Research shows nearly a third of giving happens at the end of the year, so now is the time to focus on
communication and donor stewardship. Hopefully, your year-end campaign will bring in new donors as well as repeat donors. Throughout your campaign, don’t forget to circle back to those who give and follow up with your gratitude.
According to Blackbaud’s Charitable Giving Report, retention rates for first-time donors are between 25-30%, but for multi-year donors, the retention rate doubles. We know it’s a busy time of year, but at TCG we recommend building in time to thank your donors and begin (or continue) building a relationship that will continue throughout the year and for years to come. Ultimately, this continued engagement will help grow your donor base.
Ways to Stay In Touch
- Celebrate your success
During the end of the year frenzy, don’t forget to thank your supporters and volunteers! Dedicate one of your emails to celebrating what your organization has achieved this year. Include a list of highlights, pictures from events, or a holiday picture of staff, and start building excitement for the coming year. (Your annual report is also a great tool for communicating your accomplishments as an agency).
- Send a thank you
Once you receive a donation, the job is not done yet. Make sure that each donor receives a receipt with their donation. That is required. But don’t stop there. Send your donors a dedicated thank you email or letter. Sooner than later. Want to really say thank you and engage your board? Have board members call or write major donors to express appreciation for their gifts. (Check out more tips for engaging board members in fundraising here).
- Add another communication check-in
It is also part of good donor stewardship to communicate regularly with your donors. Engage (or reengage) your donors in your nonprofit as it is obviously a cause they care about. After the first of the year, welcome new donors. They might have given because a friend or family member supports the cause without knowing the details of what you do. Create a welcome series of emails to get them better acquainted with your organization. And for all donors, connect with them throughout the year and include a call to action – to sign up for your newsletter, tour the facility, attend a program, or volunteer!
TIMELINE. For Follow-Up
You have your campaign strategy and a plan for following up with donors. Here’s a timeline of how everything works together!
- Start your campaign the week of Thanksgiving (or now if you haven’t yet!)
- Giving Tuesday outreach (November 29th)
- Touches throughout December until December 31st
- January-February: Review the data to see how your campaign performed. How many new donors, recaptured donors, and repeat donors did you have?
- Keep in touch throughout the year!
Want more ideas for your year-end campaign? Check out our latest blogs on Giving Tuesday and 10 Tips for Year-End Giving Campaign. If you want to learn more about how your campaign performed this year or to improve your organization’s fundraising next year, check out our services and contact us today!