It’s never too early (or too late for that matter) to prepare for year-end fundraising. The fact is, the non-profit sector sees a huge bump in giving during the holiday season. It is one of the best times of the year for fundraising because many people are already primed to give.
Your non-profit likely have donors who give multiple times a year, but there’s probably a segment that makes a one-time gift in December every year. Regardless of the frequency of your donors’ giving, staying in touch is key. Your goal is to encourage their once a year gift (and hopefully at an increase) while doing your best to ensure that you don’t just look at them as an ATM once a year. Today I’m going to share 3 easy strategies you can implement to cultivate your donors to prepare them for year-end fundraising.
3 Strategies to Prepare Donors to Give During Year-End Fundraising
Taking a stewardship approach to donor cultivation is one of the best things you can do to cultivate your donors prior to year-end giving. Donors want to know how their gifts have been used and what impact they had. In fact, Penelope Burks’ research has shown that donors say that communication is the ask.
Crafting compelling and meaningful communications is essential. Here are three ways you can develop this kind of communication prior to year-end fundraising.
Send an Impact Report
Your non-profit’s fiscal year may not map to the calendar year, but November can be a great time to do a “year in review” impact report. This does not have to be a 20 page printed report that your team spends weeks on.
Recently we did a year in review email for a client that focused on three accomplishments the organization was especially proud of and that were made possible by donor support. We wrote a short blurb about each and directed people to additional content on the organization’s website or social channels should they want to learn more.
Get Your Stories Out There
Who doesn’t love to hear a good story?! Stories communicate the impact of your non-profit’s programs and services on the cause you serve. It’s by far the best way to “connect the dots” for donors to show them what they’ve been a part of.
I often tell clients that it’s better to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to storytelling. If you have one truly effective and engaging story, that will be much more impactful than five mediocre stories.
If you need help finding a great story to tell, here is our archive of advice on collecting non-profit stories.
Need step-by-step advice for telling a great story? Here’s our guide on how to tell a non-profit story from scratch.
Pick Up the Phone for a Chat
Sometimes, there’s nothing more meaningful than just a simple call to say thanks and share an update from your non-profit. It’s a deeply personal action that shows that you’ve really gone out of your way to think about the person you’ve called. If you’ve got a long list, organize a group of volunteers and fellow staff members to help out and write them a simple script to use.
Meaningful communication does make a difference in donor engagement and retention. And like storytelling, quality over quantity does wonders for donor communication. Pick one type of communication you can do to enhance your year-end campaign and make an action plan to make it happen.