Year-End Fundraising - There’s Still Time

Year-End Fundraising - There’s Still Time.png

If your nonprofit organization is like most, you’re hoping for a rush of year-end gifts. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.

Has your year-end campaign been lackluster thus far? Still haven’t sent out a single request? No problem. There are six days left in 2017—here are things you can still do to boost year-end gifts:

Send Two Email Appeals

According to Charity Navigator, approximately 31% of all philanthropic dollars contributed in a given calendar year occurs in the month of December. And 12% of these gifts are given on the LAST THREE DAYS of December.

So, now is the time. Get together your best list of donor/prospect email addresses and send out two email appeals for contributions—one on December 30 and a second on December 31. If online giving is functional through your organization’s website, drive donors there. Or if your organization has a text-to-give option, that works, too, for last minute giving.

If online or text giving are not options for your donors, encourage checks to be mailed. As long as the donation envelope is postmarked by December 31 or earlier, mailed contributions will count for this tax year—meaning it is tax-deductible—even if the check does not arrive in your office until January.

(Note that in years where December 31 falls on a Sunday—like in 2017!—donation envelopes need to be postmarked no later than December 30 in order to be tax-deductible for this year.)

Check out Rules for Last-Minute Donations to Charity for more on the U.S. government’s tax-deductibility rules for year-end gifts.

Remind Board Members to Give

Feeling awkward about reaching out to donors so late in December? Your board of directors is one group who won’t be surprised to hear from you. Board gifts can be low-hanging fruit.

Ideally, your board members know (have known all year!) that they are expected to contribute financially to your cause. A few of them may have forgotten or just not made the time. These are easy reminder phone calls or emails to send in the waning days of December. They’re probably expecting your call!

Send a New Year’s Card

Set your sights on January. A well-timed Happy New Year card that thanks your constituents for the impact their interest and support has made may trigger lapsed donors to give again. Yes, these will be 2018 gifts – but, in either case, a New Year’s card is your first great cultivation point for the new year.

What are your tips soliciting “last minute” year-end gifts? Please share your thoughts, tips and advice in the Comments box below!

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