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Year-End Results and Moving Forward
Well, we made it at least this far. I don't know what most people expected, but as the year changed, all I could think about was how well so many organizations had done with their Annual Appeal. The majority of the organizations I know or work with did better than they expected. This included Acquisition Appeals. With a relatively small individual giving program, one organization increased its new donors by 25%, which is a huge increase for this organization. The renewal rate stayed at about 80%, which is about average, in my opinion.
Well, the most obvious reason is that people are home and read mail they might have just thrown away in pre-pandemic days. I also think that by November- December 2020, people were feeling better about the world and wanted to make a difference. I have not found that the $300 in the CARES Act making a difference. It might be interesting to survey your new donors and see if the $300 deduction affected their giving. Surveying new donors soon after their gift is always a good idea, anyway.
Considering we have not idea what 2021 will be like, I recommend that organizations focus on Stewardship. Pulling these new donors closer to the organization is vital if we want them renewal their gift or make an additional gift during the year. Let's not take them for granted.
Now is also an excellent time to provide different options to donors like Monthly Giving and Planned Giving. We should reach out while we have their attention.
No matter what you decide to do, remember, this is a unique opportunity to build relationships with your donors during an unusual time. It would be best if you did not let it slip away. Prospects and donors want to hear from us.
It Occurs To Me
It seems the postal service may do in all of the hard work of our Year-End campaigns. Not only is it more expensive but the mystery of when letters will get delivered. I have heard of mailings take two to three weeks longer than previous years. It will be interesting to see how this affects returns, My instinct says those who give will do so whenever the appeal arrives. This means that we will have contributions coming in farther into January. Not a problem for organizations with June 30 fiscal year but what a pain for those with a December 31 year-end. How long do you keep the "year" open?
Please leave a comment, thoughtfully.