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  • Writer's pictureKevin Leahy

Maximize Your Fiscal Year-End Fundraising Push

Maximize Your Fiscal Year-End Fundraising Push
Maximize Your Fiscal Year-End Fundraising Push

In the last few weeks leading up to the end of the fiscal year, it's all hands on deck for fundraisers to close gifts before the deadline hits. Every day is about whittling the LYBUNT and SYBUNT lists down to zero. The closer we get to that deadline, the more every second (and every closed gift) counts.

This is the perfect time to make a few small changes – adjustments that give you a little time back in your week and strategies that decrease the time to close a gift.

Here are small changes you can make to maximize your fiscal year-end fundraising push:

What are you doing differently this year?

The end of the fiscal year is always a challenging time. The best way to endure and overcome a challenge is to embrace it. So, what's one thing that you'll do differently this year? Will it be to use LinkedIn to your advantage? Start with the gifts that take the most time to close first? Establish a friendly competition with a colleague?

Whatever you choose, stick to it. Also, don't wait for leadership to choose for you. This is like the last two minutes of a basketball game – it's rarely the perfect play that seals the deal, but the accumulation of individual efforts and the will to win.

On a similar note, be prepared to explain to donors why their gift matters now and what has changed since the last time they gave. What's something new that will convince them to support you now?

Know your options.

Cash may be king, but it isn't the only way to accept a gift.

Pledges can be booked in the same year that a donor makes their commitment.

For donors over 65, bequest intentions can help your organization get closer to the goal if the intention is confirmed and documented before the end of the fiscal year.

Remember that whether you're working towards revenue, participation, or retention goals – you may have options aside from cash to get you there.

Be ready to convert.

It may seem simple. When a donor verbally commits to a gift, be ready to convert verbal gift intentions immediately by giving them the information they need to make that gift now.

For Givzey users, you have the Intelligent Invoices that present that commitment professionally and formally – directing a donor right to payment options. Or, you can also use digital and mobile-friendly Smart Gift Agreements to secure pledge commitments on the spot.

If you don't have Givzey yet, maybe this year you do whatever you have to do to keep all documents necessary to book a gift at your fingertips. Save an email template. Create a folder on your desktop.  But don't walk away from the verbal commitment and assume it will convert to a bookable gift.

Reducing Time to Close (TTC).

When you're looking to accelerate the rate at which gifts close in a given month, there are four criteria to examine.

Is each stage of your gift process necessary, precise, efficient, and transparent?

This is not the time to look at your process as an entire system – you're on a strict deadline! However, it is a good time to see if there's any excess fat that you can trim to get the job done.


Do we absolutely have to do this to close this gift?


Is this process easy to understand and to the point?


Are we spending a lot of time waiting around or waiting for one person to shepherd documents from place to place?


Does everyone know where things stand and where bottlenecks exist while you can still do something about them?

Automate what you can

Saving time is maybe the most obvious thing you can do at crunch time. But the deeply personal and relational job that is fundraising, automation seems like it can be a little risky. While automation such as a mail merge may not best-suited for engaging 1:1 donor solicitations, there are many cases where automation is appropriate.

One of the features that Givzey users love most is the Automated Pledge Reminders function, which does the job of chasing donors to sign pledges. Not only does this put more time back in the day for fundraisers, but it also preserves the relationship with donors because the fundraiser never has to play the role of 'bill collector.'

For those without Givzey, consider using your CRM to schedule tasks or follow-ups. If navigating the CRM for those features sounds like a nightmare to you, create a spreadsheet to keep on top of every commitment.

Set yourself up for next year

While you're making small changes to impact this year's numbers, there are also changes that can start to boost dollars for next year, including the double ask.

What is the Double Ask?

The term double ask refers to any time a fundraiser asks a donor for more than one gift. There are a few types of double asks:

  • Will you donate now or later?

  • Will you commit to giving this year and next?

  • Will you commit to giving for the next 3-5 years?

The essence of the Double Ask is to give donors flexibility in their giving patterns while ensuring commitment. Obviously, the most relevant double ask during the fiscal year-end push is: Will you commit to giving this year and next?

The strategy here is to get the donor off the LYBUNT list for next year so you're not looking at the same list of names every May and June. 

Like any solicitation, the double ask is most effective when you tailor it. 

Inconsistent donor:

Will you give by June 30, and commit to giving next year at this time too? 

Consistent donor:

Will you commit to giving this year and for the next 3-5 years? 

As you approach the weeks leading up to your fiscal year-end, ask yourself, are there small changes that I can make to put time back into my week and close gifts faster?

Givzey's Intelligent Gift Documentation Management Platform helps fundraisers leave no stone unturned and close gifts faster during the end-of-fiscal year push. Click here to schedule a demo today.
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