Nonprofit organizations are busy contacting their donors hoping to encourage them to make a year-end contribution. Of course, a visit, a call, a voicemail message, and even a short email message are valuable (with the visit or call better than the voicemail or email message). What is important though is a low-key approach. Donors are already aware that it is year-end and they are expecting the calls or voicemail messages. Your organization will set itself apart if it simply says thank you for the donors support and that you wish them a very happy holiday season. This will usually prompt a donation unless the donor has already committed all of their support elsewhere. Even so, they will remember the friendly follow-up when they are considering their next round of donations. Good luck and have fun.

P.S. Don’t forget the personal contact or call in January to thank donors for their support at year-end or throughout 2017. Thank you calls without asking for another donation are appreciated and leads to larger donations in the future.


Now that we are officially in the holiday season, many organizations are developing their year-end appeals and letters. Obviously, this is the time of year when most donations are made so it is timely for every organization to ask for a year-end contribution. Keep in mind that your year-end appeal needs to balance the emotional and the fact/result driven message. Giving is always a personal and emotional decision, but even small sum donors are asking for proof that an organization is efficient, business-like and getting results. A couple of ways to balance these two issues is to tell a personal story about a beneficiary who was able to improve themselves or their families condition because of your organization’s program. You can include in the message how much you spend on administration and fundraising by saying that over X% of every donation goes to program. You can also indicate your efficiency by mentioning that in the past year, you had special visits by the XYZ organization,  board members, or that your organization was awarded special recognition/designation from watchdog groups or other charitable organizations. If you can include a quote from an outside organization representative that will be even better, so for example, Ms. ______ _______ from UNICEF said that our programs was one of the most effective that she had ever seen! Hopefully, these ideas will blend the emotional with donors’ desire to give to effect, well managed organizations. Good luck as you head towards the end of the year.