We all know how important the final 4-6 weeks of the calendar year are for non-profit fundraising. According to Charity Navigator, mid-sized non-profits may see up to 40% of their total yearly contributions come in between the Thanksgiving Holiday (in the US) and the New Year!
You may have seen my post about #GivingTuesday, where I outline why a single-day strategy for year-end giving is a mistake. Today, we start a three-part series on how to do year-end giving the right way.
In this post, we’ll talk about the theory behind year-end giving. It’s important to know why people make donations at the end of the year, so that you can effectively target your communications. In our 2nd post, we’ll talk about the strategy you will want to employ to raise as much as possible during the year-end giving season. Then, in the final post in this series, we’ll look at a step-by-step plan you can implement for your donors. Let’s get started!
Remember Why Donors Give in the First Place
Understanding your donor’s mindset is always extremely important. If you understand your donor’s motivation for the gift, and the circumstances surrounding the donation, it will help you make a far better ask that fits in to your overall cultivation strategy.
Thus, it is important to remember the two primary reasons why your donors give to your organization in the first place:
1. They Care about Your Mission
First and foremost, donors give to your non-profit because they care about your mission and the work that you do. You have casted a vision, and your donors believe in it. They want to help the people you are helping, or work towards the cause you are championing, and so they get involved and help fund your programs and team.
For this reason, it is important to always keep your communications mission-centered, including during the year-end giving season.
2. You Have Built a Relationship with Them
The second main reason why your donors give is because you have built a strong relationship with them. Relationships are built on trust, communication and transparency. Donors give because they feel like they are part of your team (they are part of your team) and financial support is a logical part of being on the team.
For this reason, you never want to word a solicitation or ask in such a way that the donor feels like you are violating the relationship they have with you.