October is the month for ghouls, ghosts, and goblins, and with Halloween fast approaching, we also know that year-end is not far behind. That means we are approaching the height of the fundraising season — the time of year when most donors give and charities raise the bulk of their donations.
Every day from October through December, I receive multiple year-end emails in my mailbox — both tips on how to raise funds in time for year end, as well as solicitations. It can all seem a bit overwhelming!
Therefore, I’ve created a simple, year-end fundraising checklist to make the season a little less scary for you and your board, along with some questions to consider below.
Simple Year-End Fundraising Checklist
___ Solicitation Strategy and Plan
___ Systems Check – is it easy to give online, through the mail, etc.?
___ Set a Goal
___ Segment Your List
___ Determine Ask Amounts
___ Write your appeal, including a theme, story, testimonials
___ Create a timeline (when will each solicitation go out):
___ Email Schedule
___ Phone Schedule
___ #GivingTuesday Action Plan (will you participate, if so, how?)
___ Retention Plan (getting back lapsed donors)
___ Gratitude Plan (how will donors be thanked and told how their donation was used?)
Year-End Questions to Consider
How can you utilize your board members for all of the above? What role can they play and how can they help?
It’s important to be strategic about your year-end fundraising. Do you have a specific strategy and plan to raise more money this year? What will your year-end appeal look like? Will it include bulk mail, email, telephone? Will you participate in #GivingTuesday?
Is your strategy the same for your major donors and the rest of your list? How will you treat them differently — and ensure they are connected and generous with your charity?
Year-end is not the time to worry about new donors, but concentrate on retention. What can you do to improve your donor retention rates?
I hope these questions and the checklist get you moving in the right direction.
Year-End Fundraising Around the Web
Here are some other recent posts you might find helpful:
- Top 5 Tips for a Profitable Year End Campaign by Gail Perry
- Year End Fundraising By the Numbers
- Are You Ready for Thanksgiving by Lori Jacobwith
How are you planning to raise more during year-end? Let me know in the comments.