December is around the corner and we want to share best tips for your year-end fundraising. Sit back with your eggnog, put your feet up and review our list of what you need to know so you can have the best giving season ever:
1. Share your metrics for your December fundraising. Whether it’s total dollars raised, number of donors, number of new donors, or any other metric that is important to your overall goals, share it with your community (“We’re trying to bring in 100 new donors!”) and be sure to report back so all of those who gave can feel a part of something with you.
2. Tie your ‘thank you emails’ to your end-of-year story. If you’re an animal welfare nonprofit, make the thank you email be from an animal you help. If you’re telling the story of an artist or dancer, make the end of year email be from them. And if you’re a human services nonprofit, create the letter from a conglomerate story, with a pseudonym who also thanks your donors.
3. Don’t forget your leadership annual fund donors at year end! Run a report to see who has not yet renewed their annual gifts of $1,000 or more. Those lovely donors should be your priority right now. Go see them. Or write them a very personal note and tell them that you have missed their support and their partnership for the cause this year. Send them some love!
4. Use social media to thank your current sponsors and your corporate and foundation supporters. This gives you an opportunity to thank them again in a public way.
5. Don’t bury fundraising messages in your December newsletter. Including a donate now button in your email newsletter is not the same as sending a fundraising email. Newsletters typically have gobs of information. Should donors read your latest blog post? Should they follow you on Twitter? Or should they make a donation? Burying your fundraising message in your newsletter will dilute your ask. Instead, send targeted fundraising emails soon after they open your email newsletter.
6. With 2019 right around the corner, you’ve got limited time to get your year-end fundraising message across. But if all your donor data is in a central nonprofit CRM solution, you can easily segment that data to find and reach out to those who are most likely to give.
7. Consider sending a personalized email to your monthly donors asking them to give a year-end gift as well. Make phone calls to your biggest donors thanking them for their support in 2019 and asking if they would like to end the year with one more (tax-deductible and applicable tax credit) contribution.
8. Filter your data. Whatever the case, filtering your data to find key constituent groups is a great way to save time while ensuring a personal and meaningful connection with donors who are most likely to respond as the year ends.
9. Hang a calendar on your wall and stick to it! With events, business and personal travel, and sugar-induced dazes, the year-end giving season can fly by. Engage any and all staff members and volunteers you can to help you execute it. If you’re not prepared with an editorial calendar for social posts, snail mail strategy and sends, emails, newsletters, and stewardship tasks, it will be December 31st and you’ll be wondering where your donors are. Don’t leave your outreach for the last day of the year and definitely don’t try to just fit in these tasks in free moments — because there won’t be many!
10. Utilize your rock star volunteers. Your nonprofit probably has plenty of supporters who love your organization already and are willing to step into an official role of brand ambassador to cheer on your organization’s year end campaign on social channels. If they already love your organization, why not put them to work on your behalf?
11. Share the messages of your supporters. When it comes to supporting your year-end fundraising campaign with a robust use of social media, identifying, training, and supporting a formal group of people to be social media ambassadors has been linked to raising more money. Don’t just recruit “outsiders.” Your staff and board are most likely already sharing great stories about your organization with their networks and may already use social media channels to do so.
12. Recognize the value of social media and other outreach. The MOST important thing for you to recognize is the potential value of social media ambassadors from the inside out and to train them according to your needs, standards, and goals.
Incorporate these 12 December practices into your year-end giving plans and watch your fundraising metrics increase year-over-year.
Jarrett started The Rayvan Group in 2009 and brings more than 15 years’ experience with international, national and local organizations, including Girls Golf of Phoenix, Habitat for Humanity, the Paraiso Project and St. Mary’s Food Bank. She has successfully managed development and communications functions for more than 10 campaigns with a combined goal totaling $6 million.