As the end of the year approaches and the giving season ramps up, donors find themselves giving more to their favorite charities. As Giving USA reports, charitable giving continues to rise, in part because of growth in several key economic factors, including: personal consumption, personal income, disposable personal income, GDP, and corporate pre-tax profits.

This information can help your organization better target your prospects as the year comes to an end. Proactively identifying and understanding the prospects in your organization’s constituent file can help you craft the right message for all of your prospects. Look for those who have given gifts of appreciated stock in the past, those who have donated larger gifts, those with higher salaries, or those with a higher net worth. If you don’t know who in your file meets these criterion, WealthEngine offers tools and services to let you easily sift through and identify your prospects.

Once you’ve identified the donors in your database who may be ready to give, think about what motivates them. Donors are moved to give by more than just extra income and tax incentives. Donors give to:

  1. Causes that align with their philanthropic goals
    Make sure your communications make clear who you are and outlines your mission.

  2. Causes whose stories resonate with them in a personal and emotional way
    Stories of people impacted by your nonprofit or first-hand witnesses to your nonprofit’s impact are winners.

  3. Organizations they respect and trust
    There are several sites that rate charities. If you have their seal of approval, display it. Testimonials from well-known members in your community also inspire trust.

  4. People they respect and trust
    Make sure your board members, and high level staff, are listed prominently on your website and other communications.

  5. Organizations they believe are having a high impact and are effective in addressing their mission
    Make sure you quantify, to the fullest extent possible, the impact you are having in your field of endeavor.

  6. Organizations that ask for gifts to further their mission
    Make sure to ask for gifts for a mission that the donor wants to give to; mission, not overhead!

  7. Charities that make giving easy by providing multiple ways to give and who send messages via multiple channels
    Make giving as easy as possible, with fewer “clicks,” and streamlined response vehicles.

  8. Charities that make donors feel appreciated and glad they contributed
    Stewardship may be the most important factor of all.  Don’t let any of your donors lapse because you didn’t thank them.  Appreciation is essential.

If your nonprofit is looking to maximize year-end giving, it’s not too late to craft messages that resonate with your supporters and prospects. Target those whose incomes have likely risen due to economic growth, and appeal to both their emotional and rational selves.

For more on data-driven campaigns, download our workbook: Data-Driven Major Gift Campaigns Workbook.

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