Your year-end appeal is less likely to fall on deaf ears than at any other time of year. Why? It’s the time of year when people are naturally inclined towards counting their blessings and feeling both grateful and giving. Some nonprofits raise as much as 40% or more of their annual giving total during the last few months of the year. And 33% of December gifts are made on December 31st. It would be a shame to miss out on this!
In essence, you’ve got people where you want them in November and December. This being the case, don’t you want to put your best foot forward?
I’m going to let you in on a little secret…
Donors can’t resist stretching their dollars!
Yup. Offer would-be supporters a way to leverage their giving to get a bigger bang for their buck, and they’ll be all over you like a cheap suit. Do it at a time of year when they’re already primed to give – now you’re really cooking!
3 Ways to Help Donors Stretch Their Dollars
- Double your money…
Will there be a match or a challenge grant? Matches can be powerful incentives, especially for smaller donors, because it allows them to “double their money” or more. This is known as the “multiplier effect.” Sometimes you can get donors to offer a 3:1 challenge for all gifts made (a) during a certain period, or (b) up to a set giving amount or (c) to a particular campaign.
ACTION TIP: Now is the time to line up your matching donor. Often businesses are willing to do this for the public relations value. Foundations also like to double their giving if you can match their grant with individual donations. And sometimes individual donors, or even entire boards, will challenge other donors to match them.
- Your dollar goes further because…
Can you offer donors “a deal” due to your economies of scale? Often your organization’s cost per unit of service is less than it would be in the general marketplace due to certain advantages you have as a nonprofit. For example, food banks get a lot of their product donated. So a donor can buy three meals for $10 when they might be able to purchase only one at the grocery store. Or you may have a full-fee home care program that subsidizes your low-fee services, enabling donors to pay less for a full hour of care for a low-income senior than might otherwise be the case.
ACTION TIP: Now is the time to talk to your program staff to find out what kinds of “cost deals” you may be able to offer. It can be a good idea to talk to finance staff as well, both because they bring a different perspective and to assure that everyone is on the same page. When you’re talking about costs, it’s important to be truthful. So even if you’ve been telling folks for the past three years that they can buy three meals for $10, make sure that’s still the case today.
- Your gift has a ripple effect…
Can you describe an impact that goes far beyond your donor’s gift? For example, if a well is dug in Africa it will provide water for an entire community. If art supplies for a mobile after-school program are purchased they can be used at all the schools in the district, impacting hundreds of kids rather than just one classroom.
ACTION TIP: Now is the time to brain storm ways your programs have widespread impact. Get together with some of your program staff, together with your marketing and development staff, and see what you can come up with. I’ll bet you learn stuff you didn’t know before!
What kinds of leverage can you wrap these into your year-end fundraising appeal to entice your donor to give more than they otherwise might?
Your goal is to make your offer to donors one they can’t refuse.
I’ve got a lot more secrets for you to help assure that your appeal this year includes a hard-to-turn-down fundraising offer. And I’m going to share them all with you – and more — in my upcoming 5-week E-Course: Your Ultimate Guide to Successful Year-End Fundraising Appeals. This is the LAST WEEK TO REGISTER, so don’t miss out. It begins next Tuesday – but you don’t have to be there when it arrives. It’s all delivered online for you to download and access at your convenience. See details here. To your success!