Posted , by Abbie Hacker, Consultant. Topic: Boards of Directors, Crisis Fundraising, Development Plan, Donor Acknowledgement, Donors, Fundraising, Gift Solicitation, Major Donors, Year-End Giving.

Website_Abbie_2019-450x600 By Abbie Hacker
While the principles of fundraising remain the same even in the midst of this challenging year, the application might look a little different right now. In the nonprofit sector, the end of the calendar year is an important time for fundraising. With only two months until the end of 2020, make sure you are doing all you can to raise more and set your organization up for a successful 2021.
  1. Plan your messaging and demonstrate impact – During these uncertain times, what has confronted your organization? Whether increased demand for your services, canceled performances, limited hours, make sure your messaging is relevant to your organization. Can your entire organization articulate the need and communicate with concise and comprehensive messaging points? Outline the heartfelt stories from the last year. Share successes and define a path forward.
  2. Be proactive – You can’t just sit at your desk or wait for the mail delivery each day. You also don’t want to decide for your donors. Don’t assume they won’t or can’t give. You must ask! Sitting down or at least in front of your computer camera with your donors and prospects for specific in-person asks will:
    • Secure higher level gifts, including multi-year commitments
    • Build meaningful relationships
    • Allow you to hear from the donor why they support you and if they would be willing to help connect you to additional potential donors
  3. Take a multi-pronged approach to giving – Year-end fundraising is much more than one annual appeal. Incorporate phone calls, virtual tours, in-person meetings, emails, social media and mailings into your strategy to boost results. While online giving is less than 10% of giving overall, December is the biggest month by far for these gifts, so it’s also important that your website is easy to navigate and equipped to accept online gifts.
  4. Use volunteers and board members – Your board members are most certainly passionate about the work of your nonprofit, but they are also very busy, especially around the holidays. Chances are they aren’t going to be beating down your door with fundraising ideas, but they are willing to help.  Through board meetings and one-on-one conversations, determine how to get each board member engaged, so you can maximize success. Consider their strengths and interests, then enlist people to:
    • Make calls
    • Set appointments for you either in-person or on Zoom
    • Give tours and virtual tours
    • Sign appeal and thank-you letters
  1. Report back and thank forward –  One of the top reasons donors say they stop giving to an organization, besides their not being asked, is that no one reports on what their gift did before they are asked for the next one. Now is the time of year to get those messages out if you have not already started doing so.  Make sure that part of your plan both now and in the New Year is to communicate gratitude to your donors. Do so authentically and creatively.

    Additional Resources to Enhance Fundraising and Planning
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