It’s almost 2019 – do you have a plan for year-end fundraising?
Nonprofits are busy now with what is known in the business as “year-end fundraising.” The focus is on communicating with people who can give or influence gifts of cash, appreciated securities, property, retirement funds and other valuables.
For many organizations 30 to 45 percent of their money is raised at the end of the year. That means it is critical to plan and be well organized to help ensure the financial health of your organization – and even more importantly to ensure continuity of your work in the coming year.
Ideally you want to talk with current and potential donors throughout the year. You should have started your campaign yesterday, or 12 months ago. But that’s in the past…. Here are 10 steps to getting busy now.
- Define your year-end ask – what are you asking people for and why? What impact will a donor’s gift make?
- Bring together a few people, creating a special committee of volunteers who will focus on asking for year-end gifts.
- Review your current mailing lists. Yes, all of them, including the ones on the executive director’s laptop, and those that are stored on the former development director’s computer. Ask board members, campaign leadership and volunteers to add names. Look for duplicates and people who have moved, passed, married, or otherwise changed their name or address. Do all that you can to ensure your data is clean and good.
- Review lists of individuals and businesses who gave last year but not this year. Look for names of people that staff, board members, or volunteers may be familiar with. Determine what is the best way to reach each donor and ask for a gift.
- Based on your fundraising goal, develop a giving chart that will keep you focused on those donors who can give at the highest levels, and those who have been giving consistently over the years regardless of their giving level. These are two groups who make up the backbone of your giving.
- Look at your list of priority donors and match them with board members, fundraising volunteers, and staff.
- Review the benefits and opportunities you may be able to offer donors. Are these clearly communicated? Are they meaningful?
- Think strategically about how to reach your potential donors and put in place a campaign to create awareness prior to launching your year-end mailing, online giving, and personal solicitation activities.
- Host a year-end fundraising kickoff event to promote awareness and energize your leadership and volunteers. Give your year-end campaign a theme that will inspire emotion and giving.
- Share your fundraising progress with your board and volunteers on a weekly basis to inform and motivate them to succeed.
Finally, start planning your 2019 year-end campaign now. It’s never too early!
Copyright 2018 – Mel and Pearl Shaw
It’s almost December 31st…. do you know where your gifts are? Learn more about fundraising at www.saadandshaw.com.