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  • Writer's pictureAlison Finstad

Your Year-End Toolkit

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

(Updated 11/21/2022)

What do you have planned for your year-end fundraising push? Are you feeling like it's too much effort and you're running out of steam?

You – the nonprofit leader – have the awesome opportunity and responsibility to boost your organization over the next several weeks. You CAN simplify your year-end fundraising and blast through your goals.

Grab your coffee and a pen and let’s do this!

image of woman working on laptop Benezet Advisors nonprofit fundraising consultant

Make a list

First, make a list of what do you have planned for the remainder of the year. Does it include virtual events, #GivingTuesday, a litany of appeal letters?

These tactics may be valuable, but let’s focus on return on investment. What has the highest return on investment of any fundraising effort?

Talking to your donors.

What does it cost?


Time and time again, I work with organizations with complex plans to raise money through events, publications, and media blitzes. But do they know their donors?


Knowing your donors is a key to nonprofit sustainability.

Get to know your donors

Your organization cannot have a successful major gifts program without this. When your donors make a gift, in addition to sending out a form letter, call and thank them and ask them what prompted them to give. What do they like about your organization? What changes do they wish to see in the world?

Most likely, your organization is carrying out the change they wish to see in the world, and they want to contribute so you can do more of it!

That brings us back to today. What can you do to make the greatest impact for your organization this year-end?

1. Call your donors with these powerful talking points

Instead of launching a last-minute #GivingTuesday campaign or throwing together a complicated virtual event, simply call your donors – maybe your top 25, maybe your top 150, maybe all of them – and thank them. Ask how they are doing personally this year. Ask why they give to your organization and what they think would make the world a better place. Answer their questions and address their concerns. Then thank them again. Feel free to recruit volunteers to help you with these calls. Even though these calls are not considered an "ask" for funds, there is a good chance that you will receive contributions as the result of this outreach.

2. Beat the holiday hurry by sending Thanksgiving cards

Instead of sending holiday cards and gifts which may get lost in the holiday shuffle, send Thanksgiving cards to show appreciation for your donors. You can send these out to your favorite donors or all of them – it’s up to you. A handwritten thank you card with a first-class stamp goes a long way and will get opened every time.

3. Get face-to-face, or face-to-Zoom

In addition to your direct mail campaign, engage a segment of your major donors face-to-face who know and love your organization, and let them know what, specifically, your organization needs. There is value in mailing the masses, but a few major donors are what will make or break a year-end campaign.

You can do this

Keep calm, love your donors, and don't be afraid to ask for the gifts you believe your donors are ready to give.

For the remainder of this year and beyond, if you focus on thanking your donors, learning why each one supports your organization, and asking the right people at the right time for the right gift – you’ll maximize your return on investment at the smallest cost to you.


Do you need help with best practices for year-end giving, creating a major gifts program, or stewarding donor relationships?

Reach out to Benezet Advisors today for a free consultation!




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