End of the year giving. Money’s coming in, giving is up, it’s great! Then January hits. Hello? Did you forget about us? The donors gave so happily and generously. What happened? You are among many organizations that hit the donor hard with acquisition, appeals, and cultivation in the last 3 months of the year. People naturally feel generous at this time as well as giving their year-end gifts for tax purposes.
But, how do you keep these donors giving, even in lean months?
- Make a Plan
What is the size or frequency of gift that someone gets on your cultivation list? How are you planning on cultivating this new or spotty relationship? How many times will you contact them in a year, by what means? Is that effective? Who is assigned to cultivate them? Are we over or under contacting them? Why do they give to you? To others? Has anyone asked what their philanthropic goals are? Can we get them to volunteer or engage in some way? Need help creating a plan—request your free consultation>>
- Save and Red Line Budget Items
If you have not carefully reviewed your budget, then what happens is in the plenty season you spend, spend, spend, and in the lean months, you cut, cut, cut. Review your trends over the last 3-5-and 10 years. Build an intelligent budget, one that reflects the ebbs and flows of gifts to you. If you are able, build that savings fund so the organization does not have to borrow during the lean months (like summertime). If you have the funds, look into starting a foundation to support your organization so you can start earning interest as well as another opportunity for sustainable gifts from donors.
- Be Wise with Events
Sometimes we think events are great during this time. They can be. But make sure you have the budget and the return on the investment both in staff time and expenses to run this, especially in lean months. A planned social media event may return more value than a banquet or walk. Gather all the right info when making event decisions.
Lean months can be a great time too. Look for cultivation opportunities. Plan many one-on-one donor visits. Watch spending. Above all, ask appropriately and confidently—and you can thrive!
The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.Psalm 34:10
Need more ideas on how to keep donor giving high after the holidays—request your free consultation.