Pull In Your Best Year-End Giving in a Time of Tax Reform

Membership, Major Giving, #GivingTuesday, calendar year-end, planned giving, Year End Giving

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by Melanie Coulson, Jay Clayton, and Jennifer Fusco

The holidays are a time for giving gifts to family and friends… and to nonprofit organizations. In fact, more money is donated during November and December than in other months. The numbers vary by survey, but nonprofits report anywhere from 30-50% of giving occurs during the holiday season.

Both the House of Representatives and Senate tax-reform bills that are being reconciled in conference committee will likely significantly change the way tax law governs charitable giving. There is speculation about how this would affect charitable giving overall. Once the law is finalized, we will provide comprehensive advice on how to approach this situation. 

For now we recommend that you stay focused on the current tax deductibility of gifts and avoid speculative pitches or language when talking to donors. As with other legislative actions and threats, keep it simple and stick to the facts.

These six points will help you make the most of this vital year-end fundraising opportunity.

1. Be weekend-ready.

December 31st falls on Sunday this year. Prepare to accept gifts from your listeners on Saturday, December 30th and Sunday, December 31st. Make sure your shop is up and running in the same way it would be were these two critical fundraising days to fall on weekdays. Remind your listeners that you will be available to them even on the final weekend of the year.

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Eight Easy Ways to Finish Year-End Fundraising With a Bang

Benchmarks for Public Radio Fundraising, Membership, #GivingTuesday, Year End Giving

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By about mid-October, you should get your year-end giving efforts underway. American donors love giving at the end of the calendar year. Trust the data: 30% of all giving in 2015 occurred in December and of that 11% in the last three days!

Make the most of your year-end opportunities and close the year with champagne, fireworks, and a healthy revenue bump by following these eight steps to success:

1. Make a plan and share it.

Whether you use the latest project management software or the cat calendar tacked above your desk, your campaign success depends on making an integrated communications plan. Decide which elements you want to use, then map out the start date and frequency of those efforts. 

In addition to produced on-air spots, direct mail, and e-appeals, consider adding some of these pieces to your communications mix:

    • Goal trackers
    • Lightbox
    • Live on-air appeals
    • Challenges/matches
    • Special giveaways
    • Homepage takeover
    • Digital ads
    • Street marketing

Share your year-end plan broadly, so that everyone at your station, from traffic to programming to the front desk, feels like he or she is working towards a shared goal.

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