The last quarter of the calendar year generates the most revenue for nonprofits. In fact, according to CauseVox, nonprofits receive 50% of their donations between October and December. Nonprofit Tech for Good reports 12% of annual giving occurs the last three days of the year. Whatever a donor’s motivation may be — the spirit of the holidays or a last chance for a tax deduction — a year-end giving campaign is vital for a nonprofit organization.
Here are some strategies to guide the success of a year-end campaign:
- Develop a Plan
Developing a plan takes time. Many organizations may begin planning as early as August for their year-end appeal. Carefully decide your approach, set a goal, create a timeline, determine how to segment your donor list and select which compelling stories will be featured to articulate need for support.
- Use a Multichannel Approach
Generations of donors respond to different mediums to donate. For example, older generations prefer to make annual contributions through direct mail while millennials are attracted to the ease of donating via social media using their mobile device. Others may need to see a message more than once before they make a gift. Consider a multichannel approach integrating direct mail, email appeals, social media and website for your year-end giving campaign.
- Personalize the Appeal
Donors receive many requests at this time of year from worthwhile organizations. Help your appeal stand out by personalizing the ask. Include the donor’s name in the salutation and ask for a specific gift amount according to the donor’s previous giving history. A handwritten signature with a personal note from the organization’s executive director, board member or volunteer also can personalize the gift ask.
- Follow Up
Provide prompt confirmation and receipt for gifts received. Again, adding a personal thank-you note to the donor can add a special touch. For donors who do not respond, develop a follow-up plan for contact, particularly with those who have supported your organization annually. Finally, donors want to know how their gift has made an impact. Provide regular communication about how the gift has influenced your work throughout the year. Therefore, when next year end rolls around, they will feel satisfied to continue supporting your organization.