Posted , by Abby Weber, Consultant. Topic: Development Plan, Fundraising, Major Donors, Year-End Giving.

Six Tips to Help You Raise More by Year-End 

Website_Abby_2019-1-450x600By Abby Weber, Consultant

This year is flying. Fall is here. Pumpkin spice lattes are in every ad. I have seen winter decorations in the aisles and folks are well on their way to booking Thanksgiving travel. What does that mean for your development shop? It means that now is exactly the right time for you to kick off your year-end fundraising strategy. Last month, I joined my colleague Hilary Fulp on a webinar about just this topic. Find the full presentation here.

Whether or not you have a year-end strategy mapped out, check out these tips to improve your year-end fundraising success!

  • Share Impact and Emotion – Don’t wait until after Thanksgiving. Having a strong case for support is critical. This includes the facts and figures that show success. BUT more importantly, your messaging should demonstrate the impact you are making and should draw your donors into the emotional elements of how you are achieving your mission. Share stories of your work today, so your donors are engaged and ready to give when you ask.
  • Engage Your Board and Volunteers – You can’t do this alone. When you meet with each board member to ask for a gift, engage them in making calls, setting appointments, giving tours, signing letters, issuing a challenge gift to the community. Check out this episode of Let’s Talk Fundraising for more information on better engaging your board.
  • Use a Multi-Pronged Approach – Year-end fundraising is much more than one annual appeal. Incorporate phone calls, in-person meetings, emails, social media and mailings into your strategy to boost results.
  • Schedule Time with Donors – Prioritize your top donors for in-person or virtual asks rather than just a letter, and you will see larger donations and more engaged supporters. Spend a few minutes watching Erin Hogan as she and Victoria Dietz chat about engaging your major donors and the latest Bank of America Study of Philanthropy.
  • Make the Ask – Don’t take the “wait by the mailbox” approach and assume that a check will appear just because your donor gave at the same time last year. Make sure you ask. And, ask for a specific gift amount/range when possible. For a more in-depth discussion, check out our Making the Ask webinar. Also, ensure that your giving tools are up to date. Update your website and social media to demonstrate need. Is your donation page easy to find and use on your website? Is your contact information accessible? Is it optimized for mobile use?
  • Thank and Engage – Acknowledgment and reporting impact are key for donor retention. One of the best ways to set yourself up for a better 2023 is to send timely and sincere thank-you letters. Be creative in how you show your gratitude. Schedule follow-up throughout 2023 to report to your donors on the impact of their gifts. Check out this webinar on Cultivation and Stewardship. I also recommend that starting in the new year, you fine tune your development plan to incorporate impact statements and personal connection with your donors, so they are informed and ready to increase their giving in 2023.
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