Five tips for maximizing your year-end giving

The calendar turns to 2019 in a few weeks and wise directors of nonprofits are focused on making their year-end giving a smashing success. Ending the year on a strong note is important as research shows that 30 percent of annual giving occurs in December with 10 percent occurring in the final three days of the year. Many of your supporters have an incentive to give before the year ends for tax purposes.

Looking over the stack of mailers I received last year, it’s clear to me that there is more competition than ever for donor dollars. To meet or exceed your year-end goals, consider these five helpful tips for securing donor commitments:

  • Ask your established donors for a challenge gift: Invite your most committed donors out for a cup of coffee and ask them to give now in order to create a matching challenge for the rest of your donor pool. Gather quotes and pictures from those who are creating the challenge, so you can highlight the many reasons people give. Offering this $1-to-$1 challenge to the rest of your donors can create a powerful incentive to give.
  • Communicate openly about your progress: It’s not simply enough to send out a mailing (or two) to your supporters. Use your website, social media, mailings and phone calls to provide supporters with updates and reasons they should give today. Set weekly goals for your organization and communicate your progress. Something as simple as “can we get 100 gifts by the end of this week?” will inspire your supporters and your staff to go the extra mile.
  • Use special giving days, but don’t rely on them: Did you participate in Give to the Max Day or Giving Tuesday? Don’t let these special days be the end of your fundraising efforts. Instead, use these large initiatives to encourage further support in December.
  • Encourage your strongest supporters to be ambassadors: Take a look at your most enthusiastic staff, volunteers, constituents and supporters and invite those with large personal networks to be your ambassadors among their friends and family and on social media. Create an “ambassador’s kit” with sample banners, pictures, personal invitations, Tweets and Facebook status updates they can easily personalize and use to bring more attention to your mission.
  • Crunch the numbers and tell your story: Before you put together your year-end mailing, crunch the numbers. How many people did your organization assist this year? Were new programs launched? How many donors supported you? What special events need to be highlighted? In addition, gather and carefully use individual stories about those who received assistance from your organization and tell their stories through written narratives and short videos.

Your year-end giving is critical to your continued success. You may also be considering a capital campaign in 2019 to add programs, endowments or facilities. If that’s the case, contact the Steier Group today. Our team of enthusiastic, talented and energetic campaign managers is ready to help your organization take the next step.