Is It The End of the Year Already?

August.  And guess what?  It’s not too early to start planning your end of the year appeal.  In fact, if  you start now, you’ll avoid all that panic, stress, and possibly missed deadlines. So first, what’s it going to look like?  In today’s crowded fundraising world, you need to Fundraising Camp topicconsider all the ways you can rise above the noise; stand out enough to get attention.

Most likely, that means using a lot of platforms to reach your various audiences:

  • A regular letter, delivered by the US Post office to kick off the whole shebang
  • Postcards for in-between the start and the finish of your appeal timeframe.
  • Email letters and e-blasts
  • Social media
  • You Tube or Vimeo or whatever video platform you like
  • Phone calls
  • Small group gatherings
  • One on one meeting for your large end of the year donors

Whew!   A lot of work.  But not overwhelming.  Especially if you start now.  First figure out how much you need to raise.  That will influence how you will go about raising these funds.  Then decide on the main messaging.  And figure out what changes with each segment you will focus on.

What is the theme of this particular end of the year appeal? The theme I’m talking about is not the design, though design is important.  The theme is a lot like a case in brief:  This is why we are raising money, and this is why it is important.

And now that you know your theme—now it would be good to brand it.  Every time someone gets a letter, an eblast, a social media post, there should be instant recognition.

Chose the vehicles and for each, figure out who will be your main audience(s)—and craft a message that is similar to the main message but slightly different.

Are you tying your end of the year to Giving Tuesday?  Or to your annual gala?  If so, what ties it all together?

Calendar*Now calendar them.  When do these go out?  And to which list.

Commit to working on this a few hours a week, and when it is time to launch, you’ll not only be ready, but you will be relaxed and ready to go.


Janet Levine helps nonprofits go from mired to inspired--and to increase their fundraising fundraisers-covercapacity.  Check out her website,  and while there, sign up for the free newsletter.  Most recently, Janet co-authored Compelling Conversations for Fundraisers.  Available at Amazon.  Order now at  And then leave a glowing review!