Closing 2011 With a Bang, Last-Minute Fundraising Ideas

How did it get to be December 1 already? In some ways I feel like I blinked sometime in July and ended up here. Anyone else ever feel that way or is it just me?

Just in case the year has gotten away for you too, here’s a simple strategy to get the most out of the next four weeks. This is, after all, the time of year when organizations typically bring in the bulk of fundraising revenue for the year.

  1. LYBUNTs / SYBUNTs. Review your LYBUNTs / SYBUNTs. Is there someone who might like to offer a challenge gift? Are there local news outlets that might be open to sharing information about the challenge (hint: news outlets are sometimes more likely to be looking for ‘feel good’ stories at the end of the year). Do you hear LYNBUNT and SYBUNT and want to say bless you? That’s just fundraising speak for people who gave “last year but unfortunately not this” year or “some year but unfortunately not this” year.
  2. Goal. Having reviewed your prospects, determine a realistic goal you feel you can reach with that prospect pool. Perhaps you’ll aim to get 10-20% of the donors to renew their gifts. You know your donors best, so go with a number that makes sense for your organization.
  3. Project. Identify a specific project that can be accomplished if you reach that fundraising goal.
  4. Message. Develop simple messaging around that project (why is it important and what impact will it have on the community you serve). Don’t worry about fancy graphic design. Just put together a one-page flier and include a picture or two.
  5. Giving. Make it easy to give (include and envelope and response devise with mailings – no you really don’t need to include a stamp). If you don’t already have a way to accept on-line donations you might not want to get distracted by that at this point (PayPal is an easy affordable option that can be set up quickly if you are so inclined).
  6. Reach out. Contact your supporters. Call key donors. Send a series of short email messages highlighting the project, goal and results to date to the rest of the database. Include a single call to action in each message. Ask board members and friends to host a simple House Party and invite their friends to be a part.
  7. Gratitude. Say thank you (and say it often) and follow-up to let people know how the campaign did – and how people’s lives are being changed as a result of the funded program.

Please let me know how it goes!


Closing 2011 With a Bang, Last-Minute Fundraising Ideas — 4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Kirsten’s Fundraising Headlines – December 6, 2011 | Growing Your Donors

  2. One of my favorite organizations just sent out their year end appeal. It was delightful except… a self-mailer with no reply card or return envelope. I’m holding my breath.

    • That is disappointing. Such a little thing that would make a big difference in the results they get. It always makes me cringe when I get ‘dear friend’ letters from my favorite organizations. How can they call me their friend when they don’t even know my name? (okay, that might be a little harsh…)