AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

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Year-End Giving

Donation JarFundraising activities for nonprofits are often busiest during the last three months of the year as organizations conduct their year-end giving campaigns. Although 2020 has been an uncommon year and one of uncertainties, a recent study by DickersonBakker found that giving is likely to remain constant from the previous year or even increase through the end of 2020. The CARES Act issued this spring provides benefits to donors contributing to charities, such as the ability for individuals not itemizing their taxes to deduct up to $300 for gifts made to a qualified nonprofit organization. These findings suggest that organizations should plan to conduct their year-end appeal campaigns as usual, but may want to consider some adjustments.

    1. Consider beginning your campaign a bit earlier.
      If you’re like many nonprofits, you may have experienced shortfalls in revenue this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and economic conditions. Special events and donor visits may have been canceled, or grant funders may have adjusted award schedules or priorities for giving in 2020. A year-end appeal is a way to reach your audience and have them contribute to your cause in a safe environment. Extending your campaign can allow for more time to follow up a direct-mail letter with an email, phone call and/or video.
    2. Incorporate digital strategies into your campaign.
      If you have not already, extend your direct-mail approach with electronic appeals and the ability for donors to quickly react with a “donate now” button on your website. The donate now button can be easily linked to email appeals and social media messages, easing the ability to make a gift while your request is top of mind for a donor.
    3. Be transparent.
      Don’t be afraid to paint the true picture of the challenges your organization has faced in 2020. How has your organization been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, or natural disasters such as the August derecho in the Midwest? Has your organization had to change course or create a new way to provide services as a result of these conditions? Being true to your donors allows them to support you in a way that meets both needs.

2020 has also been a year of social turmoil. How is your organization addressing social issues such as racial equalities? These are areas of concerns for your donors and they want to know how your organization is addressing issues of importance to them