Prepare for a Prosperous End-of-Year (Part 1)
I know it's always easy to complain, so for balance take a look at Paralyzed Veterans of America's website (www.pva.org) — I love its "Donate Now" button!
Bottom line — what are potential donors seeing when they go on your website to donate? Is it logical to them (not just to you or to your tech staff)? Ask a few non-staff members to test-drive it for you and give you honest feedback. A few tweaks now can help ensure donors find it easy to give to you online this year-end.
Review your receipting process
Are you prepared to handle a large increase in donations at year-end? Will you be able to send out a timely "thank you" that refers to the project designated by the donor? Do you have enough forms and envelopes on hand? I've seen the same donor send a gift in in early December, and then use the return envelope in the receipt to send a second gift before year-end. Does your system encourage that kind of generosity?
Now is the time to cross-train staff or recruit volunteers to help in donation processing when the workload soars. Don't wait until everyone is stressed and there's no time for training. Identify a few people now who can be called on as needed, and invest the time to prepare them so they can truly be a help at year-end.
Surprise some of your faithful mid-level donors with a thank you call
Now is a good time to call donors who have been faithfully giving throughout the year or for the past several years at year-end and say "thank you." That's all — just "thank you." These can be fun calls to make because the donor is clearly waiting for the "ask" and you get to surprise him or her by never asking.