Updated: Jul 12, 2021
I remember, as a pastor, realizing the power of fundraising at the end-of-year.
At the beginning of November, we could be six digits behind in our budget, but by December 31, we could easily be six digits ahead. It happened year after year. When we caught on to the end-of-year power for fundraising, we harnessed it to fund some fantastic projects. I am sure you have noticed this too, right?
It is always a joy to help clients get money they weren't counting on at the end of the year. Most of my clients last year received a lot of money they never expected. Still, I have had clients do poorly.
Almost always, poor performance in end-of-year fundraising is preceded by a lack of preparation. So, it’s not too early to ask. Are you ready to maximize your end-of-year fundraising preparation?
Fundraising Gold: Great fundraising at the end-of-year requires thoughtful planning ahead of time.
Before I challenge you to start your end-of-year now, let's go over the EOY big picture:
50% of nonprofits receive a majority of their annual donations in the last three months of the year.
The average amount of money donated to nonprofits in November and December each year: $48 BILLION
First-time gifts made by donors in December are 52% larger than those who start giving at another time of year.
31% of total giving happens in December.
12% of ALL nonprofit giving happens IN THE LAST THREE DAYS OF THE YEAR!
53.8% of nonprofits start their EOY giving planning in October
Just under a third of nonprofits raise up to 50% of their annual funds at the end-of-year.
Direct mail is the most popular medium for end-of-year appeals.
Fundraising Gold: The most lucrative season for fundraising is the end-of-year.
Fundraising Gold: Most nonprofits don't plan for the most lucrative time of year until it’s too late.
In my consulting with clients, we plan on end-of-year giving starting January 1 (one client loves to rehearse with me how, with a plan, they received a cool quarter-million at year-end). Can you see yourself raking in a massive haul at the end-of-year?
The most significant part of the plan involves adhering to a fundraising "rhythm." An excellent fundraising rhythm involves asking, thanking, and reporting.
Fundraising Gold: A great fundraising plan involves the rhythm of asking, thanking, and reporting.
But, here is where so many fundraisers miss it: THEY START THE RHYTHM WITH ASKING. THEY SHOULD HAVE STARTED WITH REPORTING.
Excellent reporting involves telling stories about how your mission has impacted people's lives. Are you getting this?
Fundraising Gold: Asking for money without excellent reporting is far less effective.
When you become a better storyteller, you raise more money.
Reduced fundraising because of poor reporting is a significant problem to remember in end-of-year fundraising. If you wait until the end-of-year to ask without excellent reporting (storytelling) ahead of time, you will raise significantly less money. Are you starting to catch on?
Stories are the tools that nonprofit leaders use to create a readiness in people to support their mission (read more here).
Fundraising Gold: Your end-of-year fundraising will be significantly less if you haven't told great stories (reporting) in the previous months.
START TELLING GREAT STORIES NOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR END-OF-YEAR GIVING.
More significant end-of-year gifts in December result from excellent reporting in July, August, September, and October.
Are you preparing NOW for a HUGE end-of-year cash haul? IF it happens, it will not be by accident. A HUGE cash haul at the end-of-year will only occur with excellent reporting. Excellent reporting will not happen without a plan to tell great stories. I'm making sense now, right?
Make sure you have a plan to tell great stories in July.
Make sure you have a plan to tell great stories in August.
Make sure you have a plan to tell great stories in September.
Make sure you have a plan to tell great stories in October.
I Have An Offer For You: What if you could get me and an associate to personally walk you through a plan for an over-the-top end-of-year fundraising strategy? You would take advantage of that, wouldn't you?
Well, I have good news for you! My business is going so well that I am looking for ways to give back. On Tuesday, July 27, I am offering myself to you FOR FREE in a webinar, "Christmas Fundraising Starts In July." I will offer one session at 11 a.m.
I have asked fundraising coach Kay Helm to help me. And, the good news, IT IS FOR FREE, OUR GIFT TO YOU. You just have to sign up to get the zoom link emailed to you.
Why would I do that? A couple of reasons. First, I genuinely want to give back to the nonprofit community (you have been SO good to me!). Second, I want to get some good practice under my belt to charge for this webinar in the future! (Just being honest!) I have walked plenty of nonprofits through this same process face-to-face but never to a group, online. My need for practice works to your benefit. I suggest you take advantage of it!
P.S. I encourage you to sign up, I may never do this for free again!
MORE POPULAR POSTS FROM DAVID L OAKS:
All Rights Reserved, 2021 WorldStage Development