Prepare for a Prosperous End-of-Year (Part 2)
Plan a specific appeal strategy for the last several days of the year
Everyone doesn't catch up on their giving on Dec. 31 - but a lot of people do. This year, Dec. 31 is on a Monday. That means you'll possibly want to have a short e-mail that arrives in the in-box early that morning - so you'll have to have that set up and ready to go before all your colleagues hit the door for the holidays. You may also want to send a letter that gets in home on Dec. 26 or 27, or an e-mail around that time, too.
This is not a recommended plan, but it represents what some nonprofits are thinking about. And many of your donors are on the mailing lists of those nonprofits, too. So you need to plan how aggressive you want to be with your messages. You may decide not to mail or send a final e-appeal at year end, but make sure that's a strategic decision you make - not the result of being too busy to get it done.
Consider a special message to major donors and corporations that support you.
Is there a project you'll be launching in January, or a key opportunity that still needs funding this year? Can you put together a package for key donors that presents this opportunity in a way that is exciting and new?
November is often a great time to challenge major donors with a significant giving opportunity. Think "investment," not just "business as usual." (This isn't the "we need to end the year on budget" appeal.) Packaging a need in a format that says to the donor "This is important and exclusive" may trigger significant year-end gifts.
All these ideas may not be appropriate for your nonprofit, but hopefully they got you thinking about what you should be doing now to make sure you have the strongest possible year-end. After all, when our donors have "Auld Lang Syne" running through their minds, we want to be sure they are not only remembering old acquaintances, but our nonprofit, as well.