By Deborah Crocker
It’s time to roll out your best end of year annual giving campaign EVER.
Ensuring a viable future for your nonprofit may be tied to how much money you can raise by December 31, 2020. While this is a daunting predicament, it is not an impossible achievement. With a pandemic, and with the economy in a major slump, people are still giving, and some are giving more than ever.
Consider what type of requests you will send and when, how will you utilize #GivingTuesday, and how your Board and volunteers can support these efforts. Once you have a solid timeline with your activities in order, make sure to include these five steps in your planning:
- Set an aggressive benchmark for December 31 towards your overall annual giving. If you raise $500,000 a year from individual donors, I recommend raising at least 75% of the total goal by December. While people are still giving right now, we don’t know what 2021 will look like. Get your donations secured early.
- Create a campaign message for this year-end appeal work and stick to it! Let people know how much you need to raise and how you are progressing towards that goal. Always
- Take the time to write notes. People are 75% more likely to give when you write a personal note..
- Segment your lists and personalize your requests. For example, “Thank you so much for your gift of $150 last year. Will you consider a gift of $200 this year?” People forget how much they give all the time! Make giving as easy as possible for your donors.
- Establish stewardship activities that are timely and personal. The sure way to lose a donor is not to thank them promptly, so always prioritize your stewardship and acknowledgement plans. Remember, it’s much easier to retain a donor than to find a new one!
I am in awe of the dedication, commitment, creativity and pure gusto that nonprofit administrators have shown us over the past six months. It’s made it more clear than ever that people choose to work in the nonprofit industry because they want to serve a mission and to make the world a better place. The pandemic has not stopped people from giving back to your cause. Give your donors the opportunity to support you and they will give back.