Updated: May 24
I find myself surprised by the fact that it’s December.
I’ve lived in Florida for 25 years so I can’t blame it on missing the change of the seasons or the promise of a “White Christmas.”
So why do I keep thinking it’s spring?
Maybe because years of working on non-profit organizations’ fiscal calendars has convinced me that New Year’s Resolutions and budget review happens in the Spring… or because this has been a season of new plans and new opportunities for the Team.
We’ve been fortunate to welcome new clients and partnerships to Team Kat & Mouse in recent months. And we’ve had an opportunity to discuss how we and our business will move forward. But before any of those plans come to fruition in 2023 we (all) need to focus on making the most of the year-end giving season.
As the Elves on the Shelves come out of hiding and the countdown to 2023 begins we’re happy to share some helpful last minute Ideas to help your organization stand out to donors during the busiest time of the fundraising year.
Don’t Panic --- You still have time left! But don’t ignore how important December is to your fundraising success.
Did you know?
-30% of annual giving occurs in December.
-10% of annual giving occurs on the last 3 days of the year.
If you start putting the pieces in place today (!) you still have time to send an impactful email and back it up with meaningful mission focused social media, follow-up emails, and personal calls.
Let history serve as a your organization’s guidepost and establish reasonable goals
Review your last few years of appeals and ask yourself, “What has worked?” What was the Ask? What imagery generated the most engagement? If this is Year #1 - look at your website click-through rates and social media success. Which stories seem to be resonating with your public?
Set up a timeline to define the cadence of your campaign - Strike a balance between asking and overwhelming. We suggest 3-5 touches: this includes emails, voicemails, and calls.
Review your database
Starting as soon as possible get those all important donor lists polished up. Make sure they are up-to-date.
Add new prospects
Expand your collection of potential supporters far and wide, while keeping your core donors center front and center. Don’t forget to share messaging with your employees and volunteers! You can also add:
Individuals who are known to be donors to similar causes
Individuals off a highly targeted purchased list
Local leaders and influencers
Individuals you find in social publications, business sections of your newspapers
Tell stories that bring your mission to life
While your organization may be doing many wonderful things, focusing your annual appeal on one story—one child, family, or individual—will resonate more with your audience. Tackling world hunger is a problem that may feel too big to solve. But making sure one child goes to school well-fed every day is something your donors can feel confident about putting their dollars behind.
Feature Benefits Over Needs
When you’re in fundraising campaign mode, it’s easy to default to telling people what you need.
Focus your Ask on the potential benefits of donating. This keeps things positive and fosters an inspiring environment that makes people want to give.
Keep Your Donation Outreach Simple
With any donor communication, it’s important to keep your writing simple and easy to understand. Choose simple and emotional words instead of complex turns of phrases. Your annual appeal letter/email is going out to perhaps your largest audience yet, so take special care to ensure it’s your most inclusive and accessible copy.
Make it EASY for people to Donate
Link your giving button on all e-communications.
Get your Board Members involved
You’ll need to come up with clear tasks that you want board members to take on, as well as a set timeline for completion. Just like any other volunteer, the more direction you can provide a board member, the more likely he or she is to succeed!
Follow up with donors and let them know how their support contributed to overall campaign success - especially if they are first-time donors! Writing them a handwritten note, a call or a follow-up email will go a long way toward future engagement.
And, Last BUT not Least
Memorialize donor data for future use - Keep a record in your database, CRM, or spreadsheet. Use this gift to start regular communications and bring them into your organization's family.
And, If you need help and an extra set of hands during this crazy time of year reach out to Team Kat & Mouse today!