Serious About Donor Engagement? Do This in January

Usually, January is a fundraising dead-zone. We’ve spent all our energy on our December campaigns, we’re playing catch-up on email, and our donor lists are exhausted from repeated appeals, asks, and “Last chance to make that year-end gift” messaging.

But January is actually a great time to be valuable to your donors.

See, one of the main issues in fundraising is finding ways to connect with donors that aren’t needy (“We need your help”), self-centered (“Here’s how we are fulfilling our mission”), or time-consuming (“You’re invited to our annual gala”).*

So, grab some coffee and dig deep to find that last bit of post-holiday energy, because January offers you a great opportunity to connect with your donors in a way that is valuable to them:

Send your donors a summary of all their gifts and a copy of their tax deduction letter for the past year. 

They’ll need it in about a month for tax-time and it will remind them of their commitment to your organization. Make the subject line something that speaks to them like “Here’s your tax information” or “You might need this.”

Feeling fancy? Make it even more powerful:

  • If you have donors that are automatically contributing on a monthly basis, you can include a small upsell for them to increase their gift this year.
  • Build a way for donors to access their entire donation history on your website.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. If you haven’t tried it before, re-send those tax letters and show your donors you care. And, oh yeah, don’t forget to say thank you!

*All those parenthetical examples are actual subject lines from non-profit emails I’ve received this year. They aren’t bad, they are just more about the organization than about the donor.