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The Signatry Blog
Conversations from our thought leaders


How to Prepare for Year-End Giving

2 weeks ago By Kristin Hammett

With fall upon us, the cooler temperatures, autumn colors, and pumpkin spice everything, the year-end giving season is also here. The 2022 Year-End Giving will be interesting to watch. The 2022 Giving USA report, measuring 2021 giving numbers, reported an overall increase in giving of 4%, but when adjusted for inflation, it was down 0.7%. Giving from individuals increased nearly 5% over 2020, but remains below 70% of all giving for the 4th year in a row. Additionally, bequest gifts were down by over 7%. In light of the current giving climate, I have three ideas for nonprofit leaders to develop strong year-end messaging and successful year-end fundraising campaigns. Show your stuff. As you fine-tune your year-end messaging, consider sharing your impact through statistics and stories. Great messaging happens throughout the year, but year-end is the time to reinforce the impact you have been demonstrating all along. Share your success through progress reports, social media posts, videos (professional or organic from your phone), email, direct mail, phone calls, and personal meetings. Do it all. Tell your story well. The end of the year is the time to remind donors of the impact their generosity has within your work. As they contemplate their year-end giving decisions, be certain they understand the impact their gift has on those you serve. Be confident in the work God is accomplishing through your nonprofit! Motivate mid-level donors. When planning your end of year fundraising efforts, remember your mid-range donors. They are a valuable donor group that is discerning how to maintain generosity in a high-inflation environment. They consider tax implications of donating—or not. You need a messaging strategy which speaks to them directly. Reinforce the importance of the work they are accomplishing with their gift. Remind them they are solving problems and helping meet the needs of people you serve. Steward this relationship well – it may be at risk! Educate them on charitable bunching strategies – giving more through a donor advised fund one year and taking the standard deduction the next year. Segment your mid-level donors and send additional communication tailored with a special year-end message for them. Emphasize existing partners Often the trendy nonprofit fundraising idea is to attract new donors, but your year-end fundraising campaigns should focus on current donors. It is not wrong to get new donors, but invest more time in those already committed to the work you do. Building long-term relationships with donors leads these individuals to give large donations down the line that can help your organization the most. According to Bloomberg, most major gifts are given after 5 years of giving to an organization. Spend your time on those who have already demonstrated a commitment to your work. Donor acquisition strategies can take place the rest of the year. Remember, you cannot control the economy, global events, or a donor’s family circumstances. You CAN control your year-end message, how you communicate it, and to whom you communicate it. As you plan your year-end fundraising strategy, focus on what you are accomplishing. The problems you are helping solve are important. Donors partner with your nonprofit to make an impact. The impact of a year-end donation does not change.

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Cash Isn’t Really King: Noncash Contribution Strategies

3 weeks ago By Kristin Hammett

The Signatry works with nonprofit leaders to strengthen their development strategies by helping them engage in major donor conversations, including conversations about noncash contributions. We talk a lot about noncash gifts and we want to be sure our impact partners understand the significant opportunities available. Noncash charitable contributions can benefit both the donor and the recipient. What does “noncash” really mean? When talking about noncash contributions, we mean wealth outside of the checkbook. This can be anything from stocks to cryptocurrency to real estate and business interests. The Signatry’s team has experience managing all of these gift types. God owns it all and has entrusted it to donors’ care and stewardship. He wants us to hold everything we have with open hands. Isn’t cash king? Net Worth Breakdown   |   Giving Breakdown In a word? No. 90% of America’s wealth is in assets other than cash. Only 10% of our wealth is in the checkbook. Yet, 80% of giving happens in cash, and only 20% of charitable investment is given from the larger, noncash bucket. There is an enormous opportunity to help donors think differently about how they give: even their noncash assets could become part of their generosity plan. How can a nonprofit work with major donors? Nonprofit leaders are uniquely positioned to connect God’s resources and His work. That often starts with education. Donors don’t know what they don’t know. Before talking through the details of an asset gift, donors need to better understand the work the organization is doing and where their gift is going. A big vision, clearly expressed, serves as a catalyst for transformational generosity. When donors are engaged in the work and excited by the vision, development officers can share the opportunity to give differently and more generously. Here are some ideas to consider in your donor conversations: Start planting seeds. Include noncash contribution options on your donation page. Share the opportunity in your newsletter and your email footer. Discover more verbiage ideas in the Asset Gift Based Referral Language Guide. Share the opportunity. Look through your donor list for business owners. Begin to ask them questions about the business: What does your business do? What do you and your family like about it? You’ll find more questions in our Noncash Asset Fundraising Guide. Don’t overthink it. You don’t have to be the technical expert. Consider The Signatry your partner for complex, noncash contributions. We have attorneys and accountants who can help guide the donor through the process. Nonprofit and ministry organizations are doing the most important work there is. From Bible translation and evangelism to education and health care, the work matters, and it is worthy of all the generosity tools available. Transformational gifts have transformational impact.

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5 Tips to Connect with Donors in your Year-End Fundraising

1 month ago By Kristin Hammett

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. Your donors probably do, too. Year-end fundraising is probably the busiest and most critical part of a nonprofit’s fundraising strategy. How can you best connect with your donors during this busy time? How can you best engage them and make the case for year-end giving? Over 30% of all charitable giving happens in December, so there is a lot of opportunity left as you shape your year-end fundraising ideas and message for you to articulate your work, differentiate your nonprofit, and connect with your 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 and use these year-end fundraising ideas.  5 Tips to Connect with Donors in your Year-End Fundraising Connect with donors personally. As a part of your year-end giving campaign 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 while connecting 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. In uncertain economic times, this helps donors consider a whole new category for giving. This can include private business interest, real estate and a variety of other non-cash assets.   Give donors context. Donors are looking at their year-end giving plans, they are listening for what you will do with their gift. Speak the language of the giver. Tell them how their gift will make a difference. Investors do not want to see a short-term fix, they want to bring transformation.   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, especially at year end, donors may not have your organization top of mind, so clarity is key in every medium of donor 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.  Celebrate! In this year-end fundraising season, share with donors how God has used them. How exciting that the God of the universe would use them to help accomplish His work! Show them how God provided. Consider sharing a donor story and how God has connected their hearts with your work. Applaud the story of one. Connect a donor to the transformation of one person’s life. Help the donor empathize and understand what was accomplished through their generosity.  The last days of 2022 will go by quickly. Block time today. Fine-tune your year-end fundraising strategies to differentiate your organization. Set time apart to intentionally connect with donors. Help them understand the context of the work and make a clear case for their generous 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 nonprofit!

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