Fall is in the air, and we will soon be breaking out the sweaters, enjoying our pumpkin spice lattes, and watching the beautiful change of the leaves to vibrant oranges, yellows, and purples.
Most importantly, at this time of year, as fundraisers, we should be finalizing our plans to maximize the end-of-year giving season.
For many nonprofits and ministries, a significant amount of their annual donations is received in the last three months of the year. However, there’s a lot of competition vying for those precious dollars, and it gets tougher each year.
This is why I want to give you a checklist to help you boost your year-end giving:
- START EARLY
Get ahead of all the other ministries and nonprofits who will send out appeals for donations. Remember, asking for a year-end gift is a process, not a one-time event, so start now!
- MAKE A PLAN
Benjamin Franklin supposedly once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Some nonprofits indiscriminately ask for donations with the hope their pleas for support will be answered.
Do not fall victim to the tyranny of urgency when it comes to your fundraising goals. It takes a thoughtful, strategic plan to maximize your year-end efforts.
Put together a fundraising plan that outlines what you will say, the stories you will share, the platforms you will use, and what your ask will be over the next several weeks. This plan will also assist others in your organization to rally around it and help you execute it.
A great starting point is to review last year’s end-of-year campaign. What worked and what didn’t work? You definitely want to include in this year’s plan the initiatives that produced favorable results and do not repeat those that failed.
Be sure to consider how you can take advantage of key dates like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday to engage donors and generate revenue.
- UTILIZE MULTIPLE PLATFORMS
An early start allows you the opportunity to engage multiple platforms like direct mail, social media, email blasts, text-to-give campaigns, phone calls, etc. You should not rely on just one method to engage your donors. Some donors like to receive content from your organization one way but prefer to give using a different channel.
For example, I like to sit down to read a letter from a ministry that describes the impact they are making and read the beautiful story of a changed life. However, my preferred way to give a gift is to go online, while another donor may prefer to send their gift in the mail or call in.
Be sure to communicate with your donors on all your platforms and provide multiple ways to give. Donors like the freedom to choose, so give them the ability to decide how they prefer to respond.
- MAKE GIVING SUPER EASY!
Are you asking for too much information on your donation form? Is the page laid out effectively? Do you offer PayPal as a giving option?
For security reasons and ease, some people like PayPal because they do not have to provide their credit card information to give a gift. For several of our clients, adding PayPal as a giving option on the online donation page caused an overall lift in revenue. About 30% of the donations for one of our clients comes through PayPal.
If PayPal is not already a giving option, you may want to consider adding it.
Also, do a review of your online donation pages. Your current online form may actually be hurting you. The form should be simple and only ask for the required information to process the donation. 54% of nonprofit emails are read on mobile, so be sure your online donation form is mobile-friendly.
- SAY “THANK YOU” OFTEN!
“THANK YOU” – the power in these two words cannot be overstated. Express your sincere gratitude and appreciation to donors through your online thank-you page, the autoresponder email, and the hard copy letter you mail out. And I recommend you do all three!
It never hurts for the donor to hear you say “thank you” multiple times. Plus, receiving a thank-you receipt letter allows you to ask for another gift. Be sure to enclose a return envelope to make it easy for the donor to mail it back.
In your communications, share how the gift will be used to fulfill the mission of the organization, such as, provide a warm meal to the homeless, dig a well in the Congo, or send a Bible to a new believer in China. It’s important to remind the donor how their gift will make a difference because it prepares the donor to give again.
The year-end campaign is one of the most significant initiatives a nonprofit will undertake in the year. Start doing the steps on this checklist and you’ll be on your way to reaching your year-end giving goals!
If you are interested in having Infinity Concepts help you boost your year-end,
or year-round fundraising efforts, then Let’s talk! Call us today at 724-733-1200.
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