Posted , by Hilary Fulp, Consultant. Topic: Boards of Directors, Development Plan, Donor Acknowledgement, Donor Communication, Donor Retention, Donors, Fundraising, Major Donors, Year-End Giving.

If you feel behind for the end of year fundraising push, here are four things you can do in the next two months to raise more.

1. Engage Your Board – When you meet with each board member to ask for their meaningful personal gift, engage them. Consider their strengths, then enlist them to make calls, set appointments, give tours and sign appeal and thank-you letters. You could even consider leveraging their gifts to issue a challenge to the community. As the staff leader, consider their strengths and inspire these passionate volunteers to take a bigger role in fundraising.

​2. Create Personal Connection – Year-end fundraising is so much more than one annual appeal. It starts with messaging, being able to articulate your needs in a meaningful and emotional way, as well as being able to demonstrate your organization’s impact and success. This message should be concise and woven into all your materials, mailings, website, social media. You should also be prepared to make phone calls, schedule in-person and virtual meetings, give tours and integrate emails into your strategy. Could you call or send personal emails to five donors or prospects every day this month? Prioritize your top donors and potential donors for in-person asks. You will see a larger donation both now and, in the future if you take the time to make a personal connection with your larger donors.

3. Be Proactive – 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, make sure to ask for a specific gift amount/range. 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?

4. Thank, Report and Plan – One of the best ways to set yourself up for a better 2022 is to send timely and sincere thank-you letters. Be creative in how you show your gratitude. Schedule follow-up throughout 2022 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 January, 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 2022.

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