Not-too-late tip #5 (of 5): poke the procrastinators

There’s a good chance that holiday donations may arrive with a different pattern than they did a couple of years ago.  Back in the good old days of 2007, most people had incomes they could predict and a pretty good handle on what they planned to spend.

People may engage more in “watchful waiting” – biding their time to see how much they will spend on gifts.  Most surveys suggest that people are planning to spend less on seasonal gifts than they did in years past.  And we are becoming trained like Pavlov’s dogs to wait for prices to drop before spending money on things we plan to buy.  That pattern may well carry over into holiday charitable giving.

So my last and final tip is this:  be sure to send at least a final gentle (and brief) reminder of your worthy cause after December 25 and before the 31st.

Ideally, you will be able to discern who has already given – and you won’t bug those people.

For those who haven’t responded, your wonderfully worded appeal letter may be buried under two weeks of mail order catalogues.   In your reminder, be sure to warmly express your gratitude for all gifts, no matter how small, and acknowledge that you understand this is a difficult time for everyone.

If you’re keeping track of donations week-by-week, and comparing your results to last year, you’ll be in a position to turn up – or down – your fundraising efforts as appropriate.

Have these tips been helpful?  Got some of your own that you’re willing to share?

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