[12 Months of Year-End Giving] January Brainstorming Session

Everybody says that year-end giving is never over, and that we should be doing it year-round. But has anybody actually outlined it? What does that even mean?

That’s why this year, we’re bringing you a series that outlines exactly what you should be planning each month to make your year-end giving a success. January should be focused on building those relationships from last year and beginning to develop a game plan for the coming year. Let’s break it down below.

Step 1: Thank Last Year’s Givers

This should already be done, or on its way to being completed. Depending on the size and capacity of your organization, try to make a special and personalized thank-you to donors. This step is simple and sweet—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t focus the time and energy on it.

Step 2: Put Your Donors in a Box

Putting donors into a box sounds like the opposite of what you should do. But if we’re talking about getting them written down and organized, it’s a good thing. No matter what type of software you’re using to keep track of your donors, you need to gather as much information you can that will be helpful to build a solid donor relationship with them.

Don’t just record the amount the donor gave. Instead, you need to find out why they gave. If you know the motivation behind the gift, you know how to keep a relationship growing in the future.

Step 3: Come Up with a Game Plan

Last but not least, January is a vital time to reflect. You’ve just given your year-end appeal. If you’re like me, you received year-end appeals from various other organizations. Get your staff together and talk about it all. Put a date on the calendar and tell your staff to bring their favorite year-end appeals they received, with an outline of what they liked.

What did you like about your campaign? What didn’t go over like you planned? What did you love about somebody else’s campaign? How can you differentiate yourself from all of these organizations in the coming year?

These questions are a necessity while everything is still fresh in your mind. Trust me on this one—you’ll want to write it all down. Come up with something that will completely blow your audience away and that doesn’t follow the same path as everybody else.

Be on the lookout for February’s year-end tips next month. We’ll talk about furthering those relationships and taking the next steps to keep your year-end appeal on track.

  • Sarah

    I’m always conflicted looking at other organisation’s appeals. I’m not a ‘typical’ donor, and I wonder whether what I like is relevant as I don’t know what the results were. There are lots of appeals that I get that I don’t really like, but I would think are probably going to be successful…but then I would never know without seeing the figures!