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Believe it or not, your year-end campaign doesn’t end on December 31. Planning strategic follow-up through February to establish and foster ongoing relationships with donors is one of the most valuable things you can do to use the end of the year to propel your fundraising efforts in the future.

You will likely have many new names in your house file at year-end. How will you retain them in the long run?

10 Ways to Turn Your Year-End Givers into Life-Long Donors
  1. Engage new donors with a targeted series of welcome emails that include information on your mission and your strategic vision for the upcoming year.
  2. Keep new donors informed throughout the year with examples of how their gift is making a difference and offer them other ways they can get involved in your work.
  3. If new donors made a second gift in response to your follow-up email, segment them into a file that receives regular communication to cultivate them toward being a sustaining donor.
  4. Craft targeted messaging to your most faithful givers, such as “Can we count on you as a partner?”
  5. In your ask, seek a monthly sustaining gift that the donor can set up via an electronic funds transfer.
  6. Tack on several weeks to your communications plan post-holiday season to follow up with new donors.
  7. After your thank-you emails, schedule a series of welcome emails with more information about your work and your plans for the upcoming year.
  8. Show them progress on areas of service throughout the year so they see how their gifts are being used.
  9. Keep them inspired by your story and your mission in every communication.
  10. Capture donor interests so you can more effectively target future messaging.

The holiday season is a crucial time for nonprofits to capture as much consumer goodwill as possible. With the right approach, you can lift your giving levels as much as 50-70 percent or more compared to your previous year’s results. Above all, make sure you inspire your donors all year long so they want to stay involved and engaged in the important work you do.

What ideas popped into your mind when you started thinking of creative ways to engage new donors early in the year?