Consider Children and Volunteers in your Year-End Giving Strategies

Sections of this topic

    This post was supposed to be Part 2 of Proposal Development for Grants. I’m moving that post to February 7th, however, so I may share a couple of personal insights on year-end giving campaign.

    The holiday – and year-end giving – season is over. We’ve all packed away our lights and decorations, year-end donor lists, and holiday cards, safely storing them ‘til next year.

    Before we move on and start working on our 2013 fund development plans, I want to share some personal experiences and two insights that relate directly to year-end giving. Specifically, why children and non-board volunteers are important groups to consider in your year-end solicitations.

    Like many families, my husband and I make year-end gifts to non-profit organizations; and, when my daughter was six, we started to include her in the process of selecting to which organizations we would give.

    She has had a love affair with penguins since about age two, so she always selected wildlife organizations, and we would make a sizeable gift to the organization she selected.

    This year, it hit me: if my daughter has a significant impact on my year-end giving, then this might be happening in other families, and it could be a good strategy to use in a year-end giving campaign. My fundraising expertise is in grantsmanship, but relationships are at the heart of all fundraising, and as with grants, the gift is much more related to what the donor wants to give than what the NPO wants to receive…

    Insight #1: When developing your organization’s year-end giving campaign next year, consider appealing to all members of your donors’ families, even those too young to have a bank account.

    This year my family also started volunteering for a wonderful animal welfare organization, Stray Rescue of St. Louis ( We became direct service volunteers by fostering four puppies and helping them find their “forever homes.” Lots of work, lots of puppy kisses, lots of fun.

    When I asked my daughter (now age nine) to select the organization she wanted to donate to, I expected the usual penguin/wildlife organization. Without hesitation, she selected Stray Rescue…

    Insight #2: OK, this is incredibly obvious, and I should have thought about donating to Stray Rescue before my daughter suggested it, but consider soliciting your direct-service volunteers at year-end. They already know and love your organization, and will probably want to support you financially in addition to their gift of time. Lots out there on this topic, just search, “converting volunteers to donors.”

    Bonus Insight: Ask your volunteers to share their (positive) experiences with your organization on their social media accounts. I started volunteering for Stray Rescue because a friend of mine kept posting pictures of her foster puppies on Facebook!
    Lynn deLearie Consulting, LLC, helps nonprofit organizations develop, enhance and expand grants programs and helps them secure funding from foundations and corporations. Contact Lynn deLearie.
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