Did you know that Network for Good estimates that 30 percent of annual giving occurs in December, and 10 percent in the last three days of the year?
Those last few emails you send the last week of the year can reinforce the appeal you already mailed to donors. Many nonprofits are trying to move away from the mailed appeal to save on printing and postage and just send email campaigns, but my experience has shown that donors have preferences as to whether to give online or through the mail. Generally, older donors prefer to write checks. They also read emails, but in the end, are more likely to mail you a check, or fill out the credit card information on the donor form that came with your letter and mail that back to you.
So again, why is email important? Because that same donor may have put your letter in the “to do” pile on their desk among the bills they need to pay, and your nonprofit year-end giving email might “trigger” them to go through that pile on their desk! The opposite can be true of younger donors. Your mailed appeal could be the “trigger” for them to respond to your email campaign and donate online!
In general, online donations are increasing, but for the time being, stick to that well-written year end appeal letter and mail it. A few large year end gifts will likely pay for the mailing several times over. So,what do you do if you didn’t send a year-end mailing? Pick up the phone. Call your top donors and ask for a year end gift or pledge over the phone. Does that sound scary? It shouldn’t be! If they are already a supporter of your organization, the fact that you took the time to call them will make them feel important, and starting the conversation with thanking them for all they have already given in the past is a great way to reinforce your gratitude for their upcoming gift. The more I think about this, you should be calling your top donors even if you did mail them an appeal letter! It’s just good donor cultivation either way! Show them that you are genuinely interested in them and you are grateful for their ongoing support.
Do you need coaching for making asks over the phone? Reach out to me, I’d love to help you!
Wishing you greater nonprofit abundance and success!