Make Your Fundraising Message Stand Out

At the final push for your end-of-year campaign, let’s acknowledge this year’s unprecedented pull on donors’ hearts, minds and pocket books.

Relief for the Camp Fire victims. Gifts to critical political candidates in a historic midterm election. Along with uncertainty about the impact of the tax changes.

This year, it requires more effort to stand out and inspire giving. 

Here are some timely tips you can put to work now:

Take the time to segment and personalize your year-end appeal. First and foremost, get in front of your top six to eight donors, the ones who can make or break your goals and budget.

Have a direct conversation with them—don’t hide behind a letter! Let them know how important they are and how their investment will really make a difference. Listen to their hopes and aspirations for giving. Share news about important upcoming decisions. Remember, if you want to inspire giving, ask for advice.

Go the extra step with personal notes, handwritten envelopes, and follow-up calls for your next tier of donors. Focus your messages on the impact of your organization’s work. With so many issues  competing for their attention, ask them directly to stay close to the “family” and support your mission and impact.

Plan to spend as much time thanking your donors as you do asking them for money. The follow-up to their gift should be as heartfelt and personal as the ask itself. There’s no better way to get to know your donors than leading with a simple thank you.

Your board can get involved with showing appreciation, too. If they’ll ask for money, great, but as we know, not all will. But everyone can say thank you.

Donors over 70½ that hold IRAs must take a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) by December 31 and pay tax on it. Sending a portion of the RMD to a qualified charity reduces their tax bill and reduces the basis upon which their Medicare Part B premium payment is calculated. That alone can save a donor hundreds of dollars each year. In an added bonus, many donors feel a certain joy in diverting that would-be tax payment to their favorite charity.

Happy holidays and happy fundraising! And as always, we’re just a phone call away.


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