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End-of-Year Engagement Strategies

Your organization is likely one of many vying for the attention of supporters come November and December. A thoughtful approach can help your messaging stand out from the other asks your supporters are receiving.

Best Practices

Nowadays, most organizations send out a series of direct mailings, encased within a multichannel approach that integrates social media, email, and personalized stewardship. Consider these practices as you walk through your approach:

Mine the data. You should routinely look through your database to consider your donor breakdown. Who has usually given by this time of year but hasn’t yet? As a best practice, most organizations target communications for their end-of-year appeals at the supporters who have given within the three most recent years. If you use a constituent records management (CRM) system, you’ll be able to pull data on your recent donors and see what times of year they’ve given to get a sense of their preferred giving timeframes.

Review your case. Just like any other appeal, you want to ensure that your case for support resonates with supporters. It should answer why they should support your mission and what you will do with their support. Every staff and board member should be well versed in this case for support to effectively engage supporters at every touchpoint across your organization. For more on building an effective case statement, head over to Creating Content That Works.

Personalize stewardship for major donors. Select your biggest donors and personally contact them. Whether you spread these communications across your team or divvy them among the board, contacting them with a personalized message of gratitude can help remind them how valuable their gifts were last year. Whether this is a phone call or one-on-one meeting, it’s the perfect time to share big updates about your organization and programs before inviting them to once again partner with you by renewing their support.

Give thanks. The end of the year is the perfect time for stewardship. Amidst the frenzy, don’t forget to give thanks to your supporters. Whether this is a phone call, text, or formal letter, be sure that an action plan is in place to thank your donors throughout the season.

Using the free worksheets included in the Development Plan Toolkit: Your Three-Step Guide to Strategic Fundraising, gather key metrics on your existing donors, identify opportunities for growth, and build an engagement strategy that speaks to each segment of your supporter base.