Preparation can smooth out problems and open up the donation flow. Strengthen your performance during the year’s peak giving season with some help from this handy checklist.

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Amnesty International’s annual December letter writing campaign can be seen on social media, in newspapers and in the mailbox. Its high participation rate owes much to this simple, strong message: “Write a letter. Save a life.”

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January is usually a slow fundraising month. Use it to say thank you –Ask your board of directors to call your top donors with a simple message. Ask staff, volunteers and even clients (if appropriate) to handwrite thank you notes to the next level of donors. Send personalized emails to others. While now is NOT the time to ask for another donation, the generated goodwill will boost responses to your next campaign.

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Align donation channels with people’s comfort zones In a millennial-heavy area, a postcard that asks them to text #WarmDigits to donate gloves and socks to a youth homeless shelter ($14) will probably generate more responses than a letter with a donation reply envelope.

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The Ocean Conservancy charity’s clickbait-like teaser copy with the compelling shark image makes it almost impossible to ignore. Once opened, it delivers with a brochure that highlights an ocean fact on each page. The call to action is straightforward: “Become a voice for the ocean. Donate today.”


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