Did you know that there are 143 days until Christmas?
Have you started shopping for gifts? I haven’t but plans are starting to take shape for December.
Tickets to A Christmas Carol have been purchased. It’s our family’s annual tradition! And with 5 family birthdays in the first week of December, party dates have already been tentatively scheduled. Our family has so much fun in December that my youngest son claimed he wanted to be Santa when he grew up for three straight years.
I know many nonprofit leaders are already setting plans for their end of year campaigns. I have started to brainstorm with many of you. For some, you are experiencing shifts in funding or new programming needs that present a funding gap. Others count on end-of-year giving for a large percentage of your income. A recent fundraising benchmarks report affirms the trend that December giving accounts for roughly a quarter (26%) of annual nonprofit revenue.
I have to ask. Are you as excited about December as my soon to be 11-year old son?
If it’s about creating an environment to give a gift, I hope you are!
To make it joyful, start planning now! Here is a quick 1 – 2 – 3 to consider when making your plan.
1: The Goal
How much do you need to raise this year? Is there a shortfall? How much did you budget to raise? Are you noticing any change in your giving so far this year? What did you raise last year? These are good questions to ask to help you determine your goal.
The “why” is always important, and it’s not just “because we need money.” For this season, the question to answer is why funding is needed to support your mission. Some of the answers might be found in the questions you answered to set your goal. The answer could be expressed in a theme or story arc you continue to speak into throughout the end of the year.
With giving declining in 2022, you must focus on your individual donors. These are the people who care about your impact and want to see positive change. Be bold in sharing your need. Make it personal through stories and impact. Then invite them to be part of the solution!
Once you have your message down, how are you going to get it out? Think through your audiences and then how you will reach them. The biggest mistake I see groups make is to put out a message once and then wait for donors to respond. Our friends need reminders, I know my boys do, out of kindness, our investors do as well.
Start first by segmenting.
Current, lapsed, and new donors could be your pools of donors. Do you have any special affinity groups that you should ask? Look at past giving to help you determine ask amounts.
Then think through how you will reach your segments. The best way is always a combination of mediums (mail, email, calls, text, social, etc.). Consider creating unique donation pages to test ROI. If that is too challenging, use the tools you have so you can track your return to inform decision making for next year.
To help you think through these key elements, click here to download our End of Year Brainstorm Worksheet. When in doubt, bake some cookies, put on a tacky sweater, or play All I want for Christmas to get you in the giving spirit!