I read a meme in August that said, “School is starting … buy your Halloween costumes, pick out your turkey, and do your Christmas shopping. Happy New Year!”
I resonate with this, and I am sure you do, too. Time moves quickly, and we are navigating a busy world and a noisy charitable giving space. We are in the busiest and quite possibly the most critical part of the fundraising year.
Over 30% of all charitable giving happens in December, so there is a lot of opportunity left for you to articulate you work and differentiate your ministry with donors. In an effort to come alongside you, equip you in development work, and partner with you in major donor conversations, I want to encourage you to look for ways to differentiate yourself at year end.
Tips to cut through the noise and set your ministry apart
Connect with donors personally.
Text donors, email them personally, call them, or write them a note. There are lots of ways to effectively connect with donors. Thank them for their support, share the impact of the work, and ask for continued investment in the work. Always ask how they are and how you can pray for them. Relationship matters, and people want to feel valued.
Expand donors’ giving capacity.
90% of Americans’ wealth is in assets outside of cash, yet 80% of giving is from cash. There is a significant opportunity to educate donors on how to give assets. Start with publicly traded securities, like stocks. I just talked with a ministry today who brought this up in a conversation with a donor, and they chose to give at year end with appreciated stock. It is a smart and efficient way for donors to give more and save tax, and it sets you apart.
Give donors context.
Help donors understand what is happening with the people you serve, in the cause, and for your organization. For example, my husband and I recently met with a pregnancy center ministry we have supported for some time. The ministry leaders shared how the timeline for the women they serve has accelerated, creating a greater need for early intervention activity by the ministry. Understanding how they have adapted their interaction helped us, as donors, understand more about the urgency and need for increased investment in the cause.
Make the case for support.
With so many things vying for their attention, donors may not have your organization top of mind, so clarity is key in every medium of communication. Share your mission and vision, the problem you are solving, your method or solution, the impact you have, and how you want donors to support the work.
The last days of 2021 will go by quickly. Block time today. Fine-tune your year-end calls and communication to differentiate your ministry. Set time apart to intentionally connect with donors. Help them understand the context of the work and make a clear case for support. As you serve donors well, share all opportunities to give outside the checkbook, too.
Enjoy this season of connecting donors with the work God is doing through your ministry!