You’ve made it. It’s after GivingTuesday. Your year-end fundraising letters are written, edited, and stuffed. Your year-end fundraising emails are scheduled.

Your fundraising systems are in motion.

Now what do you do? This is supposed to be the biggest month of the giving year, isn’t it?

2 Things To Do When All Other Fundraising Is Done

Here are two things to do this month. Well, three.

  1. Congratulations. Enjoy it. First, congratulate yourself. That feeling of a “pause” is actually the sign that you’ve done things correctly. We are so used to the stress and adrenaline of getting everything ready that we forget stress and adrenaline is just for sprints. Neither should be constant.
  2. Make phone calls to ask. Then, look at all the people who’ve given in the last two years but haven’t given yet this year. Determine who to call. Many of us find it helpful to look at the larger gift amounts first. The ask can simply be “Would you consider doing that same gift again this year?”
  3. Make thank you calls. Another great thing to do this month is to look at everyone who’s already given this year and call them to say thank you. The wording could be “As we close out the year, I wanted to say thank you for your gifts this year. This work wouldn’t happen without you.” 

Making phone calls is key.

Donors will be getting a slew of emails and a box full of direct mail. Hopefully many of those emails and letters are yours.

A phone call sets you apart. Even if they’re on the mailing list for those emails and letters.

Set Realistic Call Expectations

It’s easy to look at a list of 30 people and think, “I’ll knock these calls out in a half hour.”

But that’s not how it works.

Give yourself enough time. And non-judgmentally track your time.

I find I can make about 6-10 calls per hour. So if I have a list of 30 names, I know it could take me 5 hours to look up the phone number in the database, make the call, leave the message or have the conversation, and to log the action into the database.

Figure out what your average is.

Not Hustle Culture – But Effective Actions

This isn’t about trying to get stressed again. This is about effective actions you can do now to make sure December fundraising is the best it can be. And about giving yourself the peace of mind to know you’ve done all you can.

The best part? It’s being kind to donors too. Calling them to invite them into the work your team is doing or to thank them for being part of that work lets them know that you see them as people. Not just “giving units.”

What About You?

I’d love to know, if you’ve tracked how long it takes you to do calls, how many calls per hour can you make?

Leave us a reply in the comments.

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