Of course you’re working on your annual appeal and year-end fundraising plan. And if you want detailed specifics on how to do either you can grab one of my E-Guides:

Right now I want to give you a few specific and timely tips for this time of year that you might not be thinking about.

1.Ask donors to fund something specific. Research shows donors will give more if they can designate their gift. People like to be able to visualize how their money will be used.  If you have a multi-program cause, sometimes you can accomplish this by sending a series of appeals.  First, pick your top three strategic initiatives. Tell one story about each (September/October, November and December).  Use one remit card that gives folks the option to earmark their gift for any of these three programs. Alternatively, highlight different stories in your e-appeal series.  Create a different landing page for each appeal that uses the messaging and imagery for each distinct story. This technique works especially well in upgrading mid-level donors because you’re giving them a reason to do something different than just send their habitual unrestricted annual gift.


2.Set up visits with the Top 10 prospects you absolutely want to connect with personally to ask for gifts before the end of the year. (See more on securing the visit here).


3.Develop an elevator pitch for your board and key volunteers. Keep it short enough that you can put it on a wallet-sized card so they can carry it around with them. Seriously. Keep it short. What’s special about your NPO — and can you say it in 10 words or 140 characters or less? Today’s preferred communication channels require brevity.


4.Hold a board training session to inspire them to be active as ambassadors, advocates and askers during the critical year-end months of October – December.


5.Approach potential corporate sponsors for your spring special event.  Often this is the time of year they still have budget from the previous fiscal year that hasn’t yet been allocated.  And, if not, they can get you to the top of their list for the new fiscal year.  You win either way

 Keep doing the wonderful work that you do, and making our world a better and more caring place!