The year is coming to a close and for many direct response campaigns it may seem that there is nothing more that can be done at this point. The audience has been selected, data pulled, creative written, and mail dropped, and all that is left to do is sit and wait. However, it is not too late to make an impact on year end fundraising. There are still plenty of opportunities to reach your donors, e-mail, digital advertising, telephone, or even a face to face meeting.
Why Does It Matter?
Did you know that that more than 5% of the entire year's donations comes in on New Year's Eve? That's right more than $1 out of every $20 dollars raised this entire year will be donated on December 31st alone. The average gift on December 31st is 2.5 times higher than the rest of the year. This means not only do a lot of donations come in, a lot of upgrading happens on New Year's Eve.
What Can I Do About It?
1. Don't be idle. It is the holidays and we all take things a little slower this time of year. Our calendars are lighter during the last two weeks (I only have 2 meetings scheduled, woohoo!). Timelines are more relaxed too. You don't typically hear "I need this by Christmas Eve", unless you work for Ebeneezer Scrooge. You should use this down time to call your donors. Let your donors know how much you appreciate their support. If you don't have time to call all of your donors, use our major gift models to prioritize the donors you absolutely should call.
2. Invite Your Donors on a Site Visit. You are not the only one with a little more time on your hands. Ask some of your biggest donors if they would like to come and see, in person, the impact of their contributions. We all want to feel like we are making a difference. It can make a big impact on your donors to see first hand, how their support helped to feed people, deliver health care, save an animal, deliver a toy to a child, or fill in the blank with your organization's mission.
3. Ask for the Right Amount. There is still time to change your e-mail or telephone ask strings. Ask for too much and risk pushing donors away, or ask too little and end up leaving money on the table. You don't have to use a blanketed approach anymore, and you shouldn't. One size does not fit all. Get your customized ask string to boost response for those not likely to give, and optimize gift value for those likely to upgrade with OptimizedAsk. It's only a penny a name.
4. Last Minute Performance Check. Please enjoy our complementary year to date dashboard for the next two weeks absolutely free! Consider this our gift to you this holiday season. Keep up to date with your numbers on a daily basis. You can even check your performance on your phone if you are into that sort of thing.
Whatever you do, I hope it is a successful year end for you. Happy Holidays!