Last month, we shared our Ultimate 10-Step Checklist for Year-End Giving so that you can get organized and run a successful end-of-the-year campaign. Remember that just because there’s only a few weeks left in the year doesn’t mean you should slow down! In fact, the last three days of the year make up 12% of annual donations, and a majority of those will occur on December 31st.
To help you prepare for last-minute donations and to increase giving before the year ends, we’ve created this quick guide with essential tips.
Continue to reach out through December 31
Don’t miss out on donations by relaxing the church’s generosity campaign efforts in the last week of the year. About 31% of online giving is typically made in December and most gifts are over 50% larger in the final week than during the rest of the year.
Send friendly reminders about last-minute donations with links to your online giving options through December 31st. If you’re strapped for time, write the reminders in advance and schedule them to send automatically. Just be sure to check email, text, and other ways you’re sending reminders so that you can quickly respond if they have questions.
Highlight last-minute donation guidelines
To receive a tax deduction, all donations must be made by December 31st. And millions of people cut it down to the wire! Highlight taxation rules for last-minute gifts for those that tend to procrastinate. This way, they know they haven’t missed their window to give. You can include these rules in ask letters, reminders, or guide them to reputable sources that can help. The IRS website, and often local news stations, have publications available on this topic.
Make it easy to give
So many of us are guilty of not crossing off a meaningful job on our to-do list, like giving to the church, because we just can’t find the time. In fact, studies show that “lack of time” is the most common excuse for two-thirds of people whether they’re supposed to be exercising, donating to the church, making a home-cooked meal, or performing other worthwhile tasks.
Make it incredibly easy to give, so it hardly has to be a second thought for your donors. Provide brief directions on how to give online with direct links to donation pages when you send emails and letters. Also, encourage people that are always on the go to take a few minutes to set up convenient ways to donate, like mobile apps, text giving, and recurring giving. In 2019, 26% of online donations were made using a mobile device!
Don’t wait to send thank you messages
Thank you notes should be sent within 2 weeks of the gift to show appreciation. Recent studies show donors are more likely to give a second time when the message is heartfelt and prompt. But, with an upturn in last-minute donations, it’s challenging to meet your deadline for expressing gratitude.
Before you get overwhelmed sending thank you notes in January, start now and create a template that you can personalize. Pre-schedule time in your calendar dedicated to thanking donors whether you’re sending emails, handwritten notes, or calling them. First-year online donors have demonstrated a retention rate of 24% but multiyear online donors have shown a retention rate of a whopping 63% in recent reports! By making thank you messages a priority, you’ll be able to retain donors and increase generosity in 2021.
Let easyTithe make year-end giving incredibly easy for your ministry leaders and members! Call us today at 1-888-778-4843 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.