Another year is quickly coming to an end! Before you know it, we’ll be saying “Happy New Year” and plans for 2024 will be underway.
We’re heading into the season of giving. It is that time of year when donor dollars increase significantly. Year-end giving trends suggest that nearly one-third of annual giving happens in December.
It’s not too late to pull together a plan to maximize your year-end campaign with these 10 tips (view our video recap of these tips here):
- Start Planning Now: You can’t wait until the last few weeks of December to reach out to donors or to make the first “ask.” Get a plan in place today to implement over the next few days.
- Send Something: Whether it’s a holiday greeting in the mail or an email blast wrapping up the year, your current donors need to hear from you. You can highlight an accomplishment from the year, share a specific need heading into 2024, or just thank your donors for their past generosity. Most likely your donors are hearing from other organizations too, and you need to be on their radar.
- Engage Volunteers: Take the time to appreciate your volunteers this year. Thank them for the time they invested in your organization. You may even decide to give a special gift to those who met X amount of service hours. Volunteers are twice as likely to donate to your organization. These are the people who are already engaged in your mission and have seen first-hand the work you do.
- Enlist Your Board: Your board of directors can be your biggest asset this time of year. Have board members write personal thank you notes, make phone calls, or accompany you to meetings with donors.
- Segment Your Contact List: Your strategy should be different for different donors or partners. Organize your contacts into specific lists and plan your approach for each group such as major donors, once-a-year donors, volunteers, alumni (past clients if appropriate), board, etc.
- Go Visual: Create consistent images and visuals for all aspects of your campaign. Try highlighting major accomplishments or data using infographics. Feature client success stories and quotes with photos (if appropriate). Create images and banners to display on all social media platforms. You can even set up a microsite just for your holiday campaign that clearly showcases your goals and progress over the next few weeks.
- Plan A Giving Day: We highlighted tips for implementing your own “Giving Day” in this blog. This can be a unique day that your organization chooses to ramp up efforts or you may decide to take advantage of Giving Tuesday. Regardless of what you choose, make sure you continue promoting your cause until December 31st. Surveys show 12% of funding comes in during the last 3 days of the year. This means you shouldn’t just rely on one day for giving, but it can be a great tool to kickstart your efforts.
- Make It Easy To Give: Provide your donors with several options for giving and make the options clear! Create a button on your website for donations. Have a link on your social media pages that directs followers to give. Send pre-stamped envelopes for those donors who you know would rather give via check or cash.
- Focus On Donor Stewardship: It’s very rare that you can ask a person for money, and they give it to you on the spot. You need to steward a relationship with them first. Build trust and learn about the causes they are interested in. Donor stewardship is important for engaging new donors but also for helping to move current donors to the next level of giving. Don’t expect that your holiday postcard sent in December will be enough to gain significant traction. Make plans to meet up with specific people who you know have the capacity to give more. Start those conversations today.
- Make It Personal: Regardless of what methods you use to ask for gifts (email blasts, mailings, one-on-one meetings), you need to bring the focus back to the people you serve and the causes you are working to impact. Put a face to your mission and make it personal. Share specific stories of how your programs changed a family’s life. Introduce a donor to the single mom who went back to school. Highlight exactly where the donor’s dollars are going and who will be impacted. Along with the personal anecdotal stories, don’t forget to include your outcome results. (Need help with having good data to share? Check out this blog or our services).
We know you’re doing incredible work – now is the time to share that story to 1) communicate your impact and ultimately 2) increase your funding. At TCG, we work with many #Transformers like you to diversify and increase funding. Contact us for a free consultation or download our simple fundraising tools here.