It’s time to get serious about your end-of-year fundraising campaigns. Studies show that between 40 and 70% of ALL donations are made at the end of the year. This is your best opportunity to inspire donors to give!
End of Year Fundraising Strategies:
- Identify 10 major donors who have not yet donated in 2011. Call each of these targets personally and invite them to lunch. Find out what is on their minds, and see if there is a reason they chose NOT to give this year. If they’ve given in the past, chances are they didn’t “intend” to forget about you this year…perhaps they’ve been busy. A personal invitation to contribute again this year may be just what they need to follow-through. And, receiving a few large donations before your year ends could be just what you need to meet your goals.
- Send an “End of Year” appeal letter or email to ALL prospects. This clearly includes your previous donors, but don’t forget to add to this list. Include new prospects, suppliers and vendors, volunteers, past board members, capital campaign donors, and even your clients themselves. Include the theme of your campaign, your goal, an appeal that specifically addresses the donor (how can YOU help?), instructions for how to donate (i.e. link to your fundraising website), and a deadline for receiving donations to create a sense of urgency.
- Make your appeal easy to read. Use short sentences, and action verbs such as “Help Us” or “Donate Now”. Include pictures for emotional appeal and to break up words with white space. Last, but not least…make your solicitation easy to find – in bold and at the beginning of a sentence (don’t bury it at the end of a paragraph). Most people will skim, so all of these tips can help you get your message across.
- Tie your Campaign in with the Holidays: The holiday season is time of “giving” (as well as spending). People often embrace this festive spirit and want to open their hearts (and their wallets) to give-back to the greater good. Whether it’s dropping a few coins in the bucket before entering a store, or sending a check to their favorite charity, the holidays are definitely a great time for fundraising! If you are interested in a holiday fundraising theme, please visit our holiday fundraising ideas.
- Follow through the last few days of December! A phone-call can double your response. If you only send out one appeal letter, you can expect your return to be only about 15 percent. Don’t stop communicating until December 31st! Studies show that 40 percent of online donors make their gifts during the month of December, and that about half of those donations are made on December 30 and 31. Be sure to take advantage of that with a friendly email reminder the last few days of December that reminds donors that this is their last chance to donate and receive a tax deduction. Include a link to your website for easy follow-through. And, be sure that your website is updated to support your online fundraising campaign with a easy-to-locate “donate now” button.