Need a Holiday Boost? Here’re My Ways to Cure Overload

Are you feeling the holiday overload?

I know I am. I’ve got 168 people coming to my house for my annual holiday party on Saturday pm! Yikes!

Needless to say, it’s busy in my office and my house today. (Want my eggnog recipe?)

So I only want to share two quick thoughts with you today:

1. Be Peaceful.

- Amid all the noise and haste, as best you can.

Take holiday time for yourself.

And allow yourself to feel the joy of companionship, the generosity of gift-giving, the connection with loved ones.

Remember those who have no family or who have lost loved ones and appreciate your own – with all their quirks and eccentricities.

Appreciate your many gifts of this season.


That way you can handle the many activities, priorities, demands on your time and your energy.

2. Call Your Donors.

You didn’t think I’d leave out a fundraising message, did you? : )

If you don’t do anything else this season, focus on only one thing.

Pick up the phone and THANK the wonderful folks who are making year-end donations to your cause.

Love Your New Online Donors!

Especially welcome your new on-line donors – they are most at risk.

You are probably experiencing a spike in on-line gifts right now (or at least I hope you are).

We know that retention of new on-line donors is particularly poor – especially compared with donors who give through the mail.

Plan to Send New Donors a Welcome Package in January

Have your board members call and say thank you. Since you have their email address (yes!), you can plan special communications to them.

Why not send out a “welcome” email the second week of January to your new on line donors and ask them why they gave?

Ask them to volunteer or to participate in an activity. Send them a survey to find out more about them. (Survey Monkey is pretty easy and inexpensive.)

But above all, call them!

Studies show the personal thank you phone call is a major factor in keeping your donor giving.

Donors Who Make Their First Gift in December Are Worth More Over Time

Studies show that donors who make their first gift in December tend to give more over time and are worth far more as donors.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy discussed a study last week with some interesting stats on new December donors.

The study, published by Network for Good, found that over three years, the total amount they give is 52 percent higher than people who start giving at other times of the year.

The full report, “The Online Giving Study: A Call to Reinvent Donor Relationships,” can be found at I highly recommend it!

Ok, that’s all the fundraising for today!

To Cure Overload, Remember To:

1. Be as peaceful as you can in this season.

2. Focus on calling your donors!

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season – and wish me luck on my party tomorrow! : )

Would love to hear your comments!

Do you like a little personal encouragement like I did in this post, in addition to the fundraising advice? I do myself but do you?

  • Pam de Jong

    Terrific reminders! Happy Holidays to you and thank you for all of your terrific advice this year. You have been very helpful to me.
    All my best, Pam

  • Priscilla

    Thank you. It was so timely – and I did stop and take a breath.

  • Colleen

    Thank you Gail. All your information has been extremely helpful and I am truly grateful that you share your experience and insight.

    Have a glorious Holiday Season. And good luck with the party!

  • Patrice

    Very timely, thoughtful and concise. Thanks for your great message. I read it all and gave a moment’s pause. Plus great to know how valuable first time donors in December are. Thanks Gail! Have a wonderful party…

  • Gina

    Thanks for the helpful fundraising tips throughout the year and the personal words of encouragement as well. Remember to have fun at your own party! Happy Holidays and much success in the new year!

  • Sue

    Gail — So many wonderful thoughts throughout the year.

    I’m contacting you to say a BIG thanks! (instead of a phone call at 12:11am Phx time!)

    You are recognized and appreciated big time in our industry.

    Thanks for sharing your life —

    Merry Christmas!


  • Sherran Denkler

    I subscribed to your newsletter at my last job, and I want to continue receiving your newsletter. I find them very helpful!

    Thank you very much.

    Sherran Denkler

  • Gail

    Hi! My party was a wonderful success! The guests all came but at different times.
    Some day I’ll post my secrets to a great party, when I catch my breath! I do think that the attitude of the host or hostess has a huge impact on the success of a party. : ) It’s all energy anyway!

    Holiday blessings to you!

  • Julie Taylor

    Thank you for your wonderful support over the last year. (I consider you a major donor!)
    Glad to hear your party went well and I can’t wait to hear your party secrets – Mine are a big hug at the door, great music in the background, low light (I’m not the best housekeeper) and a quick drink offer. It works for me!
    Love and laughter,

  • Sheila

    Enjoyed the article. Find all of the articles I’ve read informative and helpful. I especiallty love that they are direct and to the point. The quick hits work best with my busy schedule. Thank you.