Fall is coming and it’s the best time of the year for fundraising. In fact, some nonprofits will make up to 50% of their yearly revenue in their fall appeal. So, if you are not considering a fall campaign of sorts, here’s why you should.
Back to our routines
The fall is a good time for fundraising because the kids are back to school. Most of us are also home from vacation and getting back to our routines while gearing up for fall events. People are ready to read your emails and engage with your organization’s mission again.
Opportunity to catch up
Fall is also year-end for many organizations, so, if you have not had a particularly successful year so far, there’s still the final quarter. Q4 is a big deal in a lot of industries, retail perhaps at the top of that list often reporting its highest numbers in the last few months of the year. In other words, there’s a lot of money changing hands in Q4 and you do not want to get left out of the exchange.
A time to give thanks
The other thing that makes the fall a great time for a campaign is that it’s the time of year we celebrate gratitude and community with our seasonal holidays and celebrations. People often are very generous during this time of year in gratitude for their own blessings and prosperity.
End of year tax credits
Of course, there are those who like to manage their money and want to take advantage of tax benefits by year end. Giving charitable gifts is a good way to offset some tax consequences and do something great at the same time. A lot of business owners will assess their financial situation at year end and see what “good” they can do.
Side note: a lot of corporations also decide on their charitable giving budgets around this time of year. So, you see, we’re all talking about money in the fall. It’s a good time to ask for money.
There are many types of fall campaigns you can run, and you can layer your messaging in (what I like to call) preparing the donor to respond. Donors do not respond just because we ask them to. Well, your loyal core donors do most of the time, but what about new donors and donors who give irregularly? How do we appeal to them?
You have to give them the right information, at the right time and appeal to their shared interest in your mission and vision. How do you do that? By having a clear vision and purpose, expressed through communication that demonstrate project clarity, and by creating a positive and flexible giving environment. This takes time to do effectively.
Now is the right time to plan your fall campaign.
In any event, if you are not doing any sort of fall fundraising campaign, now is the time to start.
If you are under the United Way blackout, I would recommend doing an awareness campaign. It can be simple - consisting of some short videos, sharing about how you are meeting your mission and vision and the impact that is having.
I worked with a housing organization and ran an awareness campaign with them during the blackout period and they got their highest returns on the direct response campaign that immediately followed in the beginning of December.
Either way…don’t get left out of the fall exchange of money during the season of gratitude and giving. Do something!!
Michelle Harder has over 20 years of experience in fundraising and nonprofit development. As an author, consultant and public speaker, with a specialty in faith-based fundraising, Michelle is driven by a passion to help organizations large and small achieve their fundraising and strategic goals. https://michelleharder.com