How to Prepare for Year-End Fundraising

No one's busier than non-profits at the end of the year. Year-end fundraising is the busiest time for many charitable organizations -- and it's the time when the majority of the giving will happen. If you want to take full advantage of the holiday spending, you may need to get creative.

Create a Clear and Concise Message

You aren't going to have time to deliver a complex pitch during the holidays -- and most people aren't going to have the time to listen. A good message:

  • Has a specific goal that you're fundraising for.
  • Sets a target amount for the fundraiser.
  • Makes it clear how the money will be used.

People want to be involved, but they also want to know exactly what they're getting into. Understanding the above makes them feel like they're a part of your mission.

Create a Fundraising Schedule and Strategy

A holiday fundraising blitz will usually be about four to six weeks long, from the very beginning to the end. Your strategy should include a warm up phase and then an event (or a number of events) geared towards bringing in donations. Don't forget that the strategy doesn't end when the fundraising does; following up with your most important donors is a good way to make sure they donate again.

Begin Reaching Out to Your Top Relationships

Speaking of your most important donors, the time to reach out to them is now. Reach out to the donors and volunteers you have the best relationships with early on in the process, and keep them involved. They may have ways that they can help you, through networking as well as giving.

Once the fundraising is over, don't forget to send them a thank you note and let them know what difference they made.

Make the Giving Process as Easy as Possible

To capture as much money as possible, you should streamline the donation process and give donors as many options as possible. Let them donate through your website, telephone calls, and in-person: the easier it is for them to give you their donation, the more likely they will be to donate in the first place. If there have been any problems with the donation process throughout the year -- such as a sluggish website -- now is the time to fix it, as it will undoubtedly get worse during the high-volume traffic.

There are many charities competing for dollars at the end of the year, and it can seem difficult to stand out. Yet by following the above strategies, you can capture as much income as possible for the coming year -- and start the next year on the right foot.

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