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

5 months 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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Making Donors the Hero of Your Story

4 years ago By Kristin Hammett

We all see things from our own perspective. Donors do too. They see through their own lens of experience and perspective. To communicate effectively, strive to meet your donors where they are and provide answers to the questions, they may not realize they are asking. Donors often ask themselves “How does this impact me?” “What’s in this for me?” “What if this were me?” Providing answers to these questions will connect your donors to your mission. Below are a few important questions to begin thinking along these lines. How do donors help your organization succeed? What difference does their support make? What is the impact of their donation? Who are the donors helping? There are many heroes in your organization already: volunteers, board members, clients who make a brave choice, employees, etc. However, your donor-facing communication isn’t the time to sing their praises. Consider how your communication makes your donor feel. Do they feel empowered? Do they feel angry about the injustice that is happening? Do they feel they can help? Communication with your donors should be focused on them. Make the donor the hero of your story and the impact will be powerful. The key is to minimize your organization and center your communication on the donor and the client. You can accomplish this by making small changes in your language. For example, Will you help feed the hungry in our community this week? or Because of you, we were able to feed the hungry in our community. (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a great example of this with their “because of you” campaign) Invite donors to participate in your efforts, don’t guilt them. It is important to avoid the implication that your donor should do something, but rather focus on the idea that they can do something. Fundraising is about waking up an army of heroes to join you in your mission. It’s about inviting people in by letting them believe in their own power. By simplifying your message, you invite the donor to be the hero. You offer them an invitation to take action and join your cause.  

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