Are you busy planning your end-of-year fundraising campaign? Wouldn’t it be great if it was all mapped out for you? Like a list of what to do each month between now and December 31?
Did you know organizations could raise 40% of their individual donations in the month of December by maximizing their end-of-year fundraising appeals?
In fact, data shows more dollars are donated online in the last five days of December than in the other three weeks combined. For most organizations — particularly those who solicit tax-deductible gifts — the year’s online fundraising is a pie with six slices:
- The first slice comprises the first fiscal quarter, January to March
- The second slice comprises the second fiscal quarter, April to June
- The third slice comprises the third fiscal quarter, July to September
- The fourth slice comprises the first two months of the last fiscal quarter, October and November.
- The fifth slice comprises December 1 through approximately Christmas
- And the sixth and final slice comprises just a very few crucial days: the last week of the year.
So, with one-third of the year's fundraising yet to be served in the month ahead, how can you make sure that you get yours?
By far the most important thing to do is ...
Ask, Ask, Ask
Plan to ask by email at least twice (we suggest three or more times) before Dec. 25. And really plan to hit the last week of the year with at least three asks. Ask more than that if you can! December is not the time to be bashful.
- Ask on Saturday, Dec. 31. You should always email at least one fundraising ask on New Year's Eve, which might be more lucrative in a few hours than some entire months elsewhere on the calendar.
- Ask at least twice in the Dec. 27 - Dec. 30 span. (Many people will have Monday, Dec. 26 off as their Christmas holiday.)
Keep It Simple
Your email has, at best, a few seconds to prove its relevance to the potential donor.
- Succinct. (Emails should rarely exceed 500 words.)
- Direct. Don't bury the ask, or weaken it by mixing in links to non-donation actions.
- Powerful. Ask the heart, not the head. An image really is worth a thousand ... bucks.
- Repetitious. Link to the donation page multiple times - early, middle, and late in the text, plus any sidebars or buttons.
Cross Your Channels
Email is still the go-to fundraising tool for most organizations, but ask everywhere else you're online, too.
- Ask on Facebook.
- Ask on Twitter ... and repeat that Tweet.
- Ask on your website. It's not just email subscribers who'll donate! Get a donation pitch front-and-center on your home page and any other typical entry pages.