How to encourage year-end giving

December tops every other month of the year for the number of gifts made to NCF affiliated funds. Is your Fund making the most of your community’s “year-end” generosity? Here are three “tools” you might consider to encourage end-of-year giving to your affiliated fund:

The Charitable IRA Rollover
Remind your older donors about this tax-wise method of giving – especially as they consider year-end tax decisions. People who are age 70½ and older may transfer any amount up to $100,000 from an IRA directly to charity – tax free. Their tax-free rollover gift will be excluded from their gross income and count toward their required minimum distribution. Here’s more information about this great way of giving, along with an editorial piece you can customize for your local newspaper!

Gifts Ag Commodities
Farmers and ranchers can use gifts of grain and livestock to maximize tax benefits and possibly provide a larger gift than by simply writing a check. Here is the information you need to share with your ag producers, which can also be customized and submitted to your local paper.

The Year-End Appeal Letter
Yes! Everyone does it and so should you! There are volumes written about “best practices” for writing fundraising letters. Really, the best practice is to just do it! However, many experts will agree on a few simple rules:

  • Make it personal. Write like you are speaking to your aunt, and remember the most important words—I and you—and mostly “YOU.”
  • Talk about the benefits your donor will realize – even if they are intangible. Feeling good about believing in the future or their hometown is pretty big payback for your donor’s generosity.
  • Ask for “money”—not “support.” Don’t be vague about what you are asking. “We are asking members of the Class of ’75 to make a gift of $75 . . . ”
  • Write as much as you need to make your case, and repeat your request two or three times, but keep your words, sentences, and paragraphs short and punchy.
  • And of course, include a pre-addressed return envelope for all the checks you will receive! (HINT: If you place a stamp on the return envelope you will increase your response.)

You can find several examples of fundraising letters from other affiliated fund in NCF’s Peer Learning Library.

REMEMBER: If your donor wants to receive a tax deduction for their gift in 2019, it must be in the mail to NCF by December 31, even if the check is dated earlier.

Good luck! Reach out to NCF if you need help with your year-end giving efforts!

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