Whoa. It’s December, and we’re all thinking, how did that happen?! We all know it’s the most important giving period of the year, and once again, it has caught us all by surprise.
We thought it would be helpful to put together a very quick action list of five things you can do right now to maximize year-end giving for your organization.
Here we go:
1. MAKE IT EASY TO FIND.
Face it. You have 8.25 seconds to get someone’s attention. Make it easy for your friends and fans to donate!
Make sure there’s a donate button on the homepage of your website. You can also add it to the top navigation on your page. If you don’t already have one, add a landing page called “Donate” or “Support” with language about why supporting your choir matters, and have that donate button easy to find.
Are you having a holiday concert this December? Create a QR code and have it link directly to the “Donate” page of your website. This will make it easy for your patrons to take action when the moment strikes them in the concert.
And, also have a way for folks to give at the concert with a check or credit card. Either have a form they can fill out and leave with you (so you can process it when you have Wi-Fi access) or process it using your ticketing or donation software at the concert venue.
2. GO DIGITAL
Taking your year-end campaign online is fast and affordable. If you send regular email blasts to your audience, be sure to let them know you are accepting donations in December.
Folks only give when we ask them. And many, many organizations are asking like we are. The best way to cut through the noise is to be bold and remind your audience that your organization is also in need and worthy of support.
Posting at least once or twice a week with a reminder of your year-end campaign, the donation link, and a message about why your choir is worthy of support will help you stay top of mind with your audience and likely will turn into more donations for your organization.
Have fun with your posts! Let your choir’s personality shine. Your audience already cares about what you do. Just remind them why it matters to you and your singers and how your music impacts your community.
3. WRITE A LETTER
In addition to your digital campaign, writing a letter is another way to help make your year-end campaign a success.
With the tight time turnaround, you’ll want to keep this simple. Start by identifying your top donors (maybe individuals who give $500 and up each year—or another number that makes sense for your organization). Then, write a one-page letter with a few updates on the year and talk about the impact on your community and the meaningfulness of what your chorus does season after season.
Be sure to include an insert or form with how to give (in addition to) the letter. The form should include: information on where to mail a check; a place for credit card information; and where to give online via your website (include the URL or a QR code). If you can, include a smaller self-addressed envelope so the donor can easily send their donation to you in the mail.
4. ASK AT YOUR CONCERT
Ask. At. Your. Concert(s).
Your concerts are filled with your diehard fans and supporters. You have a captive audience! Don’t be afraid to let them know how much their support means to the organization and how it’s not possible to make these concerts happen without their donations.
And then ask. Ask for their support, and tell them how they can give today at the box office, by scanning that QR code (that you included in your program or on an insert!), or by mailing a check to the office.
5. REMIND, REMIND, REMIND
Between 25-30% of all annual nonprofit donations occur in December. And 10% of ALL ANNUAL GIVING HAPPENS IN THE LAST 3 DAYS OF THE YEAR. Don’t shy away from asking for support on December 29, 30, and 31.
Post a friendly reminder on social media AND send an email blast on one or two of those days. We hope these quick tips will help you navigate these final weeks of 2023. And remember to never give up!
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season, wildly successful and moving concerts, and a Happy New Year!
Jen Rogers is the Executive Director of the San Diego Master Chorale. After serving as the CEO of the Grammy-winning Phoenix Chorale for over 5 years, she launched her performing arts consulting firm, Sound Nonprofit Consulting (soundnonprofit.com), specializing in chorus management. Jen is passionate about supporting choral artists and the staff and board members that make choral music possible. She currently serves on the Advisory Boards of Tonality (L.A.), Downtown Chamber Series (Phoenix), and Orpheus Male Chorus (Phoenix). A trained saxophonist in a former life, in her free time she can be found conducting genealogy research, cooking plant-based meals, competitively reading, and exploring her new home city of San Diego.