At Network for Good, we have processed over $400 million in donations to about 60,000 nonprofits since we were founded. While this means we’ve helped a lot of donors connect with nonprofits, it also means we have compiled a whole lot of data about the giving habits of those donors. We asked the good people at TrueSense to take a look at all that data and what we have found is pretty amazing stuff.
It probably comes as no surprise to you that December is the biggest month for giving. Between people being in the holiday spirit and the U.S. tax deadlines, giving is bound to go up. But what you may not realize is that 15% of December’s donations happen on the 31st of the month. And if you break that down even further, there is a peak giving time on that day of 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. That’s a huge chunk of donations being given in a small window of time.
So, what can you do to get the attention of those generous procrastinators out there?
Prime the Pump. You don’t need to wait until the 31st to start working. You need to be cleaning up your mailing lists and emailing people now. Get your message out there. Get people thinking about your cause and why they should give to you. Make it part of every conversation you have – whether it be through email, print or social media.
Keep it Simple. December is a busy month for everyone. Don’t be longwinded or beat around the bush. You want to make an incredibly compelling yet concise case for why people should give. That begins with understanding the questions your donors are asking themselves before they give.
- First of all, your donors need to know, “Why me?” They need to know why your cause is relevant to them and why should they care.
- Secondly, they will ask, “Why now?” This time of year, donors will generally answer this themselves knowing the tax deadlines are approaching.
- Then they will ask, “What for?” You need to lay out what their gift can accomplish – show the impact it will have.
- Finally they ask, “Who says?” People are increasingly skeptical and will trust what their friends, family and even acquaintances say over all of your marketing efforts. So get your supporters’ help. Have them tell why they give to you and what it means to them.
Once you have your message composed in a persuasive yet succinct manner, we recommend sending a few emails the last week of the year. Send one on the 27th, another one on the 29th or 30th and then a final one on the 31st itself. Be short and to the point and emphasize the deadline.
Finally, as you go into the New Year, make a resolution on January 1st that you are going to be extra nice to your donors in the coming year. The main reason people stop giving to a charity is because they didn’t like the way that charity treated them. So if you want the folks giving in December to keep giving, you need to take care of them. Don’t make them feel like walking ATM’s and you’ll be able to make the most of your year-end giving each and every year.
Access the recording of the webinar here: Seven Incredible Hours in December: How to Make the Most of Year-End Giving Online
Adapted by Kristina Leroux