kultivate

Time to Start Planning Your (gasp!) Holiday Appeal
Tuesday, 27 August 2013 17:25

The summer is drawing to an end, and the time is right to begin to planning your holiday appeal.  Why so early?  There is lots to do to make this year your best yet!  Here is a short checklist to get you started:

 

  • Make a plan.  If you are like most nonprofits, your appeal is critical to your success.  Don't leave it to chance, or to a last-minute rush.  Put together a list of tasks and a timeline, and stick to it as best as possible.
  • Did you host an event this year?  If so, get all of the attendees into your prospect list.  If you have an event coming up, make sure to collect as many email and mailing addresses as possible.  A raffle can be a good way to solicit this information from attendees who did not purchase their own tickets.
  • An appeal letter should not be the only communication your donors and prospects receive from you!  Plan to cultivate your donors and prospects over the coming months.
    • Each prospect should receive at least one, preferably two, communications from you before you ask again.  Send them your newsletter, a personal email with a success story, or a link to a newspaper article.  Keep them engaged and informed of how your nonprofit improves the community.
    • Same goes for donors.  Make sure all of your donors are thanked, and inform them how important their gift is.  Email a link to your annual report to your regular donors, and mail a hard copy to your top donors.  Send your top donors a personal note, Thanksgiving Day card, or other personal contact. Have your board run a thank-a-thon in November, calling each donor and thanking them for their support.
  • Analyze your past appeals - what worked best, and why?
  • Have all of your appeal letters printed and ready to mail by December 1, or a few days earlier if you are not a United Way agency.
  • Have a reminder email ready to go on December 28 to encourage last-minute gifts.
  • Be ready to acknowledge gifts within four days of receiving them!

With some planning and preparation, this could be your best holiday appeal ever!  Need some assistance?  kultivate can help you with everything from writing your letters to setting up your donor database.  Give us a call!

 
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