The Final Ask

Preparing for Year End Fundraising

We are rapidly approaching the final quarter of the year and for nonprofit organizations this is not a time to hunker down, but to get geared up.

The end of year is a prime time for fundraising. That’s because donors will be making those last minute donations to offset taxes.

What better way to get a tax write off than to make a donation to a charitable organization.

You don’t want to wait until the last minute to try to take advantage of this opportunity. Now is the time for you to begin preparing what that ask will look like.

Here are a few things you should consider:

1. What were some of your major accomplishments this year? It’s always good to highlight what you’ve done to make an impact among your target population. Demonstrate how you’ve been able to successfully accomplish what you set out to do at the beginning of the year.
2. What were some areas that you fell short and why? Don’t be so quick to hide your failures. We learn way more from failure than we do from success. If there is a lesson you learned that can improve your processes that’s a good thing. This could present an opportunity to ask a donor to help you make necessary improvements. Remember, donors are motivated by the opportunity to provide solutions to community problems.
3. Who were key players that attributed to your success? This is a good time to thank those people. Think of your volunteers, community partners and your donors. Think of how you can express your gratitude to them for all they’ve done to support your organization. Show them how you wouldn’t have been able to accomplish your goals without them.
4. What will be your method of asking? Give careful thought to this area. Do you want to write a formal letter? Will you produce a high quality newsletter with great pics and personal stories? Will it be a video? Whatever method you choose make sure it’s personal and can properly tell the story you want to share.

Now is the time to start gathering everything you need to prepare for the big ask, which may not be an “ask” at all. Sometimes the “no ask” approach is even more effective.

A nonprofit I previously worked with had a method that was an ask without asking at all. They just told the story they wanted to tell, thanked the donors for making it happen and then included a donation envelope in the letter/newsletter. Without fail we received those envelopes back with substantial donations.

Please don’t let this be a last minute thing you throw together because it won’t be effective. Let this be a thoughtful process. Create a plan and then execute it.

If you do this the right way you will have a great end to this year, and some tremendous momentum for the new year.

Until next time…

Peace & Blessings!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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