For nonprofit organizations, the end of the year often sees a surge of donations. People tend to feel more generous during the holiday season, so a well-timed, well-executed giving campaign can yield big results.
Like any campaign, planning for your year-end push early is the key to success. So, we asked six members of Forbes Nonprofit Council how other nonprofits should prepare for their last campaign of 2018. Here's what they had to say.
Take the time to figure out what investment is needed to make an impact on your organization. People need to see that even the smallest gifts can make a big difference. Show them how $15 a month can help end homelessness, or a one-time donation of $25 can help save an endangered species. Nonprofits often lose out on support because they don't make their asks relatable to enough people. - Lindsay Crossland, The Salvation Army
To plan for the end of the year, know what you have in mind to accomplish next year so you can share those plans as part of a campaign that shows what you did this year and how it defines next year. This way, people are more inclined to give when they see what you have done with the donations and what you plan on doing with the year-end donations in 2019. - Gloria Horsley, Open to Hope
This is the time of year to collect and write success stories that paint a picture of the work your organization does. Focus on a few people who have been helped and tell their story or, better yet, have them to tell their own story in a personal letter or a video. Donors connect to people, not the mission statement of the organization. - Kimberly Lewis, Goodwill Industries of East Texas, Inc.
Once we've carved out our end-of-year goals, we build campaign content around the compelling stories that highlight the humanity behind our work. By profiling individual humans who are at the center of what we do, we are able to shine a light on how the donations are being used to positively impact the lives of many. - John Lyon, World Hope International
We have an amazing development team that goes the extra mile to connect to donors on a personal level. Throughout the year, they spend more time thanking and stewarding supporters than asking for gifts. They pay attention to what specifically interests donors about our organization so by year-end, they can detail how/why the gift is crucial to the aspects of our ministry that resonate most with the donor. - Albert L. Reyes, Buckner International
First, identify your year-end campaign messages that will engage supporters with your mission. Finalize production and editorial schedules, then approve copy and design elements and campaign details. Kick off the campaign with direct mail, emails and articles with donation asks. Lastly, communicate and learn: Analyze the end-of-year campaign to improve results and predict growth. - Anthony (Tony) Kronfli, The Methuselah Foundation