Be timely and fearless in year-end fundraising

1 Dec

Tony Martignetti hosts the Fundraising Fundamentals podcast for The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

This month, he interviewed Daniel Watson, executive director of Restoration House, and Sandy Rees, a fundraising consultant, about year-end fundraising.

Their message? Keep going. Don’t get scared by the economy. Give people one last chance to give.

In regards to fourth-quarter appeals, Sandy warns non-profits not send one out after December 10. If you do, “it will get lost in the holiday rush.”

Rules for e-mail appeals are different. The week between Christmas and New Year is a good time to send an electronic appeal (though you may want to exclude people who sent in big December donations).

“Place no weight on the current economy,” Sandy says. If you do, you’ll get scared, be timid, and not bring in the money you need to.

Daniel shares that he has raised more money than ever in recent years. He thinks it’s largely because he hasn’t let the economy worry him.

Sandy and Daniel also spoke about how to best utilize board members this time of year.

Give board members a few clear tasks instead of asking them “to help fundraise.” You can’t be vague, Sandy warns. You might be more specific and ask them to share the organization’s story with 10 people, for example. Board members can also be instrumental in sending holiday cards to donors, and some organizations have “signing parties” where board members prepare these cards.

This time of year is also as good of a time as any to acquire new donors. People are thinking about the less fortunate and looking for opportunities to help.

Check out how Fundly’s social fundraising platform can help your non-profit attract new donors and boost donations in December and year-round.


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