In the spirit of last-minute year-end fundraising actions, feel free to cut and paste this letter into your email, make any edits you think necessary, and get it out. We’ve done the work for you. I suggest you have this letter come from your CEO and the Chief Development Officer. At the end of the post, I also suggest two ways to pilot the draft before sending it out.
It’s long been documented that the most successful nonprofits have (1) a board that plays a critical role in their fundraising and (2) built a strong collaborative partnership between the board and leadership staff. Sending this sample letter is in that vein.
Here’s a sample letter to boost year-end giving
Subject: Your Immediate Action Requested to Boost Year-End Giving
Dear <Insert Board members names>:
As we draw closer to Dec. 31st, we write with a few suggestions for your consideration to help board members maximize year-end giving.
As you probably know, this is the most lucrative time of the year to ask for the support of our friends, family, co-workers, and online followers, so your action now can have a significant impact.
Self-reflection / Gift of significance
Before describing three suggested actions, allow us to share something important that we’ve learned. As fundraisers, we’ve found that it’s vital to give first before asking others to donate. There’s an integrity to giving first that makes our asking stronger. Of course, so many of you have already given this year, thank you so much for that. Your generosity has been noticed, appreciated, and celebrated.
Yet, as board members, other donors look to you to give gifts of significance. What is a gift of significance?
Well, your gift of significance could mean that among your own personal giving, you’ve made sure that <insert name of nonprofit> is among the very top on your list of largest-size donations.
Or it could mean that you make a multiple-year pledge for each of the next three to five years.
It could also mean that this is the year you include <insert name of nonprofit> in your last will and testament.
It could even be all three!
We’d be glad to set a time to talk about your ideas for what a gift of significance looks like for you. If you’d like that, please let us know.
In an effort for our board members to take our year-end giving to the next level, we recommend three actions for your immediate attention as follows:
- Rapid-fire personal phone and text outreach. In the attached document, we’ave assigned each board member a few key donors. Will you commit to making brief, impactful calls within the next week or two to the people on your list to convey personal appreciation, share a compelling success story, and issue a direct, urgent appeal for year-end support? Please let us know. If you’d like our help with suggested talking points or a sample script, we’d be glad to provide that too. Integrate texting with your phone calls since so many people don’t answer their phones anymore, but rely on texts to set a time to talk and to follow up after a call.
- Flash engagement video recording. Would you agree to participate in a scheduled, concise recorded video within the next 10 days, where each board member briefly shares a standout success from the past year that is dear to you and emphasizes the urgency of year-end contributions? We’d schedule one 60-minute prep call. We can find a date and time that works for all of us by using Calendly. We’ll keep the session lively, engaging, and intimate. We intend to feature snippets of this video recording in our last days of the year emails going out on Dec. 29, 30, and 31 so our donors can hear from you, the leadership of our nonprofit.
- Board social media blitz challenge. Would you launch a “Board Blitz Challenge” on your personal social media channels where you pledge to match donations, up to a set amount, for the time between now and Dec. 31? Communicate this challenge swiftly through personalized emails that link to your social media channels, creating a sense of urgency and a rallying point for donors. In your posts, you can talk about why you give to <insert nonprofit’s name>, and why we need more support.
We hope these suggested actions resonate, but if you have other suggestions for what works even better, let us know by a private call.
Your timely leadership in completing these targeted actions will undoubtedly carve a distinctive path for our year-end giving drive. Together let’s make this season a testament to the visionary leadership that propels our mission forward.
Let’s ignite our collective impact and make these last days of the year a transformative period for our year-end giving drive.
May we hear back from you today or tomorrow? For something this time sensitive calling may be best.
[CEOs name/title & Chief Dev. Officer’s (CDO) name/title]
Try a pilot first?
One CEO/CDO who used this approach with their board, first tested it with two board members to get their feedback before launching it. They were glad they did because a few smart edits improved it.
Another CEO/CDO team shared the draft of the email with their board at their board meeting before sending it out. That, too, was a good step because it created buy-in.
What last-minute board fundraising ideas do you have to boost year-end giving? Share with us in the comments section below.