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Five Rules for Supercharged Year-End Giving

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800.443.9441 | solutions@blackbaud.com | www.blackbaud.com September 2018 1 TIP SHEET The Five Rules for Supercharged Year-End Giving BY JOE GARECHT, Founder of Garecht Fundraising Associates and The Fundraising Authority In working with dozens of nonprofit organizations on year-end giving programs, I have found five basic rules that should guide your strategy if you want to steadily increase year-end giving every year: 1 Make sure your message is consistent. The first rule for strong year-end generosity: Your year-end campaign message needs to be consistent with the message you've been sharing all year round. If your organization operates a homeless shelter and you spent the past year telling your community how it needs more money to add beds to its facility, talk about that during your year-end campaign. Don't use the year-end giving season to talk about hiring new staff, adding a new heating unit, or adding a new campus. Stick with adding beds. The final four to six weeks on the calendar should be when all the seeds you have planted throughout the year bloom with year-end gifts. The only way to achieve that is to stay on message—the message you have been communicating all year. 2 Be mission-focused (not gimmicky). Many organizations make the mistake of using gimmicks during the end-of-year season. This applies to the pleas that so many organizations make for "Thirty gifts—just thirty gifts—by the end of the year!" or emergency year-end campaigns telling supporters you need a certain number of dollars just to keep the doors open next year. Avoid the gimmicks and the hype. Instead, use year-end messaging as a natural part of the lifelong relationship you are building with your donors. Keep your year-end goals mission-focused. 3 Make multichannel asks. The year-end giving season is a great time to hit all your support bases. That means you should never limit yourself to just one communication method during your year-end campaign. Send letters, send emails, make calls, write posts on your website, hold small group meetings, etc. The best year-end campaigns are multichannel affairs.

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