Ideas, musings and inspirations.

With Thanksgiving just behind us, like many nonprofits, colleges and universities, you’re probably getting ready to publish the annual “year-end giving” information on your website or send out an email appeal to prospective donors.

If so, that’s great. If not… you’re missing a huge opportunity. Consider the following statistics:

“The average person makes 24% of his/her annual donations between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.” Giving USA

“One third (33%) of the donations made in the month of December occur on the 31st of the month.” Network for Good

To get things going, here are my top 5 tips to jumpstart year-end giving…

  1. Plan ahead. Start your “ask” in November. Put that year-end giving information on your nonprofit website now. Thanksgiving starts the ball rolling. Don’t wait. Don’t hold it for December. Do it now.
  2. Mix it up. With everyone relying on email appeals, don’t forget to ask for a donation on social media, like Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere. Incorporate social links to Facebook and Twitter into thank you pages or emails to give donors an opportunity to share why they made a gift.
  3. Aim straight for the heart. Reporting is fine after the results are in. But, making a well-told emotional appeal (using the right photos) will go a lot farther in generating last-minute gifts from donor.
  4. Ring in the New Year. Don’t forget to ask one last time on Dec. 31. Donor giving stats show that this night can be one of the most effective.
  5. Aim straight for the heart. Reporting is fine after the results are in. But, making a well-told emotional appeal (using the right photos) will go a lot farther in generating last-minute gifts from donor.
  6. Land the plane. Nothing crushes donor contributions like a poorly designed, multipage or lengthy giving form. If you’re going to drive donors from an email, social post or website, make sure that the form is simple and straightforward to maximize every opportunity. And, if you haven’t tested your online giving form recently, do so right now.

These are just a few tips, but with a little intentionality and chutzpah, your nonprofit may find that donors put you first on their list — and — well before Christmas.

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