In creating an Ask Without Fear! training for the executive directors of the Jewish National Fund of Canada, I was reminded how important September is for the vast number of nonprofits. Even for those like JNF that have religious holidays in the coming weeks, the end of the calendar year can be when a nonprofit’s budget is made.

So here are three things to do now to make sure this is the best year-end yet!

Three tools to make this your best year-end yet

  1. Read Roger Craver’s Retention Fundraising

    Last week, I spent less than 3-hours reading Roger Craver’s new Retention Fundraising. This is the best book yet for describing how to keep donors and why you’d want to. The chapters are short enough to keep you engaged; the content compelling enough to keep you writing notes and jotting down ideas.

    This one book will help you develop a list of actions to work on now to help donors remember to give in a few months. More importantly, it will help you discuss what is truly important with your board, CEO/Executive Director, and staff. It will also help you get the right language to use in your fundraising appeals.

    Retaining donors is the least expensive way to fundraise. This book will show you how. You can read my review of Retention Fundraising here:

    (If you’re not into reading books, Roger recommends our recordings called “The Donor Retention Project.” You can learn more about that at

  2. Listen to the free Stewardship School class

    Last week, Shanon Doolittle and Vanessa Chase gave the best nonprofit training I’ve heard in a long time. Intense, fun, face-paced, and incredibly practical. These two women give you a 5-step outline for interacting with your donors over the next four months. Most of the steps can be done a little or no cost. But at great reward.

    I think “donor fatigue” is more about donors getting tired of us doing an awful job treating them like humans. Shanon and Vanessa show you how to stop that!

    You can view the entire training for free at:

    (Shanon and Vanessa also gave an even more detailed stewardship calls for members of The Nonprofit Academy. Membership starts at $19/month and you’ll get access to this and a growing library of 50 other trainings, templates, and tools. Learn more at:

  3. Get your free copy of “The Nonprofit Storytelling Field Guide & Journal”

    The creators of The Nonprofit Storytelling Conference are giving away a brand new book called “The Nonprofit Storytelling Field Guide & Journal.” Having a library of organizational stories (including donor stories) makes all of your fundraising and donor retention easier. This guide shows you how. The book is currently free, all you need to do is pay the shipping. All the details are at:

It’s not too early to plan for year-end fundraising

Ideally, you’ve spent the summer getting your year-end fundraising plans finalized. But even if you haven’t, September is a wonderful time to work on donor retention and your year-end giving. These three free or inexpensive tools will help set you up for the best year-end yet! (If you do what they suggest, of course!)

21 Ways for Board Members to Engage with their Nonprofit's Fundraising book image

You'll discover the 21 ways each board member can help their nonprofit's fundraising - even if they don't like to ask for money!

As a bonus, you'll get free fundraising tips every other week too!

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