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October 20, 2017 Wiley Stinnett

It looks like you’re not going to meet the year-end budget. Don’t let the panic consume you, the tools for a successful year-end campaign are available.

While your natural instinct might be to reach out to a small number of Major Donors to solicit significant contributions to close the financial gap, many of our ministry partners are generating the largest year-end revenue through a strategic communication plan to non-major, “regular” donors.

Non-major donors make up a significant portion of the donor file and when communicated with properly, have the potential to grow into higher-level donors, generating much-needed year-end revenue. A successful year-end communication plan could include one or all of the following:

Mail a year-end appeal and a follow-up appeal.

Explain the financial need to your donors in terms of the lives they are impacting through their support, and clearly communicate that your organization depends on their support to keep the ministry operating and take advantage of new opportunities. Donors have previously shown interest in supporting the work your ministry does, and will want to give to keep it thriving. A more urgent and succinct follow-up appeal, arriving just a few weeks before the end of the year, will reinforce the message, give donors an update on the financial need, and remind them that time is running out!

If a matching challenge is available, use it!

Donors are motivated by the opportunity to make the most impact with their gift. A matching challenge, when used properly, provides a clear reason to give, a deadline for giving, and doubles the donors’ impact on the lives your ministry serves—which can motivate your donor to make an even greater gift.

Telemarketing with a follow-up.

A great, inoffensive telemarketing strategy is calling your donor to make sure they received their direct mail. This allows you to thank them for their partnership and have a conversation about the letter, while also asking for a live donation or a pledge to donate by the end of the year. With time running short, this is the way to get quick responses that you can follow up on immediately. Be sure to respond immediately to all pledges with a first-class letter and a conveniently included reply envelope for the donor to make their year-end gift with ease, and keep your ministry thriving into the new year!

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