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Year-End Fundraising Tips: 4 Ways You Can Attract New Donors

It’s hard to believe that the end of the year is almost upon us. Pretty soon, everyone will be forming their New Year’s resolutions and counting down the seconds to the new year while the ball drops.
But before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, ensure that your nonprofit organization is using effective donor acquisition strategies to make the most of year-end giving. You’ll definitely want to keep the donors who have been giving this year, but you’ll also want to make some new friends and acquire new contributors.

Here are the top four donor acquisition tips to use for your end-of-year fundraising.

For more donor acquisition tips for the rest of the year, check out these ten best practices.

1. Be explicit and personal

The end of the year is no time to be coy. Your year-end appeals should be direct and upfront. No need to beat around the bush.
Donors will appreciate the forthrightness. And since they’re more likely to be in charitable moods at the end of the year anyway, they’ll be more receptive to the appeals that your organization sends them.
Additionally, make your appeals personal. Donors will throw your direct mail in the trash and mark your emails as junk if the opening line says “Dear Donor” or their names are spelled incorrectly.
Potential donors want to feel connected to your organization before they open their wallets. Develop that connection by making sure that your appeals aren’t generic and vague.
Check out DonorPerfect’s four tips for successful year-end appeals.

2. Promote matching gifts

Individuals who have never given to your organization might be hesitant to donate a large amount. Instead, you can help them double their contributions by promoting matching gifts to them before the year ends.
Matching gift programs are corporate giving programs that encourage employee giving. Companies will match donations that their employees make to eligible nonprofits after they submit a request.

Many companies, however, institute deadlines for those requests. While some of those deadlines can be as long as 12 months, a good portion of them are at the end of the calendar year. The timing is perfect to pair an end-of-year promotional push with a matching gifts promotional push.

While not all of your new donors work for companies that match donations, you can at least encourage donors to look into whether or not their employers offer such programs. By doing so, you can potentially gain new donors who are on the fence when it comes to bigger donations. When they know that they can make their contributions go twice as far, they’re more likely to give.

3. Use different communication channels

Not all potential donors like to give in the same way. While some enjoy the efficiency and simplicity of online giving, others prefer to mail in checks.
Just like your existing donors like to give in different ways, your nonprofit should communicate with potential donors in different ways.
Your organization should be making year-end appeals:

  • On social media
  • With direct mail
  • Through email campaigns
  • On your website

By using all of the resources at your disposal, your nonprofit can successfully promote year-end giving to donors and prospects. Keeping your message fresh in the months and weeks leading up to the end of the year will ensure that donors are more receptive and more likely to give.
For tips on how to draft a successful email to send to donors, check out this article.

4. Conduct a prospect screening

If your nonprofit needs to identify who your major gift prospects are for next year, you should consider conducting a prospect screening.
Prospect research can reveal a wealth of information about potential and existing donors. Your organization can learn more about prospects’ past giving histories and business affiliations as well as addresses and employers.
With this information, your nonprofit can better communicate with potential major gift donors or planned givers. When you know who these individuals are and how much money they have already donated to other nonprofits and political campaigns, your team can reach out to them personally and encourage them to give to your organization.
While there are many more ways for your nonprofit to acquire more donors before the year comes to a close, these three strategies are a good starting point for any organization. If you can be explicit and personal, promote matching gift programs, communicate with potential donors in different ways, and use prospect research, your end-of-year fundraising will be successful.

Jack’s Bio

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 10.48.20 AMJack has 30 years’ experience within the charitable and philanthropic industry that he brings to the forefront with IMPACTism. Jack has been a major gifts fundraiser and senior organizational executive working with or consulting to nonprofit and advocacy organizations. A generous community and civic leader who has served on several nonprofit boards, Jack has a unique perspective as a donor, benefactor, and as an industry thought leader. Working closely with senior leadership in strategic planning, Jack has personally raised over $50 million in annual and deferred gifts. Jack has a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton, Florida), Master of Arts (M.A.) degree from American University (Washington, D.C), and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from State University of New York at Geneseo.

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