Third, Make Your Asks
This phase will constitute the “meat” of your year-end fundraising campaign. During this phase, you’ll want to send out fundraising asks for the campaign across all of your communication channels, remembering to stay consistent with the theme and message you developed for the campaign.
Here’s what you should do:
- Call your top donors to directly ask them for a gift.
- Ask your board for a year-end gift
- Send out a snail-mail fundraising letter to your housefile list asking for a gift
- Send special postcards or letters (in addition to the letter mentioned above) to all of your donor clubs, legacy groups, and affinity groups asking for year-end gifts
- Send out an e-mail fundraising letter
- Make asks on social media, pointing people back to the year-end campaign page on your website
Don’t be shy – it’s ok (and, in fact, preferable) if the same donor gets a letter, an e-mail, a postcard and a social media message all asking for a year-end gift. Donors forget. They have busy lives. But many of them will want to make a gift during the year-end giving season, so you need to stay in front of them.
Fourth, Follow Up!
Finally, and very importantly, you need to follow-up with your donors to remind them to make their gift. At the very least, every donor should get one or two reminder e-mails during the final two weeks of December (including at least one between Christmas and New Year) reminding them to make their gift.
You should also be reminding people to give on social media, making follow-up calls for your housefile mailing (if you have the staff or volunteers to do so) and if you have the resources, you can even follow-up with a second snail mail letter to everyone who failed to respond to your first letter with a gift.
Successful year-end fundraising requires persistence. Put together a great theme and message, get out in front of your donors, and keep reminding them to make a gift. It will pay off with more donations, larger gifts, and more engaged donors.