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Things to Ask Your Donors for Your End of Year Giving Campaign - PART 2

Time to scramble and get those gifts!

The countdown is ON, and if you are as big of a procrastinator as I am, or you seem to look at the calendar and it magically leaps ahead days at a time making it impossible to do things in a timely manner without causing the stress of last minute things…well, I see you.

I also know there are plenty of donors who are experiencing the same things – and asking themselves, “how do I get the nonprofit that has everything?”

In case you’re too embarrassed to say what you need out loud, or you don’t really know WHAT to ask for, I decided to give you a gift! A list of things to ask donors for!

A simple checklist…done, in the timeless classic song you’ll hear way too many times on the soft rock station that became the OFFICIAL holiday station of your local town this year: The 12 Days of Christmas.

But, to make these reads and checklists a little shorter (and in no way to simply extend a piece of content that could be one week into two weeks leading up to a few days off!) here is PART 2 of our Things to Ask Your Donors for Your End of Year Giving Campaign!

7. On the Seventh Day of Christmas, My Donors Gave to Me….Seven Joyous Compliments

Do you ever feel like you’re working and no one sees what you are doing to better the organization or the community?

Does it ever feel like your effort is going unnoticed? Well, it sure isn’t. But like that individual who scrolls through social media and enjoys the content but doesn’t go through the simple act of pressing “like” it’s hard to know what value individuals place on your awesomeness.

So what better way to have your board members or supporters let you know that they see you, value you, and appreciate you with a little love note!? It’s an easy way they can show they care and give you the motivation to keep doing fantastic work!

How do you get that compliment without asking them to do that? Easy! Send them a link with a way they can “send a note to your staff and leadership team to let them know you’re thinking about them!” Listen, if the organization sends it out, it can be a great engagement tool AND offer you that dopamine rush! Win-win!

8. On the Eighth Day of Christmas, My Donors Gave to Me….Eight Email Addresses

We all stare at that mailing list in whatever CRM or email program we use to communicate with our donors and wish the same thing – more.

The way we can expand out mission and find more folks who love what we do is telling our story to as many people as possible, and have them fall in love with our mission as passionately as we believe in the impact it makes. And by producing great content shared via email is a convenient and cost effective way to do just that.

But, unless you’re buying lists or spamming folks you just met at a business after hours event where we took every business card and painstakingly entered all that information in to someone who clearly just wants to pitch you about getting a printer or selling you insurance.

So, an easy gift would be for your donors and supports to ask their network of friends if they would be willing to have you send them information about your nonprofit and the programs and services you provide. First, you’re activating a supporter to ask others for a non-monetary gift…and secondly, they will then be on the lookout for your communication in a way they wouldn’t have been without a heads up from their friend!

9. On the Ninth Day of Christmas, My Donors Gave to Me….Nine Stories to Family and Friends

Speaking of stories – a gift that your donors could give would be the power of telling others of your successes and how much it means to the community. People trust those around them, and so those who love your mission, talking about your mission will pay dividends galore.

We talk about it a lot on this blog, in our podcasts and with our clients – but it bares repeating as many times as we can squeeze it in to conversation: Third party endorsement is exponentially more important than first party solicitation.

Everyone expects you to talk about how amazing your organization is, but no one expects a donor, a supporter or a volunteer to go out of their way to talk positively and enthusiastically about an organization they give time, talent and treasure to.

A gift of someone telling your story, talking about what is needed to make even more of an impact, and letting those they are close to is as intimate of a relationship building step as their can be! The trust they show to invite them to see what you do, is an incredible gift!

10. On the Tenth Day of Christmas, My Donors Gave to Me….Ten Volunteer Hours

It’s been a hot minute since the traditional volunteer hours were a thing. This pandemic threw a handful of monkey wrenches into the “show up in a big group and do stuff” activity checklist. So? Time to get creative. Why? Because volunteers are some of your hottest leads for donors…because time is becoming more valuable than money. And those who give time, are probably more than likely to give cash in ADDITION.

Two things to keep in mind.

Create something that helps you currently and remember to follow up with what their help accomplished as it pertains to your mission

I’m sure the temptation is to customize an experience for your volunteers that has a whole bunch of new bells and whistles to make sure they have a wonderful time with your organization, but don’t mission creep with volunteers! Make sure they are working to help the vision and impact of your nonprofit so you can attribute their actions and accomplishments to bettering the community!

AND? Then remembering to follow up and talk about what their time and effort did. That follow up will not only remind them of how much fun they had learning about what you do, and the programs that make such a difference, but will

11. On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, My Donors Gave to Me….Eleven Auction Items

Listen, you’re probably staring at your calendar for the upcoming year and thinking – how can I get a jump start on all the things we have to do and not feel stressed?

Good plan, if you have some way for others to help!

Right now is a great time to ask your donors to get ahead of the chaotic event season ramp up by asking them for auction items, gifts for your fundraising event, or be on the lookout for decorations if you’re events are themed!

Everything is on sale right now, and businesses are in a tangible-item giving mood. Sure money is the BEST thing the could give you, but if “stuff” makes them feel good right now, then ask for the stuff you need! Cool trinkets or booze or “packs” that stores sell you can re-package into a basket full of that Easter grass to make it look fancy is a great ask of your donors this time of year. While they are out and about purchasing items for their family, white elephant gifts for their co-workers or checking off a list for families in need, they would probably be on the look out for end of year deals to gift to your organization and make your upcoming auction as awesome as possible!

12. On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My Donors Gave to Me….Twelve Thank You Notes

There is nothing, and I mean nothing, more fantastic than getting handwritten thank you notes in the snail mail. It hits different. We all know this.

But we also know that handwriting all the notes we want to write may be tragic on our wrists and legibility of the delightful words we want to write.

A wonderful gift your supporters can give to you is the time, energy and most importantly people power to craft handwritten thank you notes or make thank you calls to supporters on your behalf.

The uniqueness of giving them an opportunity to say thank you, show gratitude and spread reminders to those who give that they mean the world to the community is such a unique gift BACK to those who say yes to helping. The interaction on the phone with a quick call to say how grateful they are on behalf of an organization they also invest in, and the response of gratitude for calling to acknowledge that gift becomes this circular gratitude feel-good convo that folks can’t get enough of.

The time they spend writing countless notes to say thank you to a community that supports your mission, and knowing that each person who gets that letter will open it up and even for a brief moment have a smile and flutter in their heart for being recognized as a generous and awesome person sounds woo-woo as all get out. And yet? It’s addictive and makes the person saying thanks feel as awesome as the person who is being thanked.

Pretty great gifts there my friends.

Happy Holidays!!!



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