Having worked in several fundraising offices, I know there is always a plan to have someone come into the office to open the mail and process the online donations on December 31st to make sure those last minute dollars are deposited. Sometimes that person was me.
There has been quite a bit of financial reliance over the years on our dear, forgetful donors who haven’t made their total charitable donations for the year. The internet has given us more vehicles to remind those donors to give in a final scramble.
Don’t wait until the last minute, or even the last week, this year. The Eleventh Hour – December 31st – falls on a Friday this year, and many people will probably be taking the day off. Preparing for their long celebratory three day weekend, they won’t be checking their email to get your last minute heartfelt email blast.
One of my colleagues here at Blackbaud, Steve MacLaughlin, director of Internet solutions, recommends not focusing on just the last week of the year, but actually the last 3 months of the year.
I believe this is sound advice, especially in this year, when we can expect many tax changes in 2011. For those high net worth individuals who you feel have not fully reached their giving potential this year, mention the Code 68 deduction cutbacks in 2011. Financial weathermen are predicting less favorable deduction savings next year if cutback proposals on itemized deductions becomes law.
So do them the great favor of approaching them for the gift prior to the Eleventh Hour, leaving them to enjoy both their long weekend and favorable tax deductions.