More than one-third of all charitable giving happens in the last three months of the year, with December leading the way with almost 18% of annual fundraising happening this month. With the opportunities for giving at their highest, it is important to take a moment to think about how your ministry can be ready for the giving season. Allowing God to work through your ministry means both prayer and preparation are essential to a successful year-end giving season. Remember to thank your donors for their previous gifts, ask for their support in the coming year and look through the seven tips outlined in this white paper to see what your ministry can do to prepare for end-of-year giving.
1. Start by thanking your donors. Reach out to donors who have given throughout the year and thank them for their partnership and the difference they have made.
2. Don’t forget to ask. Don’t assume that your donors will remember to give this year. Utilize newsletters, and emails to remind them that the giving season is upon us. People are busy this time of year and will be grateful for the reminders you provide.
3. Make it easy to give. Your website should include a prominent “Donate Now” button so donors can quickly see it and give. Including that link in email correspondence will make it simple for people to click and give. On print or billboards, list the ways donors can give, in person, by mail, or online giving at www.yourorganization.org.
4. Share your success. Let your donors know what you accomplished in the past year and how they contributed to that success. If possible, share a specific story with your donors. Thank your supporters for their loyalty and highlight significant events and improvements that wouldn’t have been possible without last year’s gifts. This will give your donors a sense of inclusion and involvement. They will be more likely to give after seeing what their previous gifts accomplished.
5. Plan for the future. Talk about the upcoming year and all that you are entrusting to the Lord in the coming months. Some donors may feel especially drawn to certain causes. Let your donors know how they can be a part of your mission for the New Year.
6. Keep asking for support. Reach out to your donors early and often and continue sending reminders through the 30th or 31st of December. Follow up on your appeals and reach out to your lapsed donors. A few quick phone calls could mean the difference between a life-changing gift and no gift at all.
7. Finish by thanking your donors. Your donors are the ones who make all that you do possible. Don’t wait until next year to thank them for their year-end gift. Have your acknowledgments ready to go so that you won’t procrastinate and miss out on developing a relationship with your donors.