‘Tis the season, and people are in the mood for giving. Needless to say, now is the time to engage with your donors. But how do you stand out from all the holiday noise? At roundCorner, we put our heads together for a little brainstorm. Here is what our experts had to say.

Say Thank You

“Sometimes the most powerful gift you can give is a “Thank you”. It’s important to acknowledge the generosity of your donors throughout the year and especially so during the holidays. Express your gratitude through an email, a postcard, or a quick note depending on what resonates with your donors. And don’t forget that picking up the phone to personally thank them does wonders. Let them know how much you appreciate what they’re doing for your cause. Bring a smile to their faces and yours as well.”
– Libby Brouwer, Senior Consultant

Engage With Them in Person

“The holidays are a time for friends, family, and generosity, so this year accompany your year-end appeals with an invitation to an upcoming event or put together an event to highlight this year’s impact! The personal touch will elevate your request during the heavy solicitation season.”
– Stuart Longley, Manager fC Sales

Show the Difference They’re Making

“The holiday season is the perfect time to let your donors know what a difference their contributions have made over the year. Be specific – tell a story, quantify what their gift has done and share pictures, if possible. Give them a preview of what your organization is hoping to do in the next year. In addition to thanking them, make sure to provide a way for them to make an additional gift. Even if you don’t directly ask for a donation, include a reply slip and envelope or a link to the giving page on your website.”
– Gretchen Jerva, Manager Managed Services

Leverage Social Media

“A quick announcement via social media to update your constituents on your most recent campaign — and to show that their donations are helping to move things forward — is a great way to connect. A little shout out about positive changes (via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or tumblr) can go a long way! And if they’re inclined, your donors can share these announcements across their own networks. Don’t hesitate to spread the word about how donations are powering your mission!”
– Megan Moore, Lead Technical Writer

Let Them Get to Know You

“You have some inspiring people on staff who are deeply connected to your mission. Introduce them to your donors, let them share why they chose to work for your organization and what it means to them. Sharing profiles of some of your staff is a unique way to bond with your donors.”
– Rubin Singh, Director NGO Solutions

Go for Impact

“In the season of giving, thank your donors by acknowledging the good their gifts have brought to your university throughout the entire year. Whether it be news of their scholarship recipient’s success, progress towards a campaign goal, or enhancements throughout campus made possible by the annual fund – showing your donors the return on their investment will remind them that their gift keeps on giving. To expand on that gesture, sending a handwritten thank you note or postcard from a student will make their donation feel even more personal and impactful.”
– Sarah Botes, Business Development Manager

Share Your Strategic Plans

“It’s the best time of year to engage your donors, thank them and reflect on the past year’s successes. However, it’s equally as important to share your strategic plans for ongoing success in the new year so they will continue to feel motivated to give to your organization.”
– Todd Gorman, Consultant

Use Peer Influence

“There are so many competing interests on our time and attention during this time of year. It is likely that your donors have received multiple contacts from your organization throughout the year and have thought about your organization many times. What moves someone from “thinking about donating” to “donating”? During Giving Tuesday my alma mater engaged those who have donated, and used these voices to influence their peers. A former teammate of mine created a generous scholarship in memory of a deceased classmate, and the message inviting others to contribute to the fund was personal and genuine. Messages from donors challenging others to donate is a great way to engage your base this holiday season. I’m convinced that so many are looking for a “good cause” this holiday season. The personalized appeal from a peer can make all the difference.”
– Wendy Davis, Product Marketing Manager

‘Tis The Season

“’tis the season. To be bombarded by solicitation email, direct mail and catalogs! The key to engage with your supporters is to stand out and show the impact of the work you do. For most people, giving isn’t for the tax break; rather, it’s because of a personal connection to a cause. The holidays make us all a little gentler. Capitalize on this goodness and brag about the work you do toward your mission. ’tis the season. To show your constituents how great you are. After all, who can’t resist puppies?”
– Lisa Fay Wellek, Consultant

Share Your Accomplishments

“The holiday season is always a great moment to look back on the past year’s accomplishments. My advice would be to share your organization’s accomplishments with your donors to show them how their gifts were used and how it impacted to communities your organization supports. It will build trust, keep them informed and motivate them to continue to give in the following years.”
– Diana Herst, Marketing Manager

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