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Eric Rardin 4 min read

How’s Your Year-End Fundraising Going?

We know, you’ve just caught your breath from the 2010 year-end fundraising push, and probably still crunching the numbers, and here we are talking about preparing for this year’s year-end effort. But, we’re nearly one month in to 2011, and overachievers are starting to prepare for the 2011 year-end fundraising campaigns already.

Why so much emphasis on year-end fundraising? Because as most of us know, this is when the largest number and amount of individual donations are made. According to a study commissioned by Convio on year-end giving last season, 74 percent of US adults planned on donating during the holiday season, amounting to an expected $48 billion in November and December. Just to make the point more finely, according to Network for Good,15 percent of the money donated online is raised in the final day of the year. Clearly, December is the most important time of the year to fundraise, and the worst time of the year to prepare for your year-end fundraising. That means today is the best day to begin to prepare for this coming December.

We have just the thing to help you jumpstart your efforts and become an overachieving superstar. We’ve teamed up with Sea Change Strategies to update the 2011 overachiever’s guide to year-end fundraising. Check out some of these quick tips while last month is still fresh in your mind and you’ll be off to a great start in preparing for this coming December, and your fundraising between now and then too!

Here are some quick tips to jump-start your year, and year-end fundraising:

1)   Make sure you’ve thanked all your new donors properly. And review your thank you message to ensure that it’s warm, heartfelt, and authentic. No plain text auto-reply “thank you for your donation.” Now, make a plan to thank your supporters throughout the year so they know you appreciate them.

2)   Review how you are collecting new email sign ups and donations on your website. Is it obvious and easy? Does it require the fewest possible steps? To really overachieve have a friend, or parent, (or three) go through the process of signing up and making a donation while you watch. Was it painless and pleasant for them? If not, now’s the time to fix it.

3)   Finalize your recruitment and email acquisition plans now. December is not the time to grow your list if you can do it sooner. Growing your list early gives you time to welcome and cultivate your new subscribers, and include them in your offline fundraising where appropriate. Multichannel donors are far more valuable than single channel donors, and online is the best channel for acquiring multichannel donor.

There’s much more in the guide so check it out. We wish you great success in 2011.