The Marathon Runner’s Guide to Surviving a Fundraiser’s December
December 5, 2019
The Next Chapter: Make a Case for Giving This Year
January 8, 2020

Five Things to Do Before You Leave for the Holidays

So this year, I’m not just giving advice, I’m living it! In my new job, I’ve pulled out blog posts that I’ve written in the past and found them very useful:)

This post is an adaptation of an oldie, but a goodie about what to do at the very end of the year to make sure your donors can reach you with questions and support. I’ve amended it based on my own work this year.

A fundraiser’s work is never done in December until the very last minute of the very last day.  Sure, you can take a little time off, but don’t chug any eggnog until you have these five things covered:

Be sure your donors can reach you:  If you’re not in the office next week, plan for ways for your donors to contact someone live every day from December 26 through the 31st with any question about donations.  You can leave an alternative number on your organization’s answering machine, roll your office phone number over to your cell phone, or ask a colleague in the office to answer calls.  But don’t miss out when that large donor calls just looking for a last-minute detail.  If they can’t reach you, they may go knock on another door!

Have a plan for the mail: Honestly, opening the mail in late December is one of my very favorite things to do. But if you’re not going to be around, make sure that there’s a plan for processing it when you return. If you have mail stacking up, you’ll need extra hands in January to process it quickly so that you can thank your donors in a timely manner.

Have your stock instructions accessible: There are some procrastinators out there! Make sure that the donors that usually give stock have the information they need to make a stock gift, and that whoever is answering the phone or the e-mail has them, too. Many organizations have them on their website.

Send a last minute e-mail reminder (or three):  You want to be top of mind for those donors who sit down during the last few days of the year and pull out their checkbooks and credit cards.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or complicated – simple clean text and design is best.

Make a priority list for when you return:  It’s amazing how the holidays wipe our memories. Before you head out, make a list of the top things you want to accomplish in January. When you do come back to the office, you’ll you’ll have to jump in with both feet to keep up with acknowledgements and nailing down results. At the same time, there’s a lot of planning and fundraising that can be done in January. (See our post The Beauty of Fundraising in January.)

The clock is ticking and you may only have a day or so, but think about what you can put in place today to make the holidays easier on you and your donors!

*Image by Couleur on Pixabay

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