November and December represent the high point of philanthropy for many organizations. So before you and your team turn your attention to lighting candles, planning celebrations, or roasting the perfect bird, now is the time to recommit to executing strong year-end fundraising strategies.

Year-End Fundraising

Figure 1: Year-End Fundraising Can Account for as Much as 50% of Fundraising Totals

For these reasons, and many more, the holiday season is a reason for celebration…and hard work.

Reevaluate Your Solicitation Plan

The last few months of the calendar year is the perfect time to reevaluate your solicitation plan for the year. Did you make all the asks that you said you were going to? Research would suggest that you didn’t; and, if that is the case, there’s no better time than now! Are there dangling next steps or follow-up that are necessary? Perhaps you started these conversations but the year got away from you. If that is the case, use the waning moments of the year as an excuse to reengage those prospects in discussions.

Don’t let your New Year’s Resolutions simply be a reformulation of last year’s to-do list!

Start with Your Closest Prospects

Calendar year-end is the perfect time to ensure that your board members and key volunteers have invested in the organization this year.  If a report shows that a sizable percentage of your board has not given this year, then you have a few weeks to change that.

Just like tigers, donors don’t change their stripes. Most donors give in a pattern that is easily identifiable. Take a few hours to learn the given patterns of your top twenty donors. Use that information to ensure that they have made their annual gift or pledge payment. If they have not, it is time to get the conversation started.

The same holds true for LYBUNTs in your annual giving ranks. A simple outreach thanking them for their historic support and asking them to invest again may be just the reminder they need.

IRA Charitable Roll-Over: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

The generous spirit of the season, coupled with an IRS requirement for donors who are 70 ½ years or older to take their required minimum distributions (RMD) from their traditional IRAs, could be a recipe for a win-win gift discussion. It is possible to have these discussions with donors who have already given you cash this year but may be worried about tax liabilities with their RMD. Donors can donate up to $100,000 directly from their IRA without any tax consequences.

Don’t forget about your current and former faculty and staff who qualify for the charitable IRA rollover.  Numerous institutions have reported transformational gifts from those whose life work was on behalf of your organization’s mission.

So, before your thoughts turn to bowl games, wrapping paper, and tryptophan, make sure that you and your organization are committed to executing the fundamentals of fundraising strategies. It could be just the thing to end the year strong and position the organization for success in the new year. Contact us today to learn more about how to maximize your results this calendar year-end. Together, we transform philanthropy.



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