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Fourth Quarter Focus in Fundraising

Kristin Hammett

Kristin Hammett

September 30, 2023

It’s football season. I love watching football.

As they say, it’s not over ’til it’s over. Has your team ever lost it in the fourth quarter? It is so frustrating to watch it all fall apart with mere minutes left in a hard-fought game.

Winning requires staying focused for all four quarters.

The same is true in fundraising. Here are three plays I recommend for a strong fourth-quarter finish.

Focus on major donors.

Major donor gifts were down last year, and I think it was due in part to confusion and too many asks. Donors need clarity. Keep it simple.

Focus on communicating personally with donors: learn more about why they give, what they care about, and how they want to hear from you. It’s important to learn this about donors over time, so you can communicate more effectively.

Then, clearly share the vision of the organization, the problem you’re solving, how you solve it, and the impact you’re having. Sharing a story can be a powerful way to reinforce the measurements and impact you share.

Finally, make a clear ask. Make sure donors know what resources are needed for the work and feel invited to join that work.

Mind the middle.

Do you have a strategy for mid-level donors? Perhaps they don’t really hit the major donor level, but they give more than a general or mass donor level. You know, the in-between.

Integrate personal connections. Try calls, texts, emails, notes, and online group meetings. We recommend the 5-10-10 model: 5 calls, 10 texts, and 10 emails each day. If this is too much, find a number that works for you. Make it a discipline.

Thank donors now.

Don’t wait until they give again to say thank you. Start saying thank you today. Thank donors for their support up to this point in the year.

Perhaps go back three years and engage those who have “lapsed” by thanking them for the investment they made. Then you can share an update on where your ministry is today.

The fourth quarter is here. Stay focused. Connect donors to the work God is doing in and through your ministry.

“Stay focused. Your start does not determine how you’re going to finish.”

– Herm Edwards, Head Coach New York Jets (2001-05), Kansas City Chiefs (2006-08)

Find the tools you need for Q4

Focus during the 4th quarter is vital. So is finding the tools you need to give donors flexibility and opportunity to give.
Learn what charitable tools are available for your donors who own businesses or other assets.

Find out more about accepting non-cash donations

About Kristin Hammett

Kristin Hammett

As the Director of Nonprofit Success at The Signatry, Kristin Hammett works to train, consult, and equip nonprofits with fundraising solutions to connect God’s resources with His work

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