12.16 Some Quick Tips to Maximize Year-End Donations

Dear Kim:

Any quick tips on maximizing donations at year-end?  We are still short of our goal and I want to use this time to best advantage. We have sent a year-end appeal, are seeing major donors as they are willing and available, and have a online appeal ready to go at the very end of the year. 

~Need  411 on Dec 2011

Dear Clever with Numbers:

You seem to have most of your bases covered, and that is great.  If you can I would add: 

1)      Calling all your “LYBUNTS”—Last Year But Unfortunately Not This Year—donors.  Retaining donors is one of the most important elements of an individual donor program and calling to remind people to make a gift again this year will increase your response significantly.

2)     Make sure your website, your written materials and your solicitation team knows to remind people over 70 ½ of the “IRA Rollover Provision” which allows them to withdraw money from their IRA without paying income tax if they are giving that money to charity, and still get the deduction for that (if they need it).  This is a wonderful cost saver for older people who have IRAs.

3)     Make sure you are completely up to date with holiday cards, thank you notes, and any other personal correspondence with donors, board members and volunteers.

4)     Don’t wait until year-end to ask for online donations.  Put a brief note about your year-end goal on your website and keep updating it as you get closer and closer to meeting it.  Encourage people to make donations to your organization in honor of friends and family and send those so honored a nice card.

5)     Create a wish list—post it in your office, on Facebook, on your website and anywhere else you can (if you are in a small town, put it up in the Post Office), hang it on your door….  People are clearing out at end of year and many offices are going virtual so they have furniture, computers, paper, etc. 

Good luck!

~Kim Klein