Jim O’Connor
Senior Director

Holiday fundraising should always be part of an organization’s annual strategy to ensure successful attainment of their revenue goals.

Since people tend to be more generous and philanthropic this time of year, the Christmas season presents a tremendous opportunity for fundraising as well as attracting new potential donors.

Focus on immediate impact

A great place to start is by emphasizing the value of these donations in having an immediate impact on your organization.

According to a recent article in the Chronical of Philanthropy, an old saying is recalled: “When times are good, people give. When times are bad, people give. When times are uncertain, people hold on.” Given the current economic climate, being specific in what the immediate impact of donations will be can motivate those who may be tempted to wait until things improve to give now rather than wait.

Look to consistent donors

Although annual year-end fundraising initiatives are common, organizations should always focus on looking inwards to their existing donor base, specifically those who are regular donors on a year-by-year basis. Conduct a review of how many of these consistent donors have yet to make their annual year-end gift and reach out to each on a personalized basis asking for their continued support.

Regarding major gift donors and board members, identify which of them may be willing to approach their peers at those upper levels who have yet to make their donation. And do not forget to suggest donations through a variety of personal assets which normally will not affect daily expenses and budgeting. Some such as Donor Advised Funds, IRAs & other retirement accounts and planned giving vehicles are examples.

Seek out ‘Giving Circles’

Looking outside this more intimate group, seek out “Giving Circles” which have become increasingly popular. These are groups of liked-minded, mission-focused individuals who pool their donations and choose causes and organizations to support. Not only is this a way to attract new sources of donations, but it is also a great way of attracting new supporters of your organization and mission.