When we say that 12% of philanthropic giving happens during the last week of December, it can be misleading. I'm guilty of perpetuating the confusion. Last week, I suggested on social media that developing a multichannel solicitation campaign during that week is a smart thing to do because that's when many people habitually make their charitable donations. However, if you haven't spent the year leading up to that week building relationships, engaging donors in your work, developing trust, credibility and a steady presence in their lives, that 12% of philanthropic giving may be happening but not necessarily for your nonprofit.
Raising funds is a long-term investment of time between a nonprofit and a potential donor. It's not just soliciting the last week of the year. It is building relationships year round, so that when your donor is ready to make her philanthropic investments for the year, your organization is top of mind and an important priority.
Of course, making sure that your donation transaction page is designed to support your efforts during that moment of truth when your donor is ready to take action is key. Jogging your donor's memory at the right time also makes good sense.
Today is the first day to begin building relationships so that on the last week of the year, when so many are in the habit of making their charitable donations, your nonprofit is sure to be one of them. And it will also put you in an incredibly good position -- front and center with your donor -- when the other 88% of charitable funds are allocated during the remaining fifty-one weeks of the year.