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Top five steps to significant year-end gifts

November 27, 2016

30-40% of my total personal support comes in during a particular 30 day period each year.

Can you guess when? Yes, December. I’m hoping you’re not just eating turkey and decorating Christmas trees during this season.

Don’t miss this strategic year-end opportunity to pour massive amounts of fuel and strength into your financial engines.

What you do the final month of each year will have a profound impact on your upcoming year of ministry.

Finishing well is the key to launching well! Here are five steps you can take to plan your work and work your plan:

1. Get Started!

Begin now by making a personal commitment that a year-end asking strategy is going to be integral to your overall support raising plan—every year. Then don’t wait until December to start thinking about who, when, how, and what you will ask. Beseech God for wisdom, clarity, motivation, and courage.

2. Do Your Homework

Spend November reviewing your giving records over the previous 48 months. Identify who has given significant special gifts in the past. Everyone who has made a $500 or larger single gift to us makes our list as potential candidates to ask. You might choose a different amount. Also, make note of current monthly donors whom you discern may be able to give a larger special gift from their personal or corporate account.

3. Craft a Strategy

Think through and pray over each person. One size does not fit all. If they gave a $1,000 single gift sometime in the past, would you feel comfortable asking them to consider a $2,000 gift this December? What about if a partner supports you for $250 a month, but could write a $5,000 year-end gift, could you invite them to also inject a “launching gift” to power you into the next year? If a person has been sending in a $7,500 gift for years, would they be open to giving you a raise to $10,000 or more? You never know…until you ask!

4. Make the Request

Should you do the ask in person? Making it face to face communicates they are important to you, and the message you have to convey is vital. But, they may live at a distance and phoning or video Skyping might be more feasible for this kind of request. Help this person see how their larger gift is critical to your support, your strategy, the impact you want to have on others. If you’re creating a new band of “Annual Anchor Donors”, show them where they fit in. Everyone wants to genuinely be part of a team.

5. Build a Future

What can you do that will help make this gift a regular one? Thanking them within 24 hours is one way. Staying connected to them from January to November makes them more inclined to make their larger, special gift each December. People don’t want to hear from you just once a year when you need money. Send a unique gift to all your monthly, annual, and special givers on December 1 each year. We make delicious home-made Christmas toffee for ours. This lets them know you care, plus it signals it’s that time of year again—to give to you!

It’s a fact, millions of Americans do extra year-end giving. They are going to contribute to some person or cause.

Why not you? Truly…we have not because we ask not. Don’t neglect asking for larger special gifts this December—and every year.

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