The final stretch of the year is a critical time for nonprofits to inspire generosity and solidify their annual fundraising efforts. While connecting with donors throughout the year is important, this time presents a unique opportunity to forge powerful bonds, remind them why they support your mission, and set the stage for continued support in the upcoming year.
These last-minute strategies we found at Bloomerang.co can help you capture your donors’ attention before the year-end ask arrives.
1. Say thank you
When was the last time you thanked your supporters? Take the opportunity to do it again. In addition to all the things that are good about gratitude, this is also a way to remind people they gave–they honestly may have forgotten!
Remind them of their generosity, and your thankfulness by:
- Hosting a thank-a-thon phone call party with your board
- Send a personalized email without an ask
- Drop some thank you postcards in the mail
Establishing your appreciation for the gifts they’ve already given is a great start to your year-end campaign.
2. Ask questions
You’ve probably asked your supporters for money this year, but have you asked them for their opinions? Relationships aren’t a one-way street, and inviting supporters to engage in conversation with your organization establishes a deeper connection.
Donor surveys are one way to get to know your supporters and understand their motivations and priorities. Even a short survey of one or two questions can help you get the conversation rolling. Consider asking about:
- Donor experience: How’s it going?
- Donor motivation: Why do they support you?
- Following up on event attendance or volunteer experiences
If you find you’re not getting enough survey responses, add a follow up, and consider adding different communication channels, like social media or text messaging.
3. Pick up the phone
The phone might be old fashioned, but it’s an incredible tool for connection. Calling to say thank you, to invite someone to an event, or to follow up on an experience can make a big difference to your donors.
Thank-you calls are a great, low-pressure place to start. Whether you simply call 10 donors a day to say thanks (it’s quicker than you think, especially since you’re likely to leave voicemails most of the time) or call to touch base with your major donors before year end, a personal call can make a big impression.
Did you run a peer-to-peer fundraiser on GivingTuesday? Call to say thank you after that event. This gives you the opportunity to answer their questions and humanizes their connection to the organization, which increases both accountability and good feelings.
4. Report on impact
People give to nonprofits because they want to help a cause they care about and see a change in the world. When was the last time you told donors how it’s going? Have your supporters from earlier campaigns heard what’s happening? Your supporters from last year’s year-end campaign?
When you’re busy, which every fundraiser is, it can be hard to close the loop with donors in a timely manner. It’s not too late to check back in! Even a brief email thanking them again for their support, and letting them know the latest news about the project or program they supported can help send the message that you do what you say you will.
5. Invite more connection
We tend to think of “asks” as exclusively monetary, especially at year end. But there are other ways your supporters might want to be involved. Consider inviting them to follow you on social media if they don’t already, sign up for emails if they only receive postal mail, share a story with a friend, or attend a volunteer event.