No-cem-uary — Your 8-Week Window for New Support
Besides sending an end-of-year or start-of-year appeal letter, what else can you do to increase your support during the 8 weeks from November 15, all December to January 15—No-cem-uary?
List donors who have not given in the previous 48 months. They “voted” for you at least once!
Follow up your appeal letter with a phone call (or text). Try to get a face-to-face appointment. Offer to treat them to lunch or tea.
If no appointment is possible, be ready to ask them to re-join your team.
Tell them you have two types of giving partners—monthly, but you also need those who give “now and then.” You will not be fully funded without them.
Anchor partners give 5-10 times higher than your average size gift. You need a few anchor partners to be fully funded.
Invite a potential anchor partner face-to-face—not by phone nor email nor text or social media.
To minister to anchor donors, the key word is “listen.” Ask questions. Then, describe highlights and disappointments from the previous 12 months—tell stories! Passionately explain your ministry dreams for the next 12 months. If you are excited they will be excited.
Add to your mailing list!
Identify people you have overlooked for your mailing list.
Ask their permission! How do you feel when someone adds you without asking?
Few will give based on your letter alone—less than 3% in America.
Follow up your letter by phone and try to secure face-to-face appointments to make your appeal.
Leave a message if they don’t answer. Try again at different times. Might say, “I hope we can talk soon… I want to tell you about our ministry at _________. God is at work.”
Do not make an appeal in the message. Not wise.
Phone a few faithful donors just to say thank you. Reconnecting with your partners is a good use of ministry time.
Does year-end reconnecting pay off? Not visibly with every person. And it is time-consuming! But I have found that God blesses my attempts—however feeble. Lapsed donors have said, “We just received an inheritance and wondered where to give a portion of it.” Other times gifts came to our account 6-18 months later from several I could only leave a message for.
Sometimes money is not the result. Frequently, I phoned on the day my friend needed encouragement. Christmastime often brings discouragement—even for believers.
Even if your culture does not give a tax benefit, don’t overlook this 8-week opportunity. Make your plans before each call—be ready for anything! Don’t hurry. Enjoy Reconnecting! It’s ministry time!