If you haven’t done an end-of-year fundraising appeal, now is a really great time to start. A year-end appeal doesn’t take a lot of time and can pay off in the long run. Amidst the Holiday Season, this end of year hustle may seem like a hassle but it should result in donated funds for your organization.
End-of-Year Giving Numbers
The dollars are in the details when it comes to year-end giving. Annual giving data shows that around 1/3 of giving occurs in December. Interestingly enough, 12% of all donations occur in the last 3 days of December; the 29th, 30th and 31st, with December 31st being the biggest donation day of the year.
Set forward a strategy of asking for year-end donations. Start with past donors as they are more likely to make repeat donations and keep careful documentation of who you have asked and their response. Also, volunteers are twice as likely to donate than non-volunteers so make sure they are on your “ask list”. Keep volunteers in mind in terms of donor-retention and building your donor foundation.
Make sure that everyone in your organization knows that you are conducting a end-of-year fundraiser. Studies show that 2/3 of first-time donors do not research the organization. That means that word-of-mouth referrals from friends, family, staff and volunteers are very important to getting new donations.
All of the year-end giving doesn’t mean that it pays to procrastinate. Most organizations begin to plan their year-end fundraising appeals in October and sometimes in September.
When asking for a donation, make sure your message is clear and consistent. Branded donation forms are seven-times more likely to garner a donation so it is definitely worth the effort to put one together. Make sure everything that represents your organization matches; your website logo should match your donation form logo, social media channels and business cards.
Make sure to explain why your year-end fundraising appeal is important, what issue you are addressing, your solution and the proposed outcome if you reach your funding goal. Writing a straightforward letter is a good place to start.
Examples of Year-End Fundraisers:
- Email Campaign
*Remember that if you are doing any online fundraising you should test to make sure your donation page and any links to it work.
Try to draw on the visual messages that you already have. This could be using your website, social media channels and other photography. Complimentary pictures, or video, can help tell your story in a more contextual way beyond words.
Utilize social media as a way to advertise your year-end giving campaign. You can use the same messaging and visuals, just make sure it is tailored to your social media audience. Facebook is a great place for longer posts and Twitter is oftentimes used for fundraising as well.
Have a strong follow-through will all of your donors. That is a great way to encourage donor retention. Make sure and thank them properly and send a receipt in a timely fashion. This may mean having staff or volunteers around during the first few days of the new year, but if this is when money is coming in, you need people to process donations.
Follow these tips and your end-of-year fundraising appeal should finish off the year quite fruitfully.