Your end of year checklist can be a vital tool for successful fundraising. As a matter of fact, in our profession, we talk about giving all year round, but during this season of kindness everyone is caught up in the spirit of generosity. Think about the many ways right now you and your colleagues can inspire end-of-year giving:

  • Have you thanked all those who have been your most loyal, generous, consistent donors with a small gift and/or notecard? If not, thank them before year’s end.
  • Will you make time to visit your donors to thank them in person? Focus especially on those who are elderly or lonely at this time. (One of S&W’s independent school clients remembered a 90 year-old alumna, who always made a small annual gift, was visited every December and given a miniature cyclamen plant. Ultimately the school received a five million dollar bequest.)
  • Have you carefully evaluated your leadership donor list to review those who have not yet made a gift this year? Ask your leadership and trustees to each call a few of those donors to express appreciation and give them some specific examples of the impact they make through their support of your organization.
  • Have you sent your donors via social media a video excerpt of holiday merriment and a statement of their impact on your organization? This is one way to celebrate some heartwarming examples of how your donors have helped your cause or charity.
  • Have you personalized your end-of-year appeal? Use direct language such as “BECAUSE OF YOU Susie and George, and your generosity to our organization, we are able to…. Don’t forget to include information on the tax benefits of gifts of stock, IRA’s and bequests. Be sure online giving is accessible with the touch of a button on the home page.
  • Don’t forget to be in touch with donors by email! Online giving has been on the rise in recent years, and studies now show that around 20% of all online giving is done in the last two days of the year. So while you should be in contact with donors throughout December, sending out emails on 12/29, 12/30 and 12/31 is imperative.
  • Will you think of new ways to personalize, target and segment your end-of-year appeals? Share your ideas with colleagues and with me. Spread the cheer!