1-1-1: 6 Attributes of a Stellar Year-End Fundraising Campaign



1 lesson from me

Here are six attributes of a stellar year-end fundraising campaign that will help you raise a lot more money.

1. Leverage a match gift. You want to announce gifts to your year-end campaign will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to X dollars. Not only does the dollar value of the match gift go straight to the bottom line, but it also inspires and motivates prospective donors to stretch further and dig deeper to make their most generous gift - especially during tough economic times!

It can be a match gift from one person, one corporation, or one foundation. It can also be from a small group of people. Perhaps your board or another group of five to ten gifts combined to make a collective match. I suggest setting a minimum gift value to participate – otherwise, you'll have a long scroll of names that takes up a lot of precious real estate on your direct mail piece.

I'm often asked how large a match gift should be to be effective. I'm also asked, can a match gift be too big? I'd love to see your match gift be $25,000 or higher. And yes, the higher, the better. You have to be sure the mission need (or case) presented in your appeal is more significant than the match. If you have a super-big match gift, you should have a super-big community need or issue to solve, and you could even match every gift 2-to-1.

2. Use donor-centric language. More YOU language than WE language. Conveying what the DONOR will make happen with their generous support. In fact, the more you connect the donor or prospective donor with someone who participates in your program and the LESS you talk about your organization – the more money you will raise.

3. Tell the story of one. Your appeal is about your donor, his or her values, and ONE person with whom they can make a difference. Your appeal is an opportunity for the prospective donor to make a difference for one sick child, one abused puppy, one lonely senior, one wounded warrior, one determined first-generation college student, one story of injustice, or one courageous woman fleeing domestic violence. Featuring a massive number of those in need can be overwhelming and leave the donor feeling that it's a hopeless situation and that their gift surely won't make a big enough impact.

4. Segment your data. Strategically segmenting your data with variable print, giving options based on the amount of the donor's last gift will help you upgrade gift values. So, if my last gift was $100, you may ask me to consider making a gift of $100, $125, or $150. And, of course, offer a fill-in-the-blank giving option.

5. Use an involvement device. An involvement device invites the donor or probable donor to send an encouraging holiday message to a family participating in your programs (as an example.) Or perhaps the opportunity is to cut-out and decorate a snowflake to be returned with your gift and hung in the group home community room.

6. Consistency, consistency, consistency. Your year-end campaign message and imagery must be consistent across all channels. Direct mail. Email. Social media. Custom landing page. And any other channels you're using for the campaign.

When you become a Growth member in my community, you'll get instant access to the following year-end fundraising on-demand classes:

  • Planning your year-end giving strategy
  • Three Ways to Increase Year-End Giving
  • Top 3 Strategies for Year-End Fundraising Success
  • Creating Multichannel Year-End Campaign Success

PLUS you'll get immediate access to over 100 on-demand fundraising classes at no additional cost.


1 quote from someone else

“If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them.”
– Jeff Brooks


1 question for you

As you know, we believe that a high tide raises all boats. (a nod to U.S. President J.F.K.)

To help other fundraising pros who want to achieve greater end-of-year results, what successful year-end fundraising tips can you share?

To share your answer or thoughts, reply to this email or tweet me @tammyzonker.


Keep transforming your fundraising,
Tammy Zonker
Fundraising Strategist, Keynote Speaker, & Certified AFP Master Trainer
Recognized as one of America's Top 20 Fundraising Experts
Creator of the Fundraising Transformers Community


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