2020 has been unlike any year in recent memory. Americans have witnessed economic losses from COVID-19, civil unrest as a result of racial injustice and a divided political atmosphere unlike any other. With these ongoing challenges, many nonprofits have struggled to find the right fundraising messaging.
Most experts are predicting that overall giving will decrease in 2020. Fundraising in an uncertain climate is always challenging. However, year-end campaigns offer a perfect opportunity to reach donors with content that provides hope and encourages giving. Year-end appeals in today’s environment should incorporate timely, relevant messaging that motivates donors. Here are some tips that can make a difference:
- Highlight the benefits of the CARES Act.
The CARES Act offers key incentives to donors who plan to make a gift of cash this year. The usual limit on deductions for cash charitable gifts are suspended for 2020, meaning taxpayers can claim unlimited deductions on their 2020 returns. For non-itemizers, an above-the-line deduction of up to $300 is available for cash gifts to public charities.
- Inform your donors of other ways to give.
Reminding your donors of giving options that offer additional tax benefits is always a good strategy, especially this year. Donors who traditionally make cash gifts may be open to alternatives. Your year-end communications should include a variety of noncash giving options. Sharpe Group offers personalized year-end publications that detail how donors can make the most of their giving this year.
- Remind your donors they can impact your mission.
Offering your donors good news and highlighting the work of your organization will be especially impactful after months of stress, uncertainty and bad news. Remind your donors why they have chosen to give to your organization in the past and what a difference their generosity has made.
Include a compelling cover letter that details how charitable contributions have allowed your organization to respond to the coronavirus crisis or how your organization has been able to weather the economic downturn. This is a good place to detail how your mission has been proceeding even while taking measures to keep everyone safe. Reiterate that their generosity can make a difference now and also help you prepare for any future unforeseen crises.
A successful year-end campaign can make a real difference for organizations whose fundraising goals have already been impacted. As the saying goes, “timing is everything.” Adding timely messaging to your year-end communications plan can resonate with donors who are considering how to continue their support amidst difficult economic times.
By Ainsley Willis, Sharpe Group Editor
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