Why Year-End Fundraising Should Start NOW [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Charitable Giving Report from Blackbaud highlights trend that could mean year-end fundraising success for your nonprofit.

Before we get to that, check out this stunning infographic, summarizing their 2013 Charitable Giving Report.

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giving distribution by month
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Three action items from Blackbaud’s 2013 Charitable Giving Report

Scroll up for a moment and check out the monthly giving chart.

Doesn’t it look like an interval training screen on a Stairmaster? You start out with smaller peaks and valleys (sprint, rest) during the first nine months, followed with an all out dash to the finish line.

Here are three training tips for success in 2014:

1. Build stamina

Given the fact that most giving happens during the last three months of the year (a trend that will continue for years to come),  spend the first nine months training for a successful 4th quarter.

Set shorter-term goals for online engagement, list growth, open and click rates, and conversion rates. This will help you create a community that’s vibrant and responsive to your messages, going into October.

2. Build community

It goes without saying that donors need to know, like and trust your organization before they will give you money.

If you wait until October to start engaging your community, they’ll have little reason to trust your year-end appeal. Use social media to listen to and connect with your community.

Be passionate, present, and make every effort to be useful.

3. Build systems

In order to be successful during an event like #GivingTuesday, you need to have the systems.

Your fundraising software should support the specific types of fundraising campaigns you do (walks, peer-to-peer, matching, etc).

Your e-mail software should also support smart segmentation so that you can be sure you’re communicating with your donors in more meaningful and purposeful ways.

Write it down

There’s no shame if you don’t have a written plan. But there is shame If you don’t write one soon.

Set your plan. Refocus. Review.

How are you preparing for year-end?

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John Haydon