 3 days of the calendar year. It’s time to sit back and relax as your gifts roll in, right? Wrong! Now is the most important time to build a strategy around your year-end giving campaign. Here are our top 9 tips to maximize your efforts during these critical next few weeks.

Make your appeal donor-centered. Explain the clear impact the prospect’s gift will have on your organization’s mission. Add words like “you” and “your” to emphasize this point in all solicitation correspondences.

Launch a year-end fundraising campaign. Hosting a year-end campaign is a great way to raise money because it helps raise awareness about your cause during the best giving period of the year. November and December are the months where supporters are the most philanthropic. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a lot time of funds launching your campaign. Crowdfunding websites offer the perfect platform to post your fundraiser.

Don’t forget to make the ask! This seems obvious, but it’s incredible how many appeal letters I’ve seen that either don’t ask for an amount, or forgo an ask all together. We recommend segmenting your appeal correspondences and making a direct request for a specific amount. Remember, one of the top reasons donors give is because they’re asked!

Create a winning team mentality. Share your organization’s legacy of fundraising success. How much did you raise last year? Did you surpass your goal or increase the rate of participation? Add these figures to your appeal and encourage prospective donors to join a winning team.

Share the impact of giving. What memorable stories, facts or figures illustrate the impact of giving to your organization? Sophisticated donors desire to understand the return on their investment. Share these stories and build in a direct request for funding.

Get on the phone! Call your LYBUNTS and SYBUNTS and ask for gifts over the phone. The top 1% of donors should be called and/or visited either by your organization’s CDO or CEO. Keep in mind, donors should be asked for the SAME REQUEST AMOUNT listed in their personalized solicitation letter and/or email. Consistent messaging is key.

Send holiday cheer. Add top donors to your CEO’s holiday card list and thank donors for their ongoing support. Direct appeal notes should hit mail boxes and inboxes around the same time. One more meaningful touch-point can’t hurt!

Spiff up your website. Make sure your website’s GIVE button is highly visible, easy to read and appears on every page. Test your online giving process, and work out the kinks. Add your giving webpage address to all email and direct mail pieces.

Remind donors of charitable giving tax benefits. Donors are busy people with jobs, families and multiple obligations. With this in mind, don’t forget to remind them of the December 31 deadline for 2015 charitable contributions.

Sarah Andrews, Assistant Vice President

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