The last week of the year is such a productive and effective time to raise money for your ministry. One-third of all giving happens in December, and 12% happens on the last 3 days of the year. So having a plan to make the most of those critical last few days of the year is essential.

Don’t miss out on valuable opportunities by making some common mistakes. Here are my top six tips to maximize your end of year giving:

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask. You are not overwhelming your listeners or asking too much. This is a critical time of year for non-profit fundraising. Why should everyone else be at the table and not you? Even if you already did a year-end fundraiser, are you ever “fully funded?” At what point do you not need money? Even if it’s to get a headstart on next year’s budget, you need the money. Don’t be afraid to ask for it.
  2. Don’t forget the why. Remind people of the impact your ministry is making in the community. Give them a reason to want to be a part of it. Tell a story and make it compelling. It doesn’t have to be long. Even one sentence, if it’s emotionally moving, is all you need. Go through listener comments from this year and pull your 10 best one-sentence testimonials and put them on a sheet for your talent to access.
  3. Have a specific ask. And I would recommend you make it a single gift amount. People can give whatever they want, but a clear suggested amount will always perform better than a nebulous “give what you can” approach. People are busy, the less thinking they have to do, the more likely they are to take action.
  4. Have a clear call to action. One study showed when an organization changed its call to action button from “Find out how you can help” to “Donate now” it increased conversions by 246%. “Share Hope” is not a clear call to action. Neither is “Stand With Us” or “Make a Difference.” A clear call to action is “Give Now”, or even better, “Give your dollar a day now.”
  5. Have a goal. This is always tricky. It needs to be a goal that the listener feels is realistic. If their gift feels like a drop in the ocean, they probably won’t give. But if they feel their gift has a realistic chance of helping reach the goal, that is a powerful motivator. Maybe set a goal for a specific number of gifts, like “200 people giving $200.”
  6. Urgency is still king. You have a natural deadline of December 31 at midnight. Push against that deadline to create urgency. Put a countdown clock on your website. Count it down on the air. “Three days left to meet the funding need for the year.”

If these tips sound suspiciously similar to what we do during your fundraiser, it’s because they are. It’s my very strong belief that, if you’re going to do a fundraiser, do it right. You have to include the elements that motivate people to give. Those include a specific ask, a goal, and a deadline. Otherwise, you are largely wasting your time (and theirs.)

If you haven’t planned to fundraise during the last week of the year, I really hope you’ll change your mind. It’s not too late. Have the air talent do one stop-down per hour and ask people to give. Put it on your social media. Send out an email appeal.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for giving. Please don’t miss this incredible opportunity to raise money. Your ministry needs it.  Just think about all the lives that will be changed through the funding you will raise during this time of year!