#GivingTuesday has come and gone and most non-profits are sprinting toward the fundraising finishing line for this year. How has it been going for your organization?
My own experience with December fundraising is that it is always a little nuts, which is why I suggest doing your best to get organized before the madness ensues. Many times I found myself wondering if campaigns would meet their goals. It’s always nerve-wracking. But what I’ve learned over the years is that there are always opportunities to be proactive and turn the ship around. This is one of the things that I appreciate most about fundraising is that you can act quickly and nimbly to get results.
Today, I want to share a couple of things that you can do to potentially increase your revenue this month.
Say “Thank You”. . . Well
Stewardship is one of the most overlooked fundraising tactics, largely because it is not as easy to measure the return on investment for a thank you letter as it is an ask. But that does not mean that there is no benefit to stewarding your donors well. In fact, stewarding donors can improve retention and create lifts in future gifts. You might even be surprised to see some donors making a repeat gift before the end of December if they were thanked well.
What can you do to thank donors well? For starters, a phone call can work wonders. It does not have to be a long phone call either. I would venture to say that the majority of thank you calls I’ve made in my career are under 2 minutes. Even though the call might be short and sweet, it’s a personal touch that will mean a lot to some donors. You could schedule 1 hour in your calendar this week to call new donors, special prospects who have made a gift, or even #GivingTuesday donors.
Another thing you can do is add a small handwritten note to the bottom of a thank you letter or tax receipt. It could be something as simple as, “We are so grateful for your gift this holiday season. Thank you and warmest wishes to you and your family!” The small addition of a handwritten note indicates that an actual person saw the donor’s gift and is acknowledging it. In other words, they are not just one of many. They are special.
Target people who gave last December, but not yet this year
When I think of low-hanging fruit in a fundraising database, it’s people who gave at this time last year but have yet to renew their support this year. These folks might be holiday season givers and they just an extra nudge to make their gift this year. You could target this segment using one of the following:
– A direct mail letter
– An email
– A phone call
I would encourage you to run a report to look at these numbers to see if there’s some way you can cultivate their giving before the end of the year.
Make another ask
My last tip for you is a pretty simple one – make another ask!
The magic of fundraising occurs because people are asked to make a gift. For many folks, the ask is the key reason why they decided to make a gift. If you want to bring in some additional money, think about making another ask before the end of December. This ask could be to a mid-level or major donor who you have cultivated a relationship with this year. You could ask your monthly donors to make a special one-time gift during the holiday season. You could also ask your current donors to give again.
There are lots of opportunities for this and I would encourage you to pick a segment that makes sense for your organization based on what you have been doing throughout the year.
I would love to hear from you in the comments below. What is one extra thing that you could do this month to raise more money? Leave a comment and let me know what your plans are.