The clock is ticking ever so close to midnight on December 31.
Are you ready?
Have you taken all of the steps that you possibly can to give your donors opportunities to contribute during this giving season?
Here are a few simple last-minute follow-up steps that you can take to ensure that you performed your donor due diligence.
1 – Do you have some coordinated e-appeals that are scheduled to go to your donor based already cued up? If not, this is one type of “reminder” that you can use as a follow-up to your initial direct mail appeal letter. Please be sure that when sending out these e-appeals that you filter out those who have already given to your year-end campaign. To ensure an accurate filter, you need to stay on top of data entry as gifts come in to ensure that you are capturing and recording the most recent gifts.
2. Have you purchased holiday greeting cards for your donors? While e-greetings are great, in this day and age, a mailed card with a handwritten signature will mean a great deal more to your donors. You can pick the level of donors who receive these printed and mailed cards, or you may want to send them to everyone. The fact is, you probably do not have email addresses for all of your donors, so an e-greeting would not be received by many. I would also consider sending an e-greeting as well. However, start with the printed and mailed card. If you find that time is running down, you may want to consider sending a “New Year” greeting. A “New Year” greeting works just as nicely, and perhaps even better without all of the holiday mail clutter getting in the way.
3. Do you have a December 31 giving deadline ask sequence? If you do nothing else this month, be sure to plan some outreach to donors during the last week of the calendar year. As we all know, having some urgency in fundraising creates action. While tax-deductions do not motivate most donors, December 31 creates this natural urgency. So, why not use this “urgent” moment. You may want to develop a series of targeted appeals that lead up to December 31. Perhaps one on December 29, December 30, and December 31, or maybe you only feel comfortable sending one on December 31. Use this as a moment from which to remind your donors of their last giving opportunity of the calendar year.
4. Do you have major donors who have traditionally made a gift each year? Be sure that you check your lists. You certainly do not want those major donors to “lapse” in their giving. Take your list out and check it twice. If you find that some of your major donors may be on the verge in lapsing with their giving, you may want to consider reaching out to them personally by either scheduling a meeting or by telephone.
5. Do you have a January plan? Yes, a January plan. There may be donors who for whatever reason, did not respond to your attempts to reach them in November and December. So, quite effectively in the past, I have advised my clients to send out another letter to those who did not give to the calendar year-end campaign. If a letter is too much for your organization, at least consider a postcard and, of course, plan on some e-campaigns as well.
So there you have some simple steps to take before December 31 to ensure that your calendar year-end campaign is a great success and to ensure that you give your donors every opportunity to make their gift during such a busy time of year. These are the same steps that I suggest to my clients, and I know that they work.
If you would like a copy of some simple December e-appeal content, email me here!