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Year-end Fundraising in a Snap: 5 No-Brainer tactics to implement by December 31

By Marcie L. Wagner, CFRE

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1. Year-end visits or phone calls

Visit or call your top 2013 donors and your top LYBUNTS and ask for a year-end gift; however you define “major donors” for your organization. A smaller nonprofit may consider a one-time gift of $100 a top donor; others define a top gift as $5,000. If your list is too big to manage, bring in your board members to assist with the calls.

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2. Prepare and send two year-end, “story-telling” appeal letters – double-down by integrating your year-end appeal through all social media avenues

Send your first appeal letter prior to Thanksgiving; send the final letter the last week of December. Next, over the course of November and December, send the same appeal to all your social media venues: a Constant Contact year-end newsletter, e-blast, Facebook, twitter, YouTube and most importantly, the landing page of your website. Repeat your message, theme, brand and “ask” in order to get the biggest bang for your buck. Given you are not recreating the wheel for each social media solicitation; you can accomplish it in a “snap”!

3. If possible, host an open house
Everyone is busy during the holidays with family and friend’s gathering to spread some holiday cheer – please don’t forget, your top donors are your closest friends too. They wouldn’t invest in your organization if they didn’t care greatly about the success of your mission. Time the open house over lunch or a brunch so you avoid the end of year holiday crush of parties.

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4. Send out your 2013 accomplishments
Don’t wait until January to “toot your own horn”, send out your 2013 accomplishments to grant funders and, yes, your top donors and social media outlets.


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5. Personalize, Personalize and Personalize

Again, when possible (and it most often is), personalize your donor appeal by addressing everyone through every medium by their name. Even better, add a live signature and personal note. What will put you over the top? Use first class postage and a postage paid envelope. When utilizing social media for your year-end message, personalize and then have that donate now button stand out big and early in the “ask”. Finally, say thank you no matter the outcome.

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