Year End Focus On Major Gifts

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA

Fundraisers often refer to the 80/20 rule: that 80 percent of your funding typically comes from about 20 percent of your donors. This rule especially comes into play as part of your year-end drive because it is the optimum time of year to discuss major gifts during your personal donor meetings. These donors are the people whose donations will spearhead your year-end campaign, and they require a much higher degree of personalized attention when appealed to. By Labor Day, you should have finished segmenting your donors and then begin preparing, sometime between mid-October and mid-December, to set up meetings with your largest donors: the top 20 percent of your givers.

Typically I’ll write to or call my top 20 percent and say, “I’d like to meet and update you about the organization and to talk about your year-end gift.” Some donors are so accustomed to it after all these years that they’ll occasionally reply, “We don’t need to meet this year.” However, if that’s the case, I don’t recommend just abandoning the conversation right there. It still behooves you to ask, “What would work for you this year?”  If you feel a year-end gift is just not in the cards from a particular donor, you can still suggest a no-obligation meeting to update them about the organization.

It typically takes more time to secure larger gifts, in part because your donor needs to plan a large gift more meticulously due to its correlation with their year-end tax planning. By the end of the year, if you’ve taken time to work with your donors, they should be ready to make those really big year-end contributions. Given the potential for their year-end largesse, your devoting extra time and planning on your end can prove highly lucrative. Know who your loyal donors are. Communicate with them differently from those who have supported you only once or twice, or whose support is more sporadic. If you treat your loyal donors carefully, you can build an enduring relationship with them that can lead to larger gifts over time.

We welcome your comments about this post on the LAPA blog.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Related Posts

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday

GivingTuesday 2022 is coming up, Tuesday, November 29th, and it’s a banner day for many nonprofits. Some use it to launch their year-end campaign. No other day creates the same worldwide feeling of philanthropy and good will. Often stylized as #GivingTuesday for the purposes of hashtag activism, GivingTuesday occurs on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States. It’s touted as a “global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.” Perhaps these LAPA blog resources will help you harness the power of GivingTuesday: GivingTuesday: You Have A Decision To Make Countdown

Read More »
Giving

Year-End Giving

Year-End Giving
You never hear people say, “I know when I am.”  But it’s often useful to know where you stand in a temporal sense.  From a fundraiser’s point of view, it’s important to know where you are timewise  when we approach the end of the year.  One of out of every three dollars contributed to nonprofit organizations is donated in the month of December alone!

Read More »

Donors Drop By 7% But Dollars Up 6.2%, Buoyed By Major Donors

U.S. charitable giving increased significantly in Q2 2022, but gains were accompanied by a continuing steep decline in donor acquisition and retention, particularly among new and newly retained donors, according to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project’s (FEP) Second Quarter Fundraising Report. The Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) is a collaboration among fundraising data providers, researchers, analysts, associations, and consultants to empower the sector to track and evaluate trends in giving. The project offers one of the only views of the current year’s fundraising data in aggregate to provide the most recent trends for guiding nonprofit fundraising and donor engagement. The FEP releases

Read More »