By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Your year-end drive likely features written and email appeals delivered between Thanksgiving and the end of the year. That’s good … but … Before you make your appeals, you have an important opportunity to say “thank you” — and to do so in a way that is fresh and vibrant. Thanksgiving offers you a perfect hook for kicking off your year-end drive through a Thank-A-Thon — a “Thanks Bonanza” that you can start preparing for now. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of thanking donors and doing so in ways that do not come attached
By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA As Giving Tuesday comes around on November 30, I am asking you to think deeply before you commit to promoting it. My annual struggle over whether to include Giving Tuesday (GT) in my year-end fundraising plan is in full swing. This year, I am distracted by the gargantuan untapped revenue that you can access from those donors with Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) — upwards of $140 billion. I am asking myself if instead of focusing on Giving Tuesday, would it be more lucrative for me to focus on cultivating and soliciting those donors with Donor Advised Funds? Your
December seems to pack two months of activity into 31 short days. This year, it occurred to me there are a lot of lessons we can learn from Rudolph and our friends on the Island of Misfit Toys, lessons about fundraising.
The Thanksgiving holiday is an excellent time to extend gratitude to your donors, do you agree? Before mailing a single year-end fundraising appeal though, you can catch supporters off-guard with a positive Thanksgiving message full of gratitude. Don’t ask for a thing— not volunteer support, not links to social media, not their time, and certainly not their money. Don’t refer to the upcoming year-end appeal or include a donor reply envelope. Don’t mention previous donations. Just tell supporters that, on this Thanksgiving holiday, your nonprofit is thankful for them and why. A nice personal card is in order, or even