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Nonprofit Fundraising 101 by Darian Rodriguez Heyman

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Chapter 11 Year-End, Annual Appeals, and Membership Campaigns

“It is more rewarding to watch money change the world than watch it accumulate.”

—Gloria Steinem

Introduction

According to Giving USA, 72 percent of all nonprofit donations came from individuals in 2014. And one of the most popular ways for individuals to donate to nonprofits is through annual and year-end appeals and membership campaigns. These donations are not only an important source of general operating funds, but also a critical strategy for creating and sustaining a loyal base of supporters. Fundraising is about building relationships, and you can’t possibly meet every single one of your supporters in person. Membership campaigns and annual appeals are great ways to connect with people on an ongoing basis and share the impact of your work and their support. Whether driven by direct mail or email (see Chapters 10 and 16, respectively), these efforts raise money for your organization and create a special dialogue between you and your donors, bringing donors closer to your work as they see the results of their support.

Network for Good’s Digital Giving Index found that 31 percent of all annual giving occurred in December 2014, with almost one-third of that taking place in the last three days of the year, so having a solid year-end strategy is crucial. But whether it’s your annual campaign or a formalized membership campaign, raising money using these strategies can advance your fundraising goals and create ...

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