End of year giving can mean big dollars for your organization. It may be that this is the season for giving, or that the tax year is coming to a close or the simple fact that lots of people are asking for donations. So now is the time to organize, gather staff and volunteers to develop a strong year-end “ask”. If you don’t have an end of year campaign lined up, here is how to do it to encourage end-of-year giving.
Plan 6 Weeks Out
Early November is a good time to start thinking about an end of year giving campaign. The average donor makes 24% of their annual giving between the days of Thanksgiving and New Year’s. (Center on Philanthropy) To begin, clean up your mailing list and your email list. Assign tasks to staff, like receipting and social media interaction, and set aside a day or two for volunteers to help stuff envelopes.
Develop a Strong Message
There is a lot of hustle and bustle during the holidays and you want your ask to be clear and concise and above all, HEARD. Pull together six or eight success stories and start thinking about the message that you would like to send. Is it reflective of the work that you did over the year, or do you want to outline future work that you have planned? What types of media do you plan to use, photos, video or charts and numbers? Make sure to compile everything in advance just in case a local news source wants to promote you.
Have a Multi-Channel Strategy
Once you’ve developed your content, think about how it will translate over different fundraising channels. A two or three paragraph letter may work for an email, but social media posts should be short with a catchy picture or video. Also, make sure that your end-of-year giving message is on your website.
Make it Easy to Give
Online giving is growing, but 79% of donations are still made by check. (Association of Fundraising Professionals) Make sure there is an addressed return envelope in all of the mailers and that your address is clear on your website. Put a donation button on your website as well as a “Thank You” page and test this out a few times beforehand. Also, indicate in all appropriate areas, that it is possible to make a recurring gift.
Keep the Office Open
It might be tempting to take a few days off around the holidays, yet 33% of December giving happens on the 31st.(Network for Good) It might be okay to staff with a skeleton crew, but it’s a good idea to make sure there is at least one staff on hand during business hours.
Make sure to comment and update on social media about your fundraising progress and that should extend to your donors. Insert a Facebook and Twitter button on the “Thank You” page of your website. That way, online donors can live post their end of year giving on their own social media accounts. Put together a newsletter that details your fundraising success and kicks off the New Year.
End of year giving is an important component of fundraising. It also marks the end of a successful year and is a great way to kick off the new year. Get your end of year giving campaign started today.