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An easy 6-step plan for your year-end fundraising campaign

It's typically around now - sometime in September - that we start hearing questions and seeing discussions about Christmas or Year-End campaigns. It makes sense...the Holidays tend to bring out a spirit of generosity and December 31 gives a clear deadline for those who take advantage of certain tax incentives.

Here are six steps that you can take to plan for your year-end campaign. Follow them as shown and you'll be on your way to fundraising success!

1. Gather info for your story.

What story do you want to tell? You can if you want to, but probably don’t have to start from scratch here.

Check your annual report, statistical report, or past newsletters for data points.

Talk to your program staff and get success stories.

Choose two or three items and write a short story about them and how your organization made a difference. Can you make it especially relevant and tie it into the pandemic response?

2. Write a script.

Some people will want this to be word-for-word, while others will simply need talking points. Either way, make sure you have your script defined so that everybody on your team is in agreement with the messaging being used.

You’ll want to let people know who you are, and why you’re reaching out to them. Put yourselves in their shoes…be interesting and grab their attention.

Give specific examples of how you are meeting needs and come up with some clear calls to action.

3. Set your fundraising goal.

What exactly do you want to accomplish? You need to identify a financial goal that your campaign will aim to achieve.

Once you identify that goal, break it down by gift sizes and donor segments. This will allow you to tailor your strategy along the way.

Your goal is the magic number that you will focus on throughout the campaign. You and your team should know where you are in relation to the goal on an ongoing basis and be ready to share that with your donors. Forward momentum towards hitting the goal will often inspire others to give!

4. Identify your audience.

In this step you’re going to make a list of who you will talk to and ask for support. A pretty important part of any campaign, right?

This will look different from organization to organization and what the goals of your campaign are, but think about groups like volunteers, donors that gave last year at this time, your most generous overall donors, etc.

Make sure that you Board members and Development team review the list. They likely have some established relationships, and you want to make sure you have the right person doing the asking.

5. Tell your story.

If you’re not already having fun, now is the time. You have a mission or cause that you believe in…share that excitement and passion with your supporters

Personal notes, videos, social media (Facebook live is a great way to share your story), emails, texts…these are all tasks that you can do safely behind the scenes without too much personal interaction. And these are all good channels to use to tell your story.

But do you know what’s best? Picking up the phone or meeting your donors face-to-face. Masks on, of course!

6. Ask!

The most important part. Everything else was practically a waste of time if you don’t actually ask for a gift to your organization or campaign.

Try to be as specific as you can…a defined amount for a clearly stated purpose.

Feeling stuck or not sure how to take this step? Contact Arthur Alley and set up a free 20-minute coaching call. We’re happy to help! Click here to set up your call.

Have you found this outline to be helpful? If so, download our new how-to workbook called "Six Steps You Can Take To Replace Lost Kettle Income And #RescueChristmas." In it, we clearly lay out the various pieces within the six overall steps. There’s also a timeline and calendar so that you’ll stay on track and hit your deadlines.

We do a lot of work with The Salvation Army throughout the USA and know that they are especially concerned this year about how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect their Christmas Kettle bellringing. We wrote this guide especially for them, but the steps and techniques will work for any type of organization.

This complimentary workbook will ensure that you and your organization will see amazing results this year...Download it today.


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