Sunday, November 18, 2012

A List of Specific Fundraising Methods Particularly Helpful At the End of the Calendar Year

We are fast approaching the end of the calendar year and there are certain fundraising methods that are particularly important at this time of year for any nonprofit to consider conducting.  Any one or more can be done for a year end boost to your organization's bottom line.

__ Year End Appeal - The year end appeal is usually similar to the annual appeal except the written and mailed request sent to everyone who donated a certain amount and above perhaps for the past two years (such as maybe $25 and above), usually lists all of the organization's accomplishments and accolades for the year clearly providing as well (perhaps in two separate pie charts or other quick but informative representation) all of the organization's spending and income, and stating what the goals are for the coming new year.  Usually, too, it is pointed out (gently) that a contribution to your group at the end of this year will provide an equivalent tax deduction (to the extent that the law allows) for the donor when they file their taxes for this year.

__ Major Donor Year End Appeal - Is a specific appeal, exactly like the Year End Appeal described above, except any major donor request is always conducted face to face with the nonprofit's major donors (again keeping in mind that the major donor is often eager to donate at the end of a calendar year to benefit their tax deductions and can also afford to give major assets such as land, stock, bonds, etc. and especially give on this magnitude at the end of the year for the tax break).

__ Grant Donors Looking to Spend Down The Rest of This Year's Giving Budget - By law foundations are required to donate a specific percentage of their total assets each year to remain in good standing with the IRS and other government entities that oversee their operations.  Sometimes a given grant donor will find, at the end of their fiscal year (which can fall, of course, on the end of the calendar year for some grant donors) that they have money left to give in order to meet either this oversight rule or to meet the giving budget for the year.  Either way, it never hurts to research grant donors, more likely to give to your specific nonprofit (see the link in this sentence to know how to determine which grant donors they are) and see if they happen to be needing to spend down this year (as it's the end of the calendar year).

__ Governments Looking to Spend Down The Rest of This Year's Giving Budget - Like the foundations described, above, (and though the economy is down still) some government agencies or programs gave budgets this year and some of those may have money to give yet in order to meet their giving goal for this year.  As suggested above, if their is a federal, state, local, or Tribal, etc. government agency that your organization knows has or would support your nonprofit, it doesn't hurt to research whether their office is looking to spending down some last unused money marked for grant donations.

__ Request Outstanding or Due Memberships, Pledges, and Other Final Quarter Donation Balances- Often, like a for-profit business, nonprofits can run their Accounts Receivable for their donations (or expected income report) for this year and see which donors (sponsors, in kind donors, etc. included along with individual, business, and foundation donors) have yet to give in full for the year if they promised or pledged a certain amount before 2013.  Requests all of these outstanding amounts.

__ Board of Director Annual Contributions - Often nonprofits raise money, annually, through annual leadership contributions which is a specific often larger amount that each board member promises to either raise or donate personally (or give through a combination of the two).  If your organization conducts Board Contributions, be sure to request any outstanding remaining balances from any board members still needing to fulfill their contribution amount for this year.

__ Employee Giving Programs - Many corporations provide their employees with the choice to give to any one (or more) of a long list of area or related nonprofits.  If, for instance, your organization operates in Dallas, Texas you might want to find out how your organization can get onto Hewlett Packard's Corporate Giving List (for their employees to select to give to your nonprofit) over the coming year - usually through a monthly (or other regular incremental) contribution deducted (pre-tax for the donor employee) from their pay check.  Another example is, if your nonprofit operates in Seattle, you could contact Microsoft's Human Resources offices and find out how to get onto their Employee Giving list for 2013 and on.  Always be sure, when requesting/receiving volunteer time or donations from any employer's employees whether the employer matches the contribution.  Often they do but if you don't ask, you don't know to request the matching contribution from the employer, once their employee's donation or volunteer time is given.

__ Corporate Used Items Warehouse Donations - Some corporations warehouse used and old office furniture, kitchen appliances, office appliances, etc. that they intend to donate (for the community goodwill and tax benefits to their company).  Some sell these items at very low prices.  If your organization is needing new equipment or furniture, for your office, contact a local large corporation and ask if they have such a giving program.

__ Thank Supporters - This is a 'no brainer'.  Always make it a point to thank volunteers, partners, and donors without asking them for anything at least four times a year (if not more often, such as thank the donor events).  As we are winding down this year, in all of your organization's year end publications remember the community that allows your organization to achieve its mission goal and the goals of its programs: the community partners, donors, and volunteers who without your organization could not operate, let alone succeed.  In your nonprofit's final newsletter, blog post, Tweet, Annual Report for the year, etc. thank them each and all.  Acknowledge the importance of the partnership you have with them.  State that your  nonprofit and its leadership knows that this ongoing relationship with them is how your organization's successes are achieved.

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