It’s no secret most charitable organizations receive a large percentage of their gifts in the final quarter of the year, with most gifts arriving in October and December. But simply knowing year-end is a popular time to give is not enough to ensure your organization receives its share. Understanding how and why people choose to give at this time can help you make the most of the season.
Donors give at year-end for a variety of reasons, some rational and some emotional. As the final day of the calendar year, Dec. 31 presents donors with a natural and definite deadline for planning purposes. If a gift is not made by that date, the donor can not benefit from a tax deduction the following April. If the gift is postponed just one day and is made instead on Jan. 1, any tax benefits will be delayed a full year. The year-end date is also critical for the receipt of QCDs from IRAs.
The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve is also a special time for many. The spirit of the holidays and more time with family and friends create an environment that is conducive to giving and sharing. Many also choose this time to review their finances and share their good fortune with others, including the charitable interests they support.
Keep in mind also that many donors receive bonuses at the end of the year and simply have more resources from which to give during year-end.
Sharpe Group has several tools to help you make the most of year-end appeals this year, including communications featuring a variety of helpful tips and ideas to send to potential donors via multiple channels to encourage gifts at year-end.
This year there may be special challenges with economic, social, political, and general uncertainty distracting your donors and other prospects. Now is the time to review your strategic plan for donor acquisition, retention and upgrading. Carefully review and revise your plans now for maximum impact on giving this year.
By: Barlow Mann, JD