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Dan Hanley

5 Year-end Tips for the Nonprofit Fundraising Professional

It’s not too late to have an incredible year-end fundraising campaign.

If you’re in nonprofit fundraising, you are hearing a lot about year-end fundraising.

You’re already very close to being overwhelmed. The board meeting is coming up, you’re short one or two people on your fundraising team, your fall appeal turned from an annual direct mail piece to a quick e-appeal, and your family has decided that Thanksgiving dinner will be at your house this year and to support the fight against climate change it will be vegan.

Can you relate to any of this?

I have always liked to begin my year-end fundraising campaign in mid-October. I like to have the plan finished by August. I start writing about it in July, earlier if I have had an incredible idea.

If you have not started your year-end fundraising, or feel behind, try these five actions to get into the groove:

Tune out any noise that says you are behind. It’s not helpful.

Get your board to do Thanks for Giving Day on November 16th. This supports your campaign, and from you only requires a list of all donors who gave in the last year. Your board chair or devevlopment chair can help.

Start writing the year-end appeal. Spend 15 minutes on the general idea and layout. Call your printer and reserve a spot for it to be printed and mailed (if you do it in-house, make sure you have what you need for it).

Calendar days for you and your executive director to connect with major donors, especially those who gave last year at this time.

Create a plan for the last three days of the year to reach as many donors as possible who have not donated by that time. Examples could be phone lists of donors to call, one or two e-appeals only to them, and social media posts.

Is this too much to consider right now?

Can you start with just one of these right now?

Starting is key.

Take a risk. Be of service. Support your friends and colleagues. Be kind.

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