I know it seems far away, but January will be here before you know it! Take a few minutes to plan for your post-holiday activities right now, so you don’t miss the opportunities January provides:
- To send a cohesive, thought-out thank-you to donors at various levels
- To upgrade monthly donors
- To invite donors to events at a quiet time of year
- To talk about anything when other orgs aren’t active
Thanking your holiday donors
Between time off and the rate of gift processing, you may not have had time to properly thank your donors. Send a handwritten note, make a thank-you call, or add to a receipt/thank-you letter already being sent. You might be tempted to focus on volume and get out all the required thank-you notes first, but you need to treat your holiday donors with the same consideration your donors get the rest of the year.
Upgrading monthly donors
Most donors at year-end give because of the lure of that lovely tax receipt. Monthly donors don’t have the same incentive; they can upgrade at any time of year without feeling like they’re missing out or that they should wait. Since most fundraising activity is dormant in January, you can target your monthly donors with a specific ask or even a January campaign targeting the benefits of giving monthly. Bonus: Get a matching donor to incentivize donors to maximize the match. Bonus 2: Set a deadline and goal; invest the time and techonology to get an online gift ‘thermometer’ to incentivize donors.
Send event invites
For some organizations, events in the first quarter can tie in nicely to their mission, and can also benefit from the relative quiet in the fundraising landscape. You might have higher attendance than a similar event in November and December when folks are busy. Focussing on stewardship thanks holiday donors relatively quickly after they give; for fundraising you could target folks who don’t usually give over the holiday or who didn’t last year. Even better if your year-end is approaching and a final fundraising event can help with a final push to meet or exceed your goals.
If nothing else, think of your first January fundraising and stewardship activities as a great test. You know never what’s going to work until you try. Worst-case scenario you tried something innovative; best-case, you had some success and build on it next year.
Did you try something similar in the past? Are you inspired for a campaign for January 2018? Connect with us! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us at @ChrisCMarketing. Maybe we can discuss your successes and learnings in a future post!