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See your fundraising through to the end of the year!

December 13, 2010

If you’re in fundraising and you’re planning to take the last week of the year off. Think again.

While by then you may have sent all of your solicitations and feel that all that’s necessary is to sit back and let the dollars roll in, you could be leaving dollars on the table. In a excellent wrap-up of year-end tips by one of my favorite nonprofit marketing bloggers, Jocelyn Harmon, reminds us not to give up on year-end too early, with email response rates for the last four days of the year being nearly equal.

In our experience, this is also the time when would-be last-minute donors have questions about their contribution. Perhaps the payment process is confusing and they have questions, or perhaps they have questions about making an in-kind donation or a gift of stock. Regardless of the questions, someone from your fundraising team should be available to walk your donors through the donation process.

If everyone on the fundraising team has already booked their travels and won’t be in the office, consider the following:

Set the auto-reply of every team member and the main donation email alias with an FAQ-style list of answers and preferably telephone and email information for reaching a knowledgeable human.

Forward the fundraising phone line(s) and set expectations in your outbound message for prompt review and reply to voice messages over the holidays. If you can’t guarantee that someone knowledgeable will be available to answer the line, make sure someone from your fundraising team checks for voice mails a minimum of three times a day and responds immediately.

Update the donation page on your website. While your site’s donation page should always clearly articulate donation options and methods, make sure that hours and contact options are accurate for the holidays. Include an FAQ to help donors find answers themselves (but don’t rely on this alone unless it’s absolutely necessary).

Take care to see your fundraising through to the end of the year and make sure that you claim every dollar that you’ve worked so hard to earn all year long.

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