Like most people this time of year, I can’t wait to find out how much I will get back for my tax refund and then I start making a list of what I will do with the money. Save it? Pay down debt? Spend it on something fun?
What I don’t normally think about is making a charitable donation. Retailers use this time of year to sell more, so why not capitalize on the opportunity to attract more donors? Is your organization focusing on this time of year to encourage donations using tax refund money? If not, consider diversifying your organization’s fundraising plan to make a big push during tax refund time for these 4 reasons:
1) Donors have more disposable income. As of February 20, the IRS reports that tax refunds have reached the $125 billion mark. Most donors are spending money during the holidays on their family. Will donors give more when they aren’t busy spending on holiday gifts?
2) Cut through the noise. If the majority of nonprofits send multiple appeals in December, it’s hard to make your appeal stand out. Do your supporters experience donation fatigue in December?
3) Focus on the tax refund instead of the tax deduction. For individuals who are giving less than $500, getting the donation in before December 31 for a tax-deduction most likely isn’t the main reason they give in December. It’s probably because that’s the time they are asked the most.
4) Diversify your fundraising. Add fundraising campaigns earlier in the year and you can reduce the amount needed to raise in December. Why is End of Year giving the main fundraising campaign of the year? Is it because that’s when donors want to give or is it because that’s how it’s always been done?
All fundraising is based on attracting and cultivating donors. Mass appeals at any time of the year are typically going to be less effective than a segmented, personalized campaign. Be sure you are fundraising throughout the year with targeted emails and text messages based on your supporter’s interests.