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There’s Still Big Money on the Table for This Year-End

There is one step, and one step only, that can make the largest difference in your year-end fundraising results.
give today cute kid
And it’s not too late.

A huge amount of annual fund money may still be hanging in the balance.

Have your LARGEST DONORS renewed their gifts yet?

1. Followup NOW with your largest donors from last year.

Be sure they are asked AGAIN to renew their gift.

Run a report right now of everyone who gave $1k or more to your organization last year – who have not yet renewed their gifts.

Or, if you can, identify the top 10-15 largest donors who gave last year but have not yet given this year – and find a way to communicate with them personally.

Figure out a special approach or followup to these very, very special folks:

  • Staff phone calls?
  • Board member phonathon? (remember, make it fun for your board members and they will be more likely to help!) 
  • A special, very, very personalized letter?
  • In-person visits if you can still pull that off?

    thank you for feeding me and my family

    A thank you like this can break – and open – your donors’ hearts.

 2. Remember your major donors/partners with something sweet and personal.

In this season of gratitude and giving, be sure you spread some special cheer to major donors.

They are some of your most important partners. They really care about your organization and your work.

How can you thank them? Let me count the ways:

  • A framed thank you letter written by someone they have helped?
  • A personal visit bringing one of your clients/ students/ kids/members to the donor to say thank you.
  • A singing post card thank you? (what fun!!)
  • A bouquet of balloons?
  • A bouquet of something made by your staff or people you’ve helped?
  • A specially baked cake or goodie that refers to your good work?
  • A single flower?
  • A special internet thank you video. (I love the video idea and it can only take 10 seconds!)
Can you bring some joy into your donor's life?

Can you bring some joy into your donor’s life?

There are lots of fun ways to say thank you to your major donors.

Spread some sparkling cheer around to your donors!

Don’t make it expensive, but do make it meaningful.

Open your donors’ hearts once again to your amazing work helping people.

You will make them happy.

And you’ll also be reminding them to give again on the 30th or 31st.

Because these special heart-warming thank you’s are a MAJOR cultivation opportunity!

And it may not be too late to tweak your web site either.

Those major gifts might come in online!

BOTTOM LINE: It’s not too late to make a huge difference in your year-end results.

How are YOU thanking your donors this holiday season?

Leave a comment and let me know!

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  • SeeW

    Ahhh…wish I would’ve read this a few weeks ago! These are really great ideas – especially #1.

    On the note of following-up, I have a question about timing. I’m typically big on the first piece of the year-end appeal (which could be something without an ask) before Thanksgiving. However, I’m new at my current organization, so our year-end appeal dropped VERY late…the end of December with the first gifts trickling in on Dec. 26. Is there any value in sending a follow-up letter to non-responders in January, or should I chalk this campaign up as a loss and start looking ahead to the next campaign in a few months? So far, the appeal is doing better than year’s past considering. Also, we don’t operate on a calendar year, so there’s no difference to us if we receive year-end appeal donations in January vs. December. I’m just curious as to whether enough people are likely to give at the beginning of the year to make it worth a follow-up.