Chase Away the Year-End Giving Goblins | npENGAGE

Chase Away The Year-End Giving Goblins

By on Oct 18, 2012


This time of year means trick or treat for many, but for fundraisers it conjures up frights and fears. The culprit?  Year-end giving.  But don’t fret.  With a little planning you can chase away those Halloween goblins.  While your year-end plans are probably well in hand, consider the following as you strive to maximize your organization’s annual giving potential.

Making the Case

Do you have a Case Statement for Annual Giving?  If not, you should.  Case Statements aren’t just for Capital Campaigns anymore! It’s just as important to communicate your goals and objectives to annual donors as it is for capital campaign prospects.  Don’t assume that everyone knows your organization’s priorities as well as you do.  Spell it out. Make it clear.

Get Specific

Once you make your case, read it over.  Is it specific?  Tangible?  Imagine asking a donor for $1000 and having them ask, “What are you going to do with it if I give it to you?”  Can you answer that question without relying on vague generalities? Specificity doesn’t have to equal restricted giving.  Provide details on the impact gifts of various sizes will have on your organization.

Target the Best, Mail the Rest

Take a look at the list of past donors who haven’t yet given.  Commit to targeting 25 of these individuals for significant upgrades.  One strategy is to identify donors who previously gave $200-$500 and request a $1000 gift.  Tear up the form letter and craft one of your own.  Speak from your heart. Invite them to partner with you.  Show them how they can make a difference by increasing their giving.  Follow the letter with a phone call next week.  Do five of these in each of the next five weeks.  You might be surprised at the results.  Not only will this help you meet your annual fund campaign goals, but it will also assist in identifying prospective major donors.

In short, there are several things you can still do to enhance year end giving.  Don’t delay—the end of the year is a short eleven weeks away. But, with a little thought and creativity you can turn the scariest time of year into the best month of the season.

Do you have a unique plan for enhancing year end giving?  If so, send me your tips at

Happy Haunting!


Laura Worcester, senior consultant at Target Analytics, joined Blackbaud in 2001.In her current role she advises nonprofits on utilizing screening results in identifying and evaluating best donor prospects. In 25+ years of fundraising experience, Laura has served as the chief advancement officer for numerous organizations and managed her own consulting business, providing grant writing services to arts, educational and health care organizations. She’s presented at development conferences and has been a regular contributor to Blackbaud’s blogs with selected posts being reprinted in journals such the NonProfit Times. A traveler since her study abroad days in Denmark, Laura’s committed to passing this enthusiasm on to her teenage daughters. Her family’s travel adventures were just featured in a neighborhood magazine in her suburban Milwaukee community. Contact Laura by email.

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